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I caught the shanks!!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well i read about 4 chapters of Stan Utley's Art of the Short Game book since Monday and I went to the range last night and bought a jumbo bucket. (still trying to work into these irons) I sh*t you not, I hit 140 absolute SHANKS!

EVERY SINGLE ONE! I was hitting the hosle on most of them. Not even hitting the club face? I don't get it!!! I hit them beautifully the other day. I think maybe all of this technique is in my head, because I just did not feel comfortable. EVERY SINGLE SHOT either off the hosle and to the right screaming ground ball, or I got the ball in the air with a terrible slice. I could feel the club head turning in my hand at impact. I think maybe I was swinging around my body? Really I have no F**KING CLUE. But it was torture

I started analyzing things... my buddy is cracking up next to me... and I was so furious I dumped the rest of the balls out onto the rang and left. I have an expensive round coming up on Saturday. HOW DOES THIS GO AWAY?????

Sorry this might have to go to another thread but I had to say something
post #2 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

I'm glad you started a new thread on this, because perhaps you can answer my question from the other thread here:

Why on earth would you read a book about the short game and apply it to your full swing?

Last time I checked you can't make a chip shot slice.
post #3 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
I'm glad you started a new thread on this, because perhaps you can answer my question from the other thread here:

Why on earth would you read a book about the short game and apply it to your full swing?

Last time I checked you can't make a chip shot slice.
Utley says chiping and pitching strokes are just "little swings" Its in the book. Its only natural to try and use it as a base for full swinging.
post #4 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

The shanks happen. I once hit 10 in a row off a par 3 Tee box. Ive had many people give me tips...most didnt help. The one that worked for me it to keep my head from moving forward...or toward the ball. I must have lunged or shifted closer to the ball when I got them. Who knows if that will help you but its worth a try.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Re: I caught the shanks!!

I wasn't trying to apply what Stan was preaching to my full swing. I went to the range with the intentions of working on some chipping, working on some pitch shots and seeing as I have brand new clubs, I got enough balls to practice my full shots as well. I usually start my range practice with the sand wedge and move up consecutively to my driver then back down. I was chipping ok..although some of my longer pitch attempts were being shanks immediatly right.. ( I think too much wrist action) Either way the club face wasn't coming through at the wrong angle. So I took a break and pulled out the 9i, 8i. etc etc. and I could not hit the ball to save the life of me. same issue with every single club. My hybrid, 3 wood and driver however, I hit perfectly.. no issues at all.

I just don't get it. So to answer your question - No I did not try to apply it to my full shot. I was perfectly confident and content with my full swing. I just wanted to save some bs strokes I pick up around the green or from 65 yds and in.
post #6 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by DavidFehertysBike View Post
Its in the book. Its only natural to try and use it as a base for full swinging.
I know. I read the book. Doesn't mean what's "natural" is right! His short game method isn't a full-swing method.

Originally Posted by Celler View Post
So to answer your question - No I did not try to apply it to my full shot. I was perfectly confident and content with my full swing. I just wanted to save some bs strokes I pick up around the green or from 65 yds and in.
Shanks are typically caused by coming at the ball from too far inside. Put something just ahead of and outside of the ball (like a headcover) and avoid hitting it. There's your shank cure.

Glad to hear it wasn't from trying to do the short game method on your full swing. Since Utley does kind of want the club to work back inside, perhaps it "stuck" with you a bit leading to the shanks...?
post #7 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by Celler View Post
I wasn't trying to apply what Stan was preaching to my full swing. I went to the range with the intentions of working on some chipping, working on some pitch shots and seeing as I have brand new clubs, I got enough balls to practice my full shots as well. I usually start my range practice with the sand wedge and move up consecutively to my driver then back down. I was chipping ok..although some of my longer pitch attempts were being shanks immediatly right.. ( I think too much wrist action) Either way the club face wasn't coming through at the wrong angle. So I took a break and pulled out the 9i, 8i. etc etc. and I could not hit the ball to save the life of me. same issue with every single club. My hybrid, 3 wood and driver however, I hit perfectly.. no issues at all.

I just don't get it. So to answer your question - No I did not try to apply it to my full shot. I was perfectly confident and content with my full swing. I just wanted to save some bs strokes I pick up around the green or from 65 yds and in.

I read this book too and found his technique to be pretty consistent. It seemed to me like it was harder to hit a bad shot using this technique. Were you picking you head up too quickly..maybe trying to see the result of your new swing? It sounds like you may have been "quitting" on the swing.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Re: I caught the shanks!!

I think I'm going to go back to the range and try to work it out tonight. Although staying away for a day or two might not be a bad idea.

Thanks for the tips!
post #9 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

It happened to me last night. Afterwards i had read about textbook swings i decided to hit a few balls at the range. I shanked all of my irons and wedges, but my woods where "ok". So today i went back and began using stack and tilt to prevent going to far inside on takeaway, and that worked like a charm!
The problem, as mentioned above, is when you go to far inside in your backswing, for me i helped using stack and tilt, hopefully ur fine today!
post #10 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

It is a comfort thing with me. As soon as I shank one my comfort level drops and I get a little more tense. This tension causes me not to release though the ball. If your path is inside-out and you don't release.......shankarooo!!!! Once it starts it is hard to stop.

Same thing happened to me last week at the range after work. Felt a little under the weather, decided to go hit balls anyhow. Didn't really focus on form, keeping my lower half quiet, etc..... Started to shank, shanked again, and so on. Left about 30 balls sitting on the range and went home. Played well 2 days earlier. Played well that weekend.... It is a crazy game.
post #11 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

The last time that I got a case of the sh**ks an instructor told me to put a shoe box a couple of inches above the ball, and hit balls. It really helped even when I removed the box because in my minds eye I invisioned the box still there. I started hitting the sweet spot again.

Also make sure that your weight stays evenly in your feet.....I like to feel my weight below the shoe laces and keep it there. That will keep you from moving toward the ball.
post #12 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by 65withatriple View Post
The shanks happen. ... Ive had many people give me tips...most didnt help. The one that worked for me it to keep my head from moving forward...or toward the ball. Who knows if that will help you but its worth a try.
One day, this exact same thing happened to me, I went to the range and the 50 balls I played all were shanks. And I noticed that, what 65withatriple says was happening to me. So, I agree with him, it's worth to try it.

Good Luck!

Greetings!
post #13 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

hit half wedges for about 50 balls never taking a full swing and focusing on a small target. Then start hitting your pw-9-8-7 etc. and everytually work up to a fullswing. you may get funny looks after hitting half swings with a 3 iron but it should help you make solid contact on the face...
post #14 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by Ian View Post
hit half wedges for about 50 balls never taking a full swing and focusing on a small target. Then start hitting your pw-9-8-7 etc. and everytually work up to a fullswing. you may get funny looks after hitting half swings with a 3 iron but it should help you make solid contact on the face...

thats what I do when something goes wrong. During the offseason I have no choice but to go to the range in Old Tappan, where the mats are so thick you start to hit so far behind the ball that it's a wake up call when you get to the thin-mat-over-concrete at my local muni. I've resolved to find a new range for the offseason
post #15 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by Celler View Post
So I took a break and pulled out the 9i, 8i. etc etc. and I could not hit the ball to save the life of me. same issue with every single club. My hybrid, 3 wood and driver however, I hit perfectly.. no issues at all.
THIS EXACT SAME THING WAS HAPPENING TO ME A MONTH AGO.

And I found the answer too.
I think you have the exact same problem I did.

I would work up to the driver and back down and once i hit the mid irons i would start shanking.

The reason is because after you hit so many balls with the longer clubs, you get used to a flatter plane so when you come back to your wedges, you end up attacking the ball from the inside too much (not upright enough of a swing in other words)

How did I fix this? I've probably posted this drill as a solution to everything but it definitely fixed this for me.

get a 2x4 or a shoebox and line it up one ball width outside of your target line and parallel to your target line. place a ball on the target line and swing and hit shots like that. It teaches and in to out to in swing and it definitely FORCES you to take the correct angle on the backswing depending on the length of the club.

If you hit with the 2x4 or shoebox with a short iron, you'll have to take a more upright swing because you start out closer to the ball at set up and you'll hit the 2x4 if you're too flat or too outside in.

if you hit like this with a long iron, you'll have to flatten your plane out because you're farther away at set up

first thing that you'll start seeing is a nice draw.. and then you can start working on timing the opening of the hips, etc. to hit the ball straight and then start working the ball, etc.

i'm telling you I got this from my pro at the driving range here in NY (he was ranked a top 200 teaching pro in 2005) and the guy swears by this. He even taught some doctor who started using it and won a club tourney and then tried to friggin create one and even hired a patent lawyer to make a patent (eventually the patent lawyer advised that there was nothing "unique" about a friggin block of plastic/styrophome that you would just line up along your target line to patent).

i've used it and it saved me from the shanks like you're describing and I haven't had the problem since.. it's also greatly improved my ballstriking and i've gotten down to a 18 handicap with it (after starting golf 6 or 7 mos. ago). I've had more improvement by using it the past month or so than i've had the other 5-6 months or playing.

Good Luck!!!

Edit: apologies to divot tool, i see that he posted something similar above! i'm telling you this works magic!
post #16 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Watch "Tin Cup". They've got a great cure for the shanks.
post #17 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Simple tip: Aim at a piece of grass just left of the ball instead of at the ball itself. Eventually, you will realize that the problem has gone away and you are aiming at the ball again.

It's the same idea as closing the clubface to fix a slice. By doing something drastic like this, it lets you naturally work out the problem over time while also providing some immediate help.
post #18 of 23

Re: I caught the shanks!!

Originally Posted by 65withatriple View Post
The shanks happen. I once hit 10 in a row off a par 3 Tee box. Ive had many people give me tips...most didnt help. The one that worked for me it to keep my head from moving forward...or toward the ball. I must have lunged or shifted closer to the ball when I got them. Who knows if that will help you but its worth a try.
I agree with the sentiment that moving closer to the ball is the most common cause of shanking. I had people tell me that I might be coming too far inside, but then when I tried to exaggerate coming even further from the inside I didn't shank.

For me I realize that when I shank its a function of initiating my downswing with my upper body instead of my lower, and because of that my spine-angle is prone to change and move me closer to the ball when I do this resulting in a shank.

I would suggest that if you need a quick fix to get you around this expensive course you're playing soon, set up with the ball on the toe of your club. This isn't a fix, but it will get you around the course without shanking, if your shanking is a result of coming over the top or moving closer to the ball on your downswing.
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