I have never shanked the ball when hitting off of grass...thank god. But when I'm at a range hitting off the artificial mats it happens often. Has anyone experienced this too? What is the possible cause of this?
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Since the mat doesn't give, you might be making a more concerted effort to hit the ball first. This could result in coming over the top a bit to get the downward blow, which would also be from the outside. This motion would bring the hosel more into the picture.
Just a guess, really, but I know that I sometimes tend to hit more down on the ball on mats, because I hate the feeling of the slightly fat shot on mats. Mats really just end up screwing me up more than anything, so I typically only hit long irons or off the tee when I'm on mats.
Years ago, I had a friend off 3 that had to stop warming up at the range before a round as he used to shank every shot he hit off of a mat. Once out on the course though he was fine and never once hit a shank. He actually hit the ball very well! We never figured out why, but they disappeared eventually. Took a year though.
Warmed up with the sand wedge. No problem. great contact. Then picked up the 8 iron and was hitting some shanks today. Next time it happens I will follow this advice below. I think I was having trouble clearing my hips properly. Maybe jerking them open too early (getting stuck) or moving them too much laterally. Hip sway. Something was causing me to move closer to the ball on the downswing and hit hosel rockets. Hard to believe that I was taking the club outside. It always feels very inside. Next time maybe the water bottle or headcover drill will give me an idea of what's happening. Butch says that an outside-in swing path and closing the face is the culprit.