“If you’re afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there.” – Anonymous
Post written by Ian Hardie
In the post ‘What causes a shank in golf’
I explained the reason that shanks appear in some golfers games from time to time.
“To hit a shank all that needs to have happened is that the distance between your body and the ball created when you set up has shortened by a thumb width – 2cm (1 inch) or so while turning and hitting the shot – the result is that the ball hits the hosel first and goes shooting off sideways.”
And even though as a golf teacher ‘the shanks’ are probably about the easiest thing to sort out
For most golfers they can be a devastating affair
As generally they appear during an important game
Which means most golfers react by panicking
Then instantly start to change things in their technique
“To fix the shanks”
However, as I wrote in the post ‘A simple way to stop shanking while on the golf course‘
“Generally changing everything in your game just means things will go from bad to worse and you will get to a point where you are ready to break your clubs or throw them in the nearest water hazard and just walk off the course – vowing never to return – until next week of course.”
I went on to deliver some good news;
“Instead of changing everything to do with your technique, what needs to be addressed is the movement of your body in towards the ball (see above) as you get close to hitting it.
You need to find a way to slightly restrict your body movement so that you maintain the distance between you and the ball that was created at address, which will then allow the club head to be delivered to the ball without the hosel of the club getting there first.
Notice I said restricted not stopped – this is important as we are only trying to adjust the whole thing by 2cm (1 inch) and not adjust technique or slow down the action in any way.”
My advice was incredibly simple but effective
“Just before you start your backswing what you need to do is slightly tense up the muscles around your right knee”
And I’ve had some great feedback from Golf Habits readers around the world as to how well it has helped them stop shanking.
But a couple of readers have also commented on how it can be a little physically difficult to do.
So I’ve been doing some thinking
And a bit of experimenting
To come up with another simple way to stop shanking while on the golf course
Which I can now pronounce as just as effective as ‘tensing up your right knee’
But a lot less stressful on your body.
I concluded after a lot of thought and trying different ways to shank
Yes, you read that right – I’ve been out there trying different ways to shank
In order to help you stop them!
Anyway – as I was saying – in trying different ways to shank
I found that the best way to trigger a shank
Was having my bodyweight more on my toes
Instead of having it set evenly between my heels and the balls of my feet
Which is where it should ideally be to play golf.
At this point, you need to stand up and get a feeling of what I have just described
Stand with your weight balanced both of the ways described above
And as you do a couple of movements with each
Notice which way that is easier for you to have excess leg movement
Or more correctly
Notice which way you had a tendency to ‘fall in towards the ball’
It was when your bodyweight was more on your toes right?
So the other simple way to stop shanking while on a golf course
Is to take your stance as normal
Then just before you go to start your takeaway
Lift all of your toes ‘up a little’ inside your golf shoes
They won’t be able to move a lot
The main effect of doing that will be that you should instantly become more aware of where your bodyweight is
Prior to hitting the ball
Which will allow you to adjust it
To make sure that your bodyweight is evenly distributed
Between your heels and the balls of your feet
And not on your toes.
Then you will be able to get on with easily hitting your shot without shanking!
Who knows, it might even get rid of the odd slice or hook for you at the same time
Subscribe by email here to get more great golf tips straight to your inbox
And get a free copy of my great new 62 page guide
“18 Simple ways to easily improve your golf.”