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There are a handful of major causes of shanking. They are:
- Early Extention
- Open Clubface
- High Forearm Plane
- Trail Arm Straight Too Soon
- Standing Too Close to the Golf Ball
There are a handful of ways that golfers develop this swing pattern. The general theme is things that make the path shallow and the clubface open. To find out the details of why you're shanking the ball, look at your swing and run through the checklist to determine the true cause.
Playlists: Fix Your Shank
Tags: Poor Contact, Drill, Intermediate, Beginner
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In this content video, we're going to talk about shanking the ball.
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Now, here's an example of a golfer shanking the ball, and basically what you'll see
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is that when they're making contact with it, they're hitting it on the hustle, or very
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much in the heel, and this causes the ball to shoot way off to the right.
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So the shank is probably one of the most frustrating shots, because it literally goes
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almost perpendicular to where you're trying to hit.
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It's basically a penalty stroke.
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They get in your head, they become hard to recover from.
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So we need to understand them, and we need to understand the movements that are going to
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kind of make you more susceptible to them.
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So we'll go through what I think are kind of the four big movements, and then the one thing
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to look out for as far as setup.
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So the simple answer here is that if I'm setting up to this T, when I make contact with
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the golf ball, I've moved the hustle has moved to where the golf ball is making contact
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with the face.
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So something is causing this club to move out that way.
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One of the most common, and the first thing that I look for whenever I hear someone's
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complaining about shanks is I look at early extension.
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So early extension, we have a whole section about it, but basically the body moving in towards
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the golf ball causing everything to look more like so.
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So my lower body is moving in closer, my upper body is coming back.
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Either of those two movements is typically if I don't change anything with my arms, you
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can see that that's going to cause the club to swing a little bit further out and make
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me susceptible to hitting the club on the hill.
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The next one is going to be the motor cycle.
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And so what I'll show you here is if I were to set up to the golf ball just like so
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or to the golf tee, because I want to be even more specific than golf ball.
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So if I was to simply rotate the face, I'll bring you back a little bit.
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If I was to simply rotate the face open, you can see that now when I get that face about
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30 degrees open or so, it's pointing in the general or the hazele is now moved closer
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to where it's going to be contact with the golf ball.
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This is a common one for golfers who typically haven't had a whole lot of rotation, and
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they've had a club face that's very open to the path and a path that's kind of coming
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steep like so.
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And then they start to get more of this body rotation and what ends up happening is that
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club face gets very very open early during the downswing.
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And there's just if you get that body rotation, you're going to have shaft lean, which
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makes it harder to close the club face and that's a likely possibility.
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I'm probably pretty much going to shake it.
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So in that particular case, I'm going to work on getting the club face to close a little
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bit earlier in the downswing, which will allow my body to continue rotating and not
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have the face wide open and the hazele exposed.
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So the third piece is going to be looking at this forearm plane.
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Essentially, when I make this good kind of a merry-go-round position and get down into my
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impact position, if you were to look from a down the line view, you'll see this forearm
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is roughly pointing in the general direction of golf ball.
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It's not very specific.
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It's not very, I would say, scientific to look at it just from a camera point of view.
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But what you'll see is that often, if I early extend or if my thorax backs up or if my
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trail leg moves in towards the golf ball, this forearm will get pointed more shallowly.
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Well, sometimes what'll happen is once I've corrected that lower body.
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So I'm no longer early extending.
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I'll still have this common pattern or I'll have this framework of this arm working
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more around my body and this kind of horizontal plane instead of down at the golf ball.
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So what can happen is just like so, it gets the club swinging a little bit too much
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into out, which can cause the hazele to lead and potentially cause the shank.
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It's kind of a good player shank or kind of an elite player shank, I should say, as
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opposed to leading the club face open is kind of more of one of the common ones, but
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typically not something you see at the real high levels.
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The fourth one, the next major movement, is going to be getting this trail arm straight.
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Now this is usually the golfer who's going to have an outside in shank.
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Frequently the shanks are going to come from getting the club a little bit too much under
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a little bit too open and it kind of swings exaggeratingly into out like so with the club
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face that's open.
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But it is possible to have an outside in shank and this is usually where I'm looking
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So if I go up to the top of the swing and that right arm gets extended very soon so that
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it's pretty much straight when I'm making contact with a golf ball, well you can see
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that as I bend it that brings the club closer to me as I straighten it that takes the
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So by straightening that arm too soon that's in some cases going to cause the hazele
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to move out towards the golf ball.
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This tends to be a little bit more common especially when we're looking at shanks around
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the green things like that, not so much with the longer irds.
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And then the last one which I think is one of the most commonly promoted but for me it's
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kind of the unicorn.
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It's pretty much the rare one would be standing too close to the golf ball.
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Now in general I think the most golfer stand too far away so that's why this is rarely
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the solution that I go for.
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Adding two close to the golf ball and hitting shanks is usually a sign that well I'm
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not kind of maintaining my spining.
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I'm not keeping my hips away from the ball so I'm early standing.
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I'm thrusting with that right side.
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It's one of these other movements that's usually the culprit and a quick fix can be standing
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a little bit further away but know that over time what usually happens is you start exaggerating
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the actual movement that's causing the shank.
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So just to run through again you're going to look at early extension which is either going
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to be that trail leg pushing in.
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The hips going in towards the golf ball or the upper body backing up you're going to look
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at the club face closer so as the club face getting closed early in transition or is it
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waiting and being very open down late.
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You're going to look at the forearm plane.
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When you're going to look at is that trail arm getting really really straight and then
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lastly you'll look at well how far away from the golf ball my standing and use a few
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Use Jim Furik, he's one who stands very closely golf ball and last I've checked you know
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hasn't had a battle with shanking where there are some players who stand much further away
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who have some of those other moves who are more prone to having the shanks treatment.
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So it's a frustrating problem but as you see there are patterns to it and once you understand
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the patterns of the shank you can take away a little bit of the fear of it and know that
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if it comes in use that as feedback so that you can ultimately work on correcting your
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