My Golf Instructor

Shanking

Shanking refers to contacting the ball on the golf club's hosel. This is the connector piece between the clubhead and the clubshaft. The result of the shot is a low, sideways shot that can go a severe 90 degrees to the right of a player's target line for right handed players. The shanks are often called a disease as they are difficult to get out of. Standing too close to the ball at address, leaning onto one's toes or having a severe swing path from inside/out or outside/in can all cause shanking to occur.

Shanking Drills

Shanking Tips

(Click on Title or Image to View Larger Photos)

  • If You Have the Shanks Don't Crowd the Ball

    Don't crowd the ball if you are shankng. If you stand too close to the ball and swing out at all you will find the hosel and this is the cause of shanking. To check yourself at set up, try to fit a fist or a fist and a thumb between your thigh and the butt end of the grip. If you can, that means you have given yourself plenty of room.

  • If You Are Shanking Make Sure To Line Up With the Sweet Spot

    If you are shanking, check to make sure that when you set up the ball is exactly in the sweet spot and that you are not aligning it with the heel. You'd be surprised how many players actually start with the ball in the heel and don't realize it. Visually we can get used to doing something wrong very quickly and not even be aware of it. I always say our eyes are like any other muscle in our body and that we need to retrain them or get them back in shape when things start to go wrong.

  • Counteract the Shanks by Striking on the Toe

    If you are shanking, the next time you are at the range, make some swings trying to strike the toe. This will get your swing to move away from the hosel of the club, which is the cause of a shank. I often have my students try to miss the ball completely on the inside to get out of the habit of swinging out too much towards the heel.

  • Sit Back to Avoid the Shanks

    If you are shanking, wiggle your toes when you set up to make sure you are not leaning in towards the balls of your feet. Getting your weight onto your toes moves you forward and increases your chances of hitting the hosel, which is the cause of a shank. If you can wiggle your toes inside your shoes that means your weight is centered on your feet where it is supposed to be. Focus on staying centered throughout the entire swing as it's easy to start one place and end up in another.

  • Keep Your Balance Centered

    Make sure that your balance stays in the center of your feet from address all the way through to the end of your swing. If you set up on the balls of your feet you will most likely fall forward and into the ball during the swing. This can cause pushed shots and even shanks. If you stay too far back on your heels you can have swing errors such as topping the ball. When you stand, you naturally stand in balance which is with your weight in your arches. Make it the same for your golf swing and keep your weight in the center of your feet.

  • Let Your Arms Roll

    Make sure to let the club face release or turn over through the ball. This requires you to roll your arms. Holding the face open or trying to lag the club too much can cause you to lead too much with the heel into the ball. In most cases the arms don't release simply because the golfer won't let them. If you relax your arms and let them react to your pivot, they will roll over and square up the clubface.

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)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- 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
- Grip (65)
Setup
- 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)