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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I'm shanking my wedges by coming inside to much. Can you help?
--Gerard D. from Schenectady, NY

Hi Gerard,

Thanks for writing I'm excited to get to help you with your game.

The shanks are by all means scary, but also very easy to fix. That's right, I said easy. It's just a matter of knowing what causes them. As you may or may not know a shank comes from contacting the ball off of the hosel (back of the head near the shaft). There are really 4 main causes to this:

1) Standing too close at address. Crowding the ball can definitely be a problem because if you lose your balance at all going forward or your arms disconnect from your body you are looking at hosel city. So try making sure you have a least a fist or a fist and a thumb between you and the butt end of your grip.

2) Losing your balance to your toes. Just like in #1, anything that causes you to go forward in the stroke can help you find the hosel and then you've suddenly got a bad case of the laterals.

3) Swinging too far inside/out. This is definitely a common cause. As your club approaches the ball on too much of and inside/out angle (swinging to right field), you move towards the hosel of the club.

4) Swinging too far outside/in. Although this isn't as common, I have seen it happen. You have to be coming across on a pretty severe outside angle to hit the hosel, but for those that come over the top pretty dramatically, it's an issue.

Now that you know the reasons a shank occurs, and it sounds like you know your own personal cause, check each one to be sure that coming inside isn't the only one. Then it's just a matter of correcting the error. You may like this article here:

Curing a Shank:

Also, I have several drills targeting for shanking in our library of over 200 drill videos so you may think about upgrading to check those out. In the meantime, I would highly recommend putting a swing plane pole in the ground in front of the ball (meaning down the target line) about 2 feet and making sure that you swing underneath it. If you are swinging too far inside/out you will hit the pole after impact.

Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions.


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