My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I changed my swing about 2 months ago as I was too inconsistent, in particular, with my irons. I now have batches where I have wonderful impact and ball flight, yet on a regular basis I shank which erodes my self confidence. I have read extensively about shanks yet can't see to figure out what is wrong and despite using many drills (for example, placing a wood cover just in front of the ball) I still shank. Today, for the first time ever, I left the game after 8 holes after having shanked 7 iron shots...I hope you have some good advice, thank you.
--Jens H. from Miami, FL

Hi Jens. Thanks for writing

As you probably know in your reading or research a shank is very close to a perfect swing. That is why we can hit a wonderful shot and then follow it up by a shank. I'm sure you also know the obvious - that a shank is caused by contact on the hosel.

There are 4 main causes of contacting the ball on the hosel.

1) Standing too close to the ball at address
2) Having your weight too much on the front part of your foot at address or falling forward in the swing
3) Swinging too far from the inside
4) Swinging excessively outside in

Without seeing your swing it's hard for me to determine which is your cause. Note that as a Pro Member you could send your swing in and have access to all drill videos for only $19.99/month. If you know your cause then you can jump to working on drills to fix it. If you don't know you can go down the list one by one and check to see if you may find the reason for your shanks.

I do have a good number of shanking drills that can be found under our Golf Instruction tab in the Practice Drills section under the category of Diagnosing Problems. Here is a direct link:

I'd love for you to try these few drills and get back to me with some feedback as to whether they worked for you or not:

Miss the Ball Drill
2 Ball Drill (my favorite)
Swing Under a String

Different drills work for different people so it's only a matter of finding what works for you. It's been my experience that shanks are easy to fix if you know the cause.

Best of luck and let me know how it goes!



Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)