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How did you conquer the shanks?


dakpery
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Shanks are caused by hitting the ball with hosel of the club.  This can be done with a mechanically perfect swing and with a terrible swing. 

 

One really good drill is to setup to the ball normally and then make three swings missing the ball on the inside with each swing and then go ahead and hit the ball with the fourth swing.  I have never seen that one fail.  

 

To really conquer the shanks practice hitting balls on the heel and toe of the club for as long as you can stand it.  Once you learn to control where on the face you are hitting the ball the shanks become less likely to happen. 

 

Last thing is that shanks are no big deal.  I have seen several on TV hit by big name players.  It happens, don't worry about it and move on.

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Two things for me. When weight gets too much on your toes at setup it can cause shanks. And if face is too open it can cause shanks. 
 

I’ve battled them a couple of times and the above were the keys to the fix. I even got the chip shanks for a while which is truly awful. Anytime I hit a shank now, I just get my weight a little more over balls of my feet and it usually solves the problem. 

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Take smaller swings at first. Little chips. Build into bigger swings taking it further back.  Post attention to when it starts. 

 

Itended to shank if I started just bringing my arms back and through without twisting my body away from the ball or if I simply stood too close to the ball.

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7 hours ago, Nels55 said:

Last thing is that shanks are no big deal.  I have seen several on TV hit by big name players.  It happens, don't worry about it and move on.

Yeah I remember a couple of years ago watching one of the UK PGA events. One of the players swung for the green on a par 3 and sent the ball screaming off to the right into a pond. Peter Aliss exclaimed "oh, what a shocker!"

 

?

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3 hours ago, andrue said:

Yeah I remember a couple of years ago watching one of the UK PGA events. One of the players swung for the green on a par 3 and sent the ball screaming off to the right into a pond. Peter Aliss exclaimed "oh, what a shocker!"

 

?

 

 

Renton Laidlaw's reaction to a shank, "oh dear, dear, dear. 

 

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I had the shanks bad for years, up to 10 per round, and now I rarely shank. I agree with the comment on weight distribution.  I used to have my weight too far toward my toes. Now I center my weight in my arches. For me, the balls of my feet was still too far forward.

 

The other key for me was to concentrate my physical effort during my swing on being at the impact point and through to the target. Before, I was putting too much effort into the swing from the top of the backswing, which I think was causing the club to be thrown out too far too soon.

 

My thought now is to simply unwind from the top and begin amplifying effort at about P6.  It's also important to get fully deep in the backswing and not be too quick in transition.

 

Good luck. For me, there was nothing more soul crushing than being a frequent shanker.

 

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Appreciate all of the tips guys! I've been watching some videos of my swing next to say Spieth and one thing I notice is that during rotation I am a lot more shallow then him or other golfers are at the same time. Hopefully I just need to steepen my swing out a bit and they'll magically go away.

 

I really enjoy seeing all of these drills though and can't wait to try them on the range soon! Don't laugh if you see a guy on the range hitting balls 90 degrees right, it's just me lol

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Are these full swing shots or Chips?  Do you slice or hook the ball?  Another cause is coming into the ball with the face open (slicer) or too far from the inside (Hooker).  

 

Make sure your not early extending your hips on the DS.  Try feeling like your belt buckle turns down towards the ground during your backswing and not up to the sky.  

 

 

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I've suffered with the shanks for longer than I care to admit usually setting in each winter. Thankfully I'm bloody stubborn and have invested too much cash into gear to give up! 

 

What has worked for me over the last two years are 3 thoughts/drills whenever I feel they're getting close:

 

1. Miss on the inside of the ball. Consciously setup as normal, then swing and hit turf/mat inside the ball. Repeat. You can play slapping it off the toe all round, not from the heel. 

2. Start your downswing pushing your right butt cheek (RH golfer) towards target to force weight over your lead foot. Gives loads of 'space' and allows an in to out path. Trust me when I say this will make sense when you get it right. 

3. Drill, assuming you're probably a slicer too, practice all of the above swinging MASSIVELY in to out and out to in. Like 45 degrees in one swing, 45 degrees out next. This gives me the sensation of both extremes and is easier to settle on one. I find swinging in to out keeps the club of the head behind hands and encourages a toe miss. 

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I have that happen periodically. One drill I love (and often use it as a warmup drill to get the clubhead online) is to place two balls, side by side, with about 1/2" between the balls. Address the ball nearest you, and then hit it -- without disturbing the outside ball. Start with small swings, and work up to full swings.

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20 hours ago, wkndhckr said:

Take smaller swings at first. Little chips. Build into bigger swings taking it further back.  Post attention to when it starts. 

 

Itended to shank if I started just bringing my arms back and through without twisting my body away from the ball or if I simply stood too close to the ball.

 

Agreed with this ^

 

You mentioned you have a flat swing plane (so do I), and a potential issue is letting your arms get separated from your body during the swing. This will obviously cause the hosel to move further away from you and can lead to a shank. Here's a great video that goes into how to help fight this tendency, without adjusting your natural swing plane:

 

 

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i focussed on keeping a straight (leading) arm and making sure the grip isn't affecting the clubface changing through the swing. Keep a slower tempo and don't try to murder the ball.

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I think we've all had them from time to time. I know I have. One time on the range, I shanked one so badly that it hit the guy next to me right on his rear end! Talk about a "Wanna get away" moment... 

 

 

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A couple of years ago at the 100th PGA Championship in St.Louis, I watched Rory McIlroy hit the most gorgeous shank on the range.  Clanked a scoreboard 45* off to his right.  The crowd silently gasped, he laughed, then striped the next several shots as if nothing had happened.

 

Byron Nelson once said he shanked an average of one ball a week.  Nevertheless, he was still a pretty good player 
 

The point is, the best players in the world do it at least every now and then. Forget mechanical solutions, and stop giving more importance to these misses than any other. Do you beat yourself up after a few fatties in a round?  

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Learn to get the lower body (hips) more active. 

 

As you can see by my user name (that I vowed to change once I am rid of them), I know all about it.

 

I was having a great year, after taking lessons and working hard during the offseason to learn how to properly hit the ball (always was an arms only swinger). Last week, they came back, I was really tired from a lot of physical activity at work, and got really lazy and "armsy". So I shanked, chopped, clunked, thinned every iron shot, chip for 15 holes, a nightmare. Hit the range Saturday morning, with my six iron only, and worked the swing back to where it was, slowly...

 

I just bought a Planemate, as I want to get the proper back/downswing sequence better. Hoping that will help me eliminate poor contact for good.

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On 8/19/2020 at 12:13 PM, tdeutmeyer said:

After shanking 7 in a row in a college tournament, the coach told me to set up to the ball with the hosel right on the ball, and swing normal, hitting the ball on the center of the face.  I have been using it ever since. 

 

 

This. Plus Butch Harmon's headcover drill.

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I miss them.

 

Years ago, when I was warming up before a round I hit a number of shanks in a row. I didn't really have time to try to do anything about it, so off i went to the first tee. I had a great round! At the time I was about a 12 handicap and shot somewhere around 75. The next time I warmed up I started hitting shanks again. Immediately I thought, I'm going to have a good round, and I did. For a few months that continued, hitting shanks during warmup and if I played well I could come in 73-75, if I played poorly it would be 77-79. I shot 81 once, but hd to hit two shots ob to do it.

 

The next season they were gone. I miss them.

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I'm a big fan of the Impact ball.  I use the Blue/Green version to fix a large variety of swing issues.  My bout with shanks stemmed from trying to swing to hard, trail hand dominating the swing (casting), and getting on my toes.  I went down a rabbit hole of YouTube instruction which further lead to inconsistency.  Anytime I start getting out of sync I go back to 9/3 drills with the impact ball.  

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Look at down the line videos of your shanks. If you still shank on the course, video your course shanks.

 

There are a million ways to try and cure it using aids, put a block of wood or a golf club box just outside ball don't hit box. Hit the toe. Use alignment sticks or Chiliwacker to route your club the way you want it to go.

 

But imho it would help to see what you're doing instead of guessing.

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My issue was a combination of head moving towards the ball (which moved hands out so hosel was presented to ball) and early extension.

 

To fix the head movement I would be at address and put my head close to a wall so I could feel it with my hair, put my hands on my shoulders and rotate like it was a real swing concentrating on keeping just my hair on the wall.  At first it felt like I was falling backwards.  Took that feeling to a real swing.  Video showed improvement.

 

For the EE it was make sure I had a full trail hip rotation on the way back then FEEL like that trail hip stayed in place while my lead hip got pushed back by my lead leg.  Essentially walking my pelvis away from the ball.  Loads of room to come through and tough to get the hosel out to the ball from there.

 

Of course I can start working on some other part of the swing go back to my old habits and still pull one off so the skill is still there.

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