As a golf specialist, I am excited to share my knowledge on one of the most frustrating shots in the game – the shank. If you’ve ever hit a leg, you know how it feels to watch your ball shoot off to the right (or left for lefties) at a 45-degree angle, leaving you scratching your head in confusion – This is a highly wayward shot.
In the world of golf, there are specific terms used to describe various shots, techniques, and equipment. In this article, I will explain what the shanks mean in golf and provide tips on preventing them from ruining your game.
What Does The Shanks Mean In Golf? First, let’s define what the shanks are. The legs occur when the ball is struck with the hosel of the golf club instead of the face, causing the ball to shoot off in a random direction. It’s important to note that a flaw in your swing does not cause the shanks but rather a mental block or lack of focus.
Even the best golfers in the world can fall victim to the shanks, so don’t feel discouraged if it happens to you. In golf, specific terms describe various shots, techniques, and equipment. In the next section, I will discuss some common causes of the shanks and how to avoid them.
What Does The Shanks Mean In Golf?
As a golf specialist, I understand that shanking is one of the most frustrating things that can happen on the golf course. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how it feels to hit a shot that goes off to the right (or left for left-handed golfers) at a sharp angle. In this section, I’ll explain what shanks are, why they happen, and how to fix them.
Their shoulders are over the middle of their feet, with their weight sitting over the balls of their feet. As you address the ball, get your weight distribution in the correct position, set the perfect ball position for a mid-iron, and let your arms hang naturally down.
So, What Does The Shanks Mean In Golf? Shanks are shots that are hit off the hosel of the golf club, which is the part of the clubhead that connects to the shaft. When you hit a shank, the ball comes off the clubface at an angle and usually goes off to the right (or left for left-handed players). Shanks are also known as hosel rockets because the ball shoots off the hosel like a rocket.
A golf shank is one of those golf terms you won’t even want to mention when out on the golf course. Let’s look at why a golf shank happens and how to get yourself back to hitting the golf ball in the center of the clubface again.
What Causes the Shank to Happen?
As a golf specialist, many players need help with shanking the ball. It can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re hitting the golf ball well, and then suddenly, you hit a shank.
In this section, I will discuss the two most common causes of the shank. What’s worse is that once a golfer thinks it’s caused by an open face, most players will try to close the club even more resulting in more shanks!
So, knowing that shank means one thing and one thing only, why has it become the default term for a bad golf shot? A shank is a dreaded shot when the ball is struck by the hosel (the rounded portion connecting the clubhead and shaft) instead of the clubface. How can amateur golfers avoid hitting one? Keep reading, and we will answer all of the above.
Taking the Club Too Far Inside to The Backswing
One of the most common causes of the shank is taking the club too far inside on the backswing. This means the club head is moving too far behind the golfer’s body, causing the clubface to open up. When the clubface is open, hitting the ball off the club’s hosel is much easier, resulting in a shank.
To avoid taking the club too far inside on the backswing, keep the clubhead in front of your body and on the correct swing plane. You can also work on your grip to ensure your hands are positioned on the club. Now you’re worried. You start tinkering with your swing, and before you know it, you’re lost, and you can’t hit a ball straight to save your life.
Weight is Too Far Forward (On Your Toes)
Another common cause of the shank is having too much weight on your toes at impact. When your weight is too far forward, your body moves closer to the ball, and the clubhead moves away from the body, causing the clubface to open up. The shank happens because the clubface is closed, and the toe of the club hits the ground, producing a long, skinny divot.
To avoid having too much weight on your toes, focus on shifting your weight to your heels during the downswing. This will help you maintain balance and keep the clubhead closer to your body.
In conclusion, taking the club too far inside on the backswing and having too much weight on your toes at impact are the two most common causes of the shank. By focusing on your swing plane and weight distribution, you can avoid hitting shanks and improve your golf game.
Easy Drills to Show You How to Cure Shanks
Driver Headcover Drill
To perform the Driver Headcover Drill, place a headcover or any object just outside the toe of your clubhead. Take your stance and make a swing, aiming to miss the headcover. This drill will help you focus on hitting the golf ball with the center of the clubface and prevent you from shanking the ball.
One of the drill options or swing fixes is to start taking some half swings to ground yourself again and get rid of the shanks. A great drill designed to stabilize your lower body is to place your golf bag next to your left hip at the address.
David Leadbetter Heel Toe Anti-Shank Drill
It’s a great way to cure shanks. To perform this drill, place a tee in the ground about an inch outside the toe of your clubhead. Take your stance and swing, aiming to hit the tee with the heel or toe of the club.
This drill will help you focus on hitting the golf ball with the center of the clubface and prevent you from shanking the ball.
Practice these drills regularly to improve your swing and cure your shanks. If your lower body cannot rotate properly, you will likely struggle to match the club and ball properly on the downswing. You can overcome this common problem and improve your golf game with enough practice and dedication.
How to Avoid Shanks
In any case, the most important thing you can do when you get a chance of the “shanks” is not to lose confidence. The grip is one of the most important aspects of a golf swing.
If you stand too close to a ball, sometimes, when you bring the club back into the impact position, it will make contact with the hosel. Ensure a relaxed grip pressure. By maintaining a light grip on the club, you allow for proper wrist hinge and clubhead control.
To avoid shanks, it is essential to have a proper grip. I recommend using the interlocking grip or the overlapping grip. The grip should be firm but not too tight. The clubface should be square to the target line. It was becoming unplayable, and I had to aim way right to get the ball to finish on the target line. If you are shanking the ball, it will cause you to increase your grip pressure.
To avoid shanks, the feet should be shoulder-width apart, and the weight should be evenly distributed. The ball should be positioned in the center of the stance. Check you are in an athletic position at the address and that you’re not reaching for the ball or standing too close
In any case, the most important thing you can do when you get a case of the “shanks” is to not lose confidence. Most golfers think it’s because the club is open at impact, but this is not the case. The body should be aligned parallel to the target line. Another easy solution is to stand a little farther away from the ball when you take your stance.
Practice is the key to improving your golf swing and avoiding shanks. I recommend practicing with a pitching wedge or a short iron. Start with slow swings and focus on the proper grip and stance. You’re going to miss the ball you set up on the inside. But this time, you will hit another ball in the process.
Check you are in an athletic position at the address and that you’re not reaching for the ball or standing too close. Gradually increase the speed and power of the swing. Practice hitting the golf ball in the center of the clubface.
To avoid shanks, you must have a proper grip and stance and practice your swing regularly. By following these tips, you can improve your golf game and avoid the frustration of shanking shots. Hopefully, you now understand golf shanks and how to fix them.
How to Bounce Back After a Shank
Keep Calm and Relaxed
After the shank occurs anxiety, anger, and frustration and inevitable. However, staying calm and relaxed is essential to avoid compounding the issue. Please take a deep breath, shake it off, and remind yourself that even the best players shank shots sometimes.
Keep Your Weight Back
One of the leading causes of shanking is shifting your weight too far forward during your swing. To avoid this, focus on keeping your weight back on your heels throughout your swing. This will help you maintain your balance and avoid shanking the ball.
As you start the downswing, your hips should bump into the bag, and your lower body should turn (without sliding towards the target). Standing with your feet together when you take a golf swing may feel odd initially, but it is a simple drill and highly effective. Check you are in an athletic position at address and that you’re not reaching for the ball or standing too close
Visualize The Perfect Shot
After a shank, it’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset. Instead, try and fix visualizing the perfect shot before you swing again. Imagine the ball flying straight and accurately, and focus on making a smooth, confident swing. This will help you reset your mental state and get back on track.
If you go to the next shot tense, you will have too much tension in your forearms, If your lower body cannot rotate the proper way, chances are you will struggle to get the club and ball to match up properly on the downswing.
Shanking a shot can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your round. By staying calm, keeping your weight back, and visualizing the perfect image, you can bounce back and get back on track to a successful round of golf.
Professional Golfers and The Shanks?
Like amateur players, professional golfers can also struggle with the “shanks” occasionally. Shank-creep affects amateur YouTube uploaders as well as pros.
This Tiger Woods mishit is labeled a shank but lacks the slang term’s distinctive bird-with-a-wounded-right-wing ball flight. Don’t let the shank be the reason you give up the great game of golf.
Even professional players, with their high skill level and experience, are not immune to the shanks. They can be particularly frustrating for professionals because they are expected to perform at a consistently high level, and the legs can disrupt their game and confidence.
Professional golfers and their coaches work diligently on their swing mechanics and mental game to minimize the chance of experiencing the shanks.
They may analyze their swing with the help of technology like video analysis, consult with sports psychologists to manage any mental blocks or anxieties that may contribute to the shanks, and practice drills to improve their ball striking.
It’s worth noting that the shanks can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor setup, swing flaws, tension, and mental issues. Professional players have access to the best coaching and resources to address these issues but must still be immune to the occasional shank.
When a professional player does experience the shanks, it’s often a temporary setback, and they typically work diligently to get their game back on track as quickly as possible. The ability to recover from setbacks and maintain mental composure is a hallmark of professional players, as the mental aspect of the game is just as critical as the physical one.
Professional Tips to Overcome Shanks
Regarding golf, shanking the ball can be a player’s worst nightmare. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also significantly impact your scorecard. However, there are ways to overcome shanks and get your game back on track.
As a golf specialist, I have compiled some professional tips to help you overcome shanks and play your best game. For more golf tips and information, check out the rest of stonybrookgolfnj.com.
To make contact with the ball on the housel of the club, your swing path has to be too far from the inside or too far over the top. With amateur golfers, it’s usually the latter. You’re coming over the top if you’re slicing the ball a lot.
Tip 1: Check Your Setup
One of the most common causes of shanking the ball is poor setup. Ensure you address the ball correctly by standing the correct distance away from the ball and ensuring that your weight is distributed evenly on both feet. Additionally, ensure that your clubface is square to the target line.
Tip 2: Focus on Your Swing Path
Another common cause of shanking the ball is an outside-to-inside swing path. To overcome this, focus on your swing path and ensure that your club moves in an inside-to-outside way. If an open clubface causes your shanks, then this drill from Rotary Swing will help with squaring up the face.
Tip 3: Practice with Alignment Sticks
Using alignment sticks during practice can be an effective way to overcome shanks. Place two alignment sticks on the ground parallel to each other, with enough space for your feet to fit in between them.
Tip 4: Try a Different Golf Club
Finally, if you struggle with shanks, try switching to a different club. Sometimes, another club can help you overcome shanks and get your game back on track. Once it hits the hosel and not the clubface, the ball will shoot right and go a fraction of the distance it’s supposed to.
In conclusion, shanking the ball can be a frustrating experience for any player. However, by following these professional tips, you can overcome the shanks and play your best game.
Hopefully, with the above article by Stony Brook Golf NJ, you will get the answer to the question, “What Does The Shanks Mean In Golf?” The shanks can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem for any golfer. It’s important to understand that various factors, including poor swing mechanics, lack of focus, and anxiety, cause the shanks.
Players should improve their swing mechanics, especially their grip and posture, to avoid the shanks. They should also practice regularly and stay relaxed and focused during their swings.
If you need help with the shanks, keep going. Remember that even the best golfers in the world have experienced this problem at some point in their careers. With patience, practice, and the right attitude, you can overcome the shanks and become a more confident and booming player.