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The Cause and Cure for the Shank

The shank is considered to be one of the worst shots to hit in golf. Once you hit the shank, you will tend to hit it again.

What's Causing Shanks

Because the shot will go straight to the right, players might think they hit it on the toe. But that's really a rare case.

Players usually hit it off the hosel of the clubhead causing the ball to go right.

When players noticed that they are hitting off the neck of the clubhead, they will stand further away from the ball to avoid shanks.

But this will make things even worse.

The real problem is the swing path that is outside in. In other words, players who cut across the ball tend to hit shanks once in a while.

So unless you fix your swing path, you can't cure your shanks forever.

How to fix it

By swinging from outside in or coming over the top, your body will move little closer to the ball on the downswing causing the ball to hit off the hosel.

So if you come over the top, you probably hit lots of shot toward the heel of the clubface with every club.

I can give you lots of drills and tips to fix shanks, but I think you need to fix the root of the problem if you want to cure your shanks completely.

Here is how you can do so.

1) Grip

Players start to cut across the ball in order to avoid hitting pull shots or slice. So to stop coming over the top, you need to stop hitting slice.

Look down to your grip. I want you to make sure you see 3 knuckles of your left hand. If you see 2 knuckles or less, rotate both hands to the right until you see 3 knuckles of your left hand.

Don't forget to rotate your right hand as well.

By changing it to stronger grip like this, you might soon start to hit pull hooks. That's fine.

When you see shots going left, you will unconsciously adjust your swing path to compensate. By the time you notice, your outside in swing path is gone.

2) Grip Position

Even if you change your grip to a strong grip, you may still hit the shank. The problem is the position of your hands.

When I see players with their new grip (strong grip), some players position their hands or their grip in front of their zipper.

That's too far back and will cause you to swing from outside to in.

I want you to position your hands toward the inside of your left thigh. You may think your hands are too far forward. But that's fine.

By positioning your hands forward, it will help you to swing from inside the target line.

It's very important that you swing from inside to fix your shanks.

So check the position of your grip every time you set up to hit the shot.

But don't try to grip your club in front of your zipper and then position your grip toward the inside of your left thigh. This will cause open face at impact.

To avoid this, position the grip (handle) toward the inside of your left thigh and then take your grip.

3) Ball Position

Do you tend to put the ball too far forward in the stance? If so, that may be causing you to hit shanks.

With 7-iron, put the ball one to two ball length left of center. With short irons, put it in the middle of the stance.

4) Backswing

Don't work on your backswing before changing grip. Always check your grip, ball position, posture and alignment first before working on your golf swing.

See Backswing for more information.

5) Downswing

Make sure you swing from the inside. For practice, try to swing the clubhead so that the ball will start 5 to 10 yards right of your target.

On the downswing, try to face the back of your left hand toward the ground. This will help you close the face through impact.

The open face at impact will lead to shanks by forcing you to come over the top.

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