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James Switlyk

Shanks

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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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I'm just guessing but sometimes if the mats are very old they form a type of divot where the area balls are being hit depress and are lower than the rest of the mat.

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It sounds maybe a little bit stupid, but may I ask what shanks is? I didn't heard about i yet...

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It sounds maybe a little bit stupid, but may I ask what shanks is? I didn't heard about i yet...

A shank is when you hit the ball off the hosel (the hosel being the part of the club head that connects it to the shaft).

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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.

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The following is an excerpt of a conversation between Erik and carpediem4300 from about a week ago on the shank. It may be helpful here.


Originally Posted by carpediem4300

Guys

Hard to explain without a swing video, im using my mobile as i dont have computer access

But title says it all, i shank pretty much every iron shot except my wedges, which now im occasionaly shanking,

Ive read the stack and tilt manual hundreds of times but cannot figure it,.....a few months ago i was hitting lovely draws with my driver and long draws witb my irons and shooting low 80s

Im now pushing/slicing my driver and shanking/thinning my irons and shooting in the 100s

Despaired isnt the word, please help, i love this method of swing as it suites my natural shallow swing plane tendency much better than a traditional swing

I must of shanked 4/5 shots down the range earlier, amd very nearly cried!

Someone save me!


Originally Posted by iacas

Regardless of the swing method you're using, I'm going to make a comprehensive list of EVERY cause of a shank. Here goes.

The ball is making contact with the extreme heel of the club.

There you go. There's your definitive, all-inclusive list of the causes of a shank.

Now, before you flip me the virtual bird, consider very carefully what I've said. The club has a sweet spot, and in order to shank the ball, the sweet spot is being delivered outside of the golf ball, resulting in contact towards the heel of the club.

What can cause the sweet spot to be pushed outside (used interchangeably with "to the right" for right-handed players)? A few things. In no particular order:

Weight is in the heels at setup. As you swing your body seeks to gain better balance and your weight - and thus your body - move towards the golf ball.

Arms flying off your chest prematurely. I.e. arms being too much "out" and not enough "down" coming into impact.

Simply standing too close or too far from the golf ball. Too close and you can't "get out of the way" enough, and too far and you're forced to reach for the golf ball a bit. Over-reach and blammo - shank.

Head (shoulders) moving towards the golf ball without a compensatory move in the opposite direction (Tiger adds side bend and gets closer to the golf ball, but jumps like crazy [among other things] to get back out of the way).

Exaggerated uncocking of the wrists coming into impact. Usually ties into something above, though.

Good luck.

P.S. Reading the book is great, but I don't think you have a "My Swing" thread and you don't seem to be working with an instructor. Odds are the book has helped, but I doubt your swing looks like you imagine it does, and even a lesson or two may prove eye-opening.





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Thanks for the info... Good stuff.

Don't you mean "shanks" for the info?

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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.

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I'm struggling with the shanks. I tend to get to flat in my swing and my back shoulder likes to drag behind me. This makes it real tough for me to get the club head square. Does anyone have a drill to help me square up the club head better?

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Well seeing that you have a lower index than mine, not sure if you want to heed my advice/tip for getting rid of the shanks but I've noticed that when my arms/elbows start to get detached from my body on the downswing, then the shanks can set in.

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Put a water bottle or a basket or something just outside the golf ball. Hit. You won't shank it or you'll smack the bottle/basket/etc. Heck even put a little tee out there and miss it.

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Shanks are like hiccups, hold your breath real long and they go away. I sometimes will do it if I shift my weight too far and cause a sway instead of rotating.

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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.

Butch Harmon

Solution: Put an object, like a headcover, just outside the ball to learn to swing down from the inside.

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