4 drills to cure the shank

Published 25/03/2010 08:16:54

If slicing is the game's most common fault, then shanking is by far the most destructive. As your ball shoots off on a 45-degree angle towards the rough, trees or water, your scorecard will forever record the disappointment.

It is often said that a shank is desperately close to the perfect shot - but that's scant consolation when you're doing Van de Velde and wading into the pond. Follow our guide and four drills to cure this most painful of problems.


Leaning in

When the club returns to the ball farther to the right than it was at address, you hit a shank. This can be caused by your body swaying towards the ball fractionally through the downswing. Although leaning in is only a small fault, it will take some dedicated work to eradicate it from your muscle memory.


Drill 1: Ball under toes

To force your weight away from the ends of your toes and more towards your heels, place a ball under the toes of each foot (as pictured). This prevents you from leaning in, either at set-up or through the downswing, and striking the ball from the hosel.



Drill 2: Tennis ball drill

To help you stop striking the ball too far out of the hell, place two tennis balls on the ground in front and behind your golf ball vertically. So one ball will be closer than your golf ball to your legs, and the other will be further away (not either side). Place them about 2-3 inches away.

Hit a series of practice shots aiming to hit the golf ball without making contact with the tennis balls. Here, the tennis ball acts as an excellent visual aid, which should help you find the middle of your clubface more consistently


Incorrect weight movements

If your weight moves towards the ball through the downswing, a shank is the likely outcome.


Drill 3: Practice on one foot

To highlight whether or not this is a problem for you, hit some shots while standing on one foot. By destabilising the base of your swing, you will get an acute feel for how your weight moves.

If you are leaning into the ball through impact, you will be forced to take a step to the right to steady yourself. Practice hitting shots on one foot until you can hold the finish position without taking a step.


Wayward swing

It is difficult for some players to detect why they shank the ball. In this situation, the reason can simply be that you are throwing your arms away from your body fractionally through the downswing. As your arms move too far from your body, a heel strike becomes more likely.


Drill 4: Scorecard under arm

To prevent this movement from happening, place a scorecard under your arm and hit some practice shots. If you are indeed throwing your arms away from your body, the card will fall to the ground during your downswing.



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