How to Prevent the Shank Golf Shot | Golf Instruction | My Golf Tutor

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How to Prevent the Shank Golf Shot

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Sean is the co-founder of My Golf Tutor, the top golf instructional blog helping weekend golfers play better golf. He played on the Irish National team that produced major champions like Rory Mcllroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington, and Darren Clarke before playing professionally for 5 years around the world.
The dreaded shank is a shot no one ever wants to experience during a round of golf.

It’s a shot that has assumed many different names over the years, such as the ‘hosel rocket,’ the ‘Davie Crockett,’ and the ‘socket.’

Regardless of what we call it, it’s a shot that is struck off the hosel, resulting in a ball that flies off at right angles to the intended target and leaves your playing partners diving for cover.

We’ve all experienced it.

Everything is going smoothly and out of nowhere – BOOM…Sh-sh-shank!

Some people don’t even like hearing the word because it starts to stir negative thoughts and emotions.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I doing in my swing that is causing this shot”?

If so, this blog post and video below is for you.

Mitchell had a similar question and he emailed to ask:

Hi Sean, every now and again I go through a case of the shanks. I have absolutely no idea what might be causing them, or what I can do to avoid them. Can you please help me out?

The Main Reason You Hit the Shank Golf Shot

There are a few reasons why people shank the ball, but the most common fault I’ve seen is early extension.

Early extension is when your hips thrust excessively towards the ball. As you initiate the downswing, the pelvis and/or hips move towards the ball during the transition from backswing to downswing.

This results in the entire body moving closer to the ball, which in turn causes you to strike the ball off the hosel. Think about it – if your body moves closer to the ball and your arms and hands don’t compensate, then this thrust forward will result in the ‘sweet spot’ of your iron moving to the hosel.

What I would like for you to focus on is imagining your tailbone resting against a wall. As you are initiating your downswing, I want you to focus on keeping your tailbone on this imaginary wall for as long as possible during the swing.

This will help you to reduce – and eventually stop – your pelvis and/or hips from moving towards the ball.

Because ultimately, what’s happening is that you are losing posture.

This is a swing fault that affects many golfers.You don’t see many of the pros on the PGA Tour loosing their posture, they stay down and through the golf shot.

Early extension causes more issues than just the shank golf shot – it will cause a lot of different ball flight issues and shot patterns (check out our How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball video). The more that you can stay in your posture, the more better your swing will be.

If your pelvis and/or hips are thrusting towards the ball during your downswing, this will result in your entire body moving closer to the ball, hence exposing the hosel to the golf ball.

When you get to the top of your swing, keep your tailbone on the imaginary wall for as long as you can; this will improve your chance of striking the ball out of the middle of the face.

Maybe you don’t hit many shanks, but you know someone that does. Forward them this blog post to to show them How to Prevent the Shank Golf Shot.


Cindy Keith says:

THANK YOU!!!  THIS WORKED FOR ME!!!  I have never heard this tip before on the shanks, something I get frequently but couldn't understand why.

brofun says:

I hope this is my issue..I started playing golf three years ago (i'm 57)..I went from the 100 plus to low 80s…two weeks ago..I started shanking my irons…just as I started knocking my driver and fairway woods WAY longer!..I"m so frustrated!!!..I can't hit one out of ten pitching wedge shots straight all of a sudden…did not even consider early extension..but, will try that today…hope it works…

Eric Henderson says:

Awesome tip!!!

rmdanie says:

I was about to quit the game of golf until I watched this video on the 10th hole today. I was hitting the hosel nearly every shot. This tip fixed my problem immediately. I started hitting the greens from 150 yards again and didn't shank another ball. Immediately I noticed my ball mark was either in the center or outer third of the clubhead instead of the hosel. I had to deal with topping a few balls since correcting this but that went away quickly. Much more stable repetitive swing now. THANKS AGAIN!!!

troyundroy1 says:

Thanks for the advice! Cured my shanking woes immediately.

My Golf Tutor says:

How to Prevent the Shank

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