Shanking Your Shot


Few things in golf are worse than something going wrong with your swing.  This is especially nerve-wracking when it starts your game.  

We’ve all hit dreaded “shank” shots, which defy logic and soar hundreds of feet into the air until landing just a couple feet from where you hit them.  Shank shots happen when, instead of connecting the club head solidly with the ball, you hit it with some other part, often because you’re hitting the ball from a stance that’s too much inside-out.  If your ball is hit poorly, it will frequently carom out of control in almost any direction except the one you wanted it to.  Yet if you’re right-handed, most shanks will fly off somewhere to the right.

It goes without saying that you’ll want to prevent shanking.  One thing you’ll want to examine to make that happen is your stance.  Maybe you’re standing too close to the ball, your weight is distributed unevenly, you’re putting too much weight on the balls of your feet, you’re pushing your arms away during your backswing, or you’re leaning improperly toward the ball with your head as you swing.  Like so many things in golf, there could be all sorts of different reasons for why your shots play in this way.  

First and foremost, you want to identify where the problem lies.  Ask a golf pro or a friend of yours to watch your swing.  If you have problems with your basic setup and positioning over the ball, then that will be an easy fix; you won’t hit a good shot if you aren’t standing in the right place.  To correct your setup, remember to stand parallel to the line of flight that you want your ball to take, as if you’re standing on a railroad track with your body on the inside rail and the ball on the outside rail.  This is roughly the distance you want, and the parallel setup will help keep your swing in line.  

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