5 ways to get rid of the shanks, according to Top 100 Teachers
Welcome to GOLF’s Top 100 Teacher roundtable, where some of the best instructors in the business answer the game’s most perplexing questions. The goal? To help your game and lower your scores ASAP.
Shanks are a terrifying ailment. One swing everything is fine and dandy, and the next your ball is shooting at a 45-degree angle into the trees. The shanks are something that can happen to anyone, and at any time. The scariest cases come when you’re in the middle of your round.
But how do you correct the shanks in the midst of your round? We asked some experts for their advice. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Try to miss the ball on the inside
The shanks are caused by an open club face and a cast pattern during transition and release 95 percent of the time. Close the club face and try to intentionally swing and miss the ball to the inside (closer to you) from a normal address position. This will get your contact away from the hosel and toward the center of the clubface. -Jeff Leishman, Dye Preserve, Jupiter, Fla.
2. Stand farther from the ball
Shanks on the course for high-handicap players can be scary. Most of the time they are caused by incorrect concepts. There are many ways to correct a shank, however, standing a little further away from the ball and keeping your weight on your heels the entire swing is the easiest way to correct it on the fly. -Bill Moretti, Austin, Texas
3. Stay tall through the swing
First, take a deep breath. Next, lighten your grip and try to stay tall during the swing. Most shanks are due to getting your weight out on your toes, so take a few practice swings with a lighter grip and stay tall through the swing. Finally, keep your hands close to your body through the impact area. -Suzy Whaley, C.C. at Mirasol, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
4. Focus on the inside of the ball
The easiest way to fix shanks mid-round is to focus on a blade of grass to the inside of the golf ball. With your next swing make sure the middle of the clubface hits that blade of grass. This exposes the middle (or even toe) of the clubface and divorces your swing from the hosel. -Mark Durland, Durland Golf School at Naples Grande, Naples, Fla.
5. Have a drink
If you are playing recreationally, tee up the ball and focus totally on swinging the clubhead to the target. This can remove the anxiety out of your mind and body so you can free up your swing. If you are too far into that downward spiral, I would suggest you stop playing, look for the beverage cart and have a drink! Then, go see your coach. -Carol Preisinger, Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island, S.C.
Need a club-fitting for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf.