In golf, a shank happens when the player swings too hard and sends the ball flying off at an angle. This is one of those things that can happen to any golfer, but they're more likely to occur on shorter shots where there's less time for the swing to be controlled.
In this article I'll talk about what causes a shank in golf and how you can avoid it.
What is a shank in golf?
A shank in golf is simply when you hit the ball off line to the right of where you were aiming and you end up hitting it into the ground.
Sometimes, they are also referred to as a skull or a shovel although both terms can be considered colloquial and not entirely accurate.
However, if you find yourself hitting this shot often, then you will be glad to know that nothing is wrong with your swing.
But it does mean that there are some things about your set up or address position that can lead to this sometimes dangerous shot.
Why does it happen ?
There are many things that can cause a shank in golf. A lot of it has to do with your grip before you take the club back and how you start your downswing while keeping good balance on your feet so that there is no excessive body movement.
If you have been playing for a while, then chances are that if you hit the ball off line it is because of your body movement. This is a good sign that you are starting to get into your golf swing and make some real progress with it!
When you step up to tee off, you need to have your feet in the right places so that they can be in the right place at impact. This ensures that you have proper balance and posture while squaring up to the ball.
If you do not start with a good address position, then chances are that your hands will be somewhere other than where they should be when you start downswing. They may even be in front of the clubhead so that when you make contact with the ball it will push the club head off line and you'll hit a shank.
The last thing that can cause a shank in golf is if your hands are not centered on top of the grip during your downswing. If they move to one side or another, then they are liable to get tangled up in other parts of your body and you will hit the ball off line.
How to avoid it ?
There are a few things that can be done to help prevent shanking the ball in golf.
First, if you have trouble getting good set up or address position then try practicing this before a round or practice session. This may sound silly, but getting set up properly is something that you might be very good at when you practice by yourself. However, when you play in a group or on the course for a round then you get all the excitement and nervousness of playing with other people there too. This causes your body to focus on this instead of getting ready to hit the ball.
If you do not have time to practice your setup and address position then the next best thing to do would be to watch someone else tee off. By watching their set up, you can learn a lot of things such as where they place their feet and how they balance themselves.
When you go back to take your own shot, you can try to replicate what they did. Or at least get an idea of where and why it helped them hit the ball well.
The second thing that you should do is practice hitting good shots into all different kinds of lies in order to build up your confidence level. You might even want to take a golf lesson from someone who knows how to fix this issue.
They may have some tips and techniques that you can use to help yourself hit the ball better in almost any situation.
How to correct your grip when swinging on the downswing with an open clubface, which often leads to a shank.
The reason this happens is because the clubface becomes open as it approaches the ball. The golfer should be aware of this and correct his grip before he hits a shank. Also, if you have problems with your hands moving left or right on the downswing, then try to focus on keeping them in the center of your body.
If you follow these tips, then your shanks should become a thing of the past and not be something that worries you. Shanking is actually a good thing!!! It means that your golf swing is improving! Don't waste energy or time trying to eliminate it completely because if you do so, then it may take away from other important parts of the swing.
The best thing to do for a shank is to try and become aware when it occurs so that you can avoid it in the future.
If all else fails, then just make sure you have fun playing golf and enjoy being on the course with your friends or fellow golfers. That's what golf is all about anyway.
If you have any further questions or concerns, then please send me an email and I'll be happy to help out!