“Drive for show, Putt for dough, Shank for comic relief.” –Anonymous
Let’s face it, it’s easy to laugh at your friends when they shank a shot, but when you do it, it’s mortifying. Below are the top four causes of shanks and drills you can work to cure them.
Problem #1: Incorrect Swing Path
The perfect swing path travels inside your target line right up until impact. Shanks are often caused by an out-to-in swing path. You may be coming over the top of the ball on your downswing, causing not only an out-to-in swing path, but an open clubface at impact, causing you to shank the ball.
First, read our blog post about correcting your swing plane.
Next, try this drill:
Put two tennis balls on the ground in front of and behind your ball so they line up in a row in front of your feet and sit 2 to 3 inches apart. Practice hitting the golf ball without making contact with either of the tennis balls. The tennis balls will act as visual aids to help you find the middle of your club face more frequently.
Problem #2: Leaning In
When your club hits the ball farther to the right than it was aimed at address, you shank the ball. In this situation, your body is swaying slightly towards the ball on your downswing.
Try this drill: Place a golf ball under your toes on each foot. This will prevent you from leaning in and striking the ball incorrectly.
Problem #3: Lower Body Movement
This usually happens within 100 yards while hitting wedge shots. When you move your knees and hips too much, your swing path is forced outside your target line.
Make swings with your feet together. This will force your body to rotate rather than slide. Also, try moving your trailing leg back 6-12 inches. Closing your stance will reduce the ability of your lower body to move while creating a swing that comes at the ball from the inside.
Problem #4: Poor Wrist Rotation
Rotating your wrists too late or not at all leaves your club face open at impact.
Swing a weighted club (of multiple clubs at once). The added weight will force the natural rotation of your wrist.
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