What Causes the Shank in Golf?
There are many different shots that golfers need to learn to play the game at a reasonably high level.
Once a player has mastered all the shots, the game becomes easier, but even the dreaded shank can occur for some of the best players.
A player can experience many mishits while out on the golf course. These include the top shot, slice, hook and hitting it thin, but none are more frustrating than the shank, also known as the (hosel rocket).
There is no worse feeling in the game of golf than when a player feels they are playing well and hit a shank out of nowhere. This destroys the confidence out on the course and makes it tough to regain the trust to play decent golf.
The primary cause of a shank in golf is when the golfer’s swing path brings the clubhead outside of the intended swing plane and too close to the ball. As a result, the hosel of the club makes contact with the ball, causing the shot to go off-target.
What Causes the Shank in Golf?
The Shank in Golf is caused by an outside-inside swing path and a player coming into the golf ball from too steep of an angle of attack.
This can be caused by a range of other things, like playing the ball too far back in the stance, but swing path and cutting across the golf ball causes a player to almost miss the clubface and hit the hosel.
There can be many causes or swing faults that may be the initiator of the shank in golf. These can be swing mechanics, grip, aim, setup or swing path.
If you are new to the game of golf and want to reduce the number of times that a shank may occur during a round of golf, it is often recommended to fix the leading cause in the initial stages.
If a player learns the basics of grip, aim and proper setup early, it creates a path to discover the golf swing at a much faster pace, and swing faults become more challenging to ingrain.
How to Prevent the Shank in Golf?
The best way to prevent the shank in golf would be to learn the correct fundamentals of the game as early as possible in your golf journey.
From a consistency standpoint, a golfer with a sound setup and grips and aims the golf club correctly will have more success out on the golf course.
Having the basics of grip, aim and setup down pat in the initial stages of learning the game.
There are some quick fixes, like placing the ball more forward in the stance or making an exaggerated adjustment to the swing path, but fixing the basics is the best way to prevent the shot from happening consistently.
Why Do some of the better players still Shank the Golf Ball?
Golf can be challenging, and if a player’s rhythm or timing is even slightly off, they can still shank the golf ball.
Better players can occasionally shank the golf ball, but it doesn’t happen as often compared to beginners or intermediate players.
Occasionally you may watch golf on the television and see a professional shank the golf ball, but this is rare. The player’s timing may have been a little off, and the golf ball connected with the hosel and went straight right.
The shank is possibly the worst feeling mishit during a game of golf round and can destroy the confidence of a golfer out on the golf course.
Are there Golf Clubs to help prevent the Shank?
Some golf irons are targeted more at beginner golfers and can be more forgiving than others, but there are no real golf clubs that will help prevent the shank.
The best way to prevent the shank in golf is to learn how to swing the golf club with speed, safety and strength.
If a player learns the correct fundamentals in the initial stages of learning the game, it will go a long way to helping them achieve more consistency and not shank the golf ball.
Will a Shank damage my Golf Clubs?
The shank does not feel the best in the hands but will generally not damage a golfer’s golf clubs.
Golf irons are built to last, but there may be a mark or two on the hosel if a player consistently shanks the golf ball.
This will not impact the golf clubs’ overall performance, and the damage will be minimal.
Can a Golf Coach help stop the Shank?
A golf coach can help stop a golfer from shanking the golf ball, but it is best to get lessons in the initial stages of learning the game to help prevent bad shots from occurring consistently.
It is always best to address the actual cause of the problems rather than the many effects, which makes it difficult to fix at a later stage.
Overcoming a shank requires identifying the root cause and making necessary adjustments to the swing mechanics and setup. Working with a golf professional or coach can be beneficial in diagnosing and correcting the issue. They can provide specific drills, tips, and guidance to help eliminate shanks from your game.
The shank in golf is probably the most unwanted and embarrassing shot in golf. Still, it can be prevented if the correct fundamentals are implemented in the initial stages of learning the game.
It is caused by an outside-inside swing path and a player coming into the ball at too steep of an angle of attack, but rhythm and timing can also play a part in shanking the golf ball.
If you want to learn a little bit more about some of the basics of the game of golf, check out some of the posts below.