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Impact near the heel...standing too close?


TJW
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I hit the majority of my iron shots off center...almost always closer to the heel. My question is:

 

Is this 100% CERTAIN a sign of standing too close to the ball? Could it be the position of the face (open/closed), lie angle, swing path, etc?

 

I've often had cases of the sh**ks, so I know my swing patch could get VERY in-to-out. So I'm wondering if this is the case, with the only difference being that I'm rotating my hands enough to get the face square.

 

Thanks.

 

-TJW

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This is a very good question...I wondering if there are any teaching professionals out there who could explain the cause...of the the "you know what," I don't dare say it...

 

I wouldn't say your swing is "in to out," I think the result of standing to close is a result of swing the opposite...out to in...resulting in hitting the the heel...

 

I also think a swing path way inside can result in a heeled shot...resulting in a re routing path of the swing at the top position.

 

I would suggest checking the position of the club at hip level and at the top of the swing...see if the face is closed or open...

 

Please note: I'm no expert...I would like to hear others thoughts. GOOD QUESTION.

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I'd look at the shanks in two categories, both of which have been mentioned. The in-out shank and the too close out-in shank. If you are standing too close the iron you would be using would be up on the toe (provided you've been fitted to a normal lie) so check this. If that fails, try to make kind of a jim furyk move at it (to get more on plane, allowing the club to drop inside but not into the problem slot) and see if you hit it better. However, This is just me, my golf experience, and endless golf research. I would recommend you to go to a pga professional and get him to look at your swing, its his job.

 

p.s.- If you live in the northeast and you have the usual weather, don't get freaked out. The worst thing you can do is think of what you might be doing. remember, golf is funny, when you go back the next time you could be good as new.

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Shanks can be caused by any number of reasons........either a swing thats too much "inside-out" OR a swing path thats too much "outside-in"......either one can cause a shank.......let the arms "run off" and get behind the body and that can cause a shank with several different "variations"/reasons for the shank........

 

RARELY do I see a "heel" hit or shank caused by standing too close to the body......

 

In fact, its usually the OPPOSITE......the student stands too far from the ball and the club/arms work too far inside and behind the body resulting in a swing path thats too much from inside and/or an armswing thats too much from the inside or both........arms working from behind the body.......

 

When the arms are working too much from the inside on the downswing not ONLY will a path too much from the inside be the result, but, the "momentum" of the club/arms working away from the body will quite often "pull" the body onto the players "toes"........shank/heel hit results.......

 

OR with a good player who "Re-routes" the arms/club in the transition.....once in a while they will overdue the "re-route" and the club/arms work too much from the inside when they aren't "timing" their swing as well......."shank" results sometime with heel hits the rule.......

 

Occasionally you do see a player strike the ball in the heel from standing too close to the ball.......but not nearly as often as "poor path"......thats almost always the culprit........

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Shanks can be caused by any number of reasons........either a swing thats too much "inside-out" OR a swing path thats too much "outside-in"......either one can cause a shank.......let the arms "run off" and get behind the body and that can cause a shank with several different "variations"/reasons for the shank........

 

RARELY do I see a "heel" hit or shank caused by standing too close to the body......

 

In fact, its usually the OPPOSITE......the student stands too far from the ball and the club/arms work too far inside and behind the body resulting in a swing path thats too much from inside and/or an armswing thats too much from the inside or both........arms working from behind the body.......

 

When the arms are working too much from the inside on the downswing not ONLY will a path too much from the inside be the result, but, the "momentum" of the club/arms working away from the body will quite often "pull" the body onto the players "toes"........shank/heel hit results.......

 

OR with a good player who "Re-routes" the arms/club in the transition.....once in a while they will overdue the "re-route" and the club/arms work too much from the inside when they aren't "timing" their swing as well.......

 

Occasionally you do see a player strike the ball in the heel from standing too close to the ball.......but not nearly as often as "poor path"......thats almost always the culprit........

 

Nicely said. Shanks can be caused by poor weight shift or posture. Often some of my best rounds came after shanking or half-shanking one or two wedge shots while warming up on the range which usually tells me what I was doing wrong. Improper weight shift or poor balance.

 

Best thing you can do is to see your club pro for lessons. Also not to be afraid of saying this 5 letter word, you'll overcome it quicker if you are not afraid of saying this word. If you are fearful of this word "shank", you'll never overcome your mental block.

61 yr old's Bag of Hackin' Utensils 

TM Stealth+ 10.5 GD XC-6 stiff

TM M1 3HL Rogue White 80 stiff

ancient Adams Idea Pro 20, 23 & 26 VS-Proto 80 stiff

TM P770 5-PW DG120 X100

Srixon Z785 4-W Modus 125 stiff

TM MG3 52HB & 58HB

Odyssey 2Ball Ten 46" 

 

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As I mentioned in my original post, I've had cases of the SHANKS (there I said it) before. Through trial and error, and slicefixers help, I cured those a few weeks ago. And for the record the Golf Digests and Golf Magazines of the world did me more harm than good, as they almost ALWAYS blame it on an out-to-in path and MINE were do to an extreme in-to-out path (as some of you have also mentioned). I also have a VERY flat swing.

 

Anyway, in case I wasn't clear in my original post...I'm making contact near the heel, but they are GOOD shots (not shanks). Basically, if you look directly at the face of my irons, the ball marks are all right of the sweetspot (closer to the heel).

 

I'll certainly try standing a bit closer to the ball as suggested (the opposite of what I had been doing before) and see how well I make contact this weekend at the range.

 

And yes, I'll be seeing an instructor when the season gets underway up here in Boston. In the meantime, it's trial, error, and help from those of you on Golfwrx. Thanks.

 

-TJW

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In regards to this topic, what would the correlation to lie angle be? Thanks.

 

 

Great question and I don't have the answer but I would recommend using impact tape, both on the face of the iron and on the sole to see where you are striking the ground. That would better explain if you had the proper lie.

 

Not sure if you guys have been fitted for clubs or not, but if you had a piece of thin fiberboard you could hit off of that. That way the tape on the sole of the club would better mark since you are hitting off of a more solid surface.

 

I think the PING board I hit off of was fiberglass.

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As I mentioned in my original post, I've had cases of the SHANKS (there I said it) before. Through trial and error, and slicefixers help, I cured those a few weeks ago. And for the record the Golf Digests and Golf Magazines of the world did me more harm than good, as they almost ALWAYS blame it on an out-to-in path and MINE were do to an extreme in-to-out path (as some of you have also mentioned). I also have a VERY flat swing.

 

Anyway, in case I wasn't clear in my original post...I'm making contact near the heel, but they are GOOD shots (not shanks). Basically, if you look directly at the face of my irons, the ball marks are all right of the sweetspot (closer to the heel).

 

I'll certainly try standing a bit closer to the ball as suggested (the opposite of what I had been doing before) and see how well I make contact this weekend at the range.

 

And yes, I'll be seeing an instructor when the season gets underway up here in Boston. In the meantime, it's trial, error, and help from those of you on Golfwrx. Thanks.

 

-TJW

 

Believe it or not, most of the touring professional usually hit their sweetspot right at center and toward inside of centerspot closer to the heel of the clubhead rather than out on the toe.

61 yr old's Bag of Hackin' Utensils 

TM Stealth+ 10.5 GD XC-6 stiff

TM M1 3HL Rogue White 80 stiff

ancient Adams Idea Pro 20, 23 & 26 VS-Proto 80 stiff

TM P770 5-PW DG120 X100

Srixon Z785 4-W Modus 125 stiff

TM MG3 52HB & 58HB

Odyssey 2Ball Ten 46" 

 

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Just an update to those who are interested:

 

Hit the range today. The below may not look pretty to some of you lower handicappers, but for a 20+ handicap...in the middle of winter...recovering from the shanks...with a new set of MP-60s...

 

...this is a beautiful thing. Image from my 53 degree wedge. Thanks for your help. -TJW

 

 

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