Understanding What Causes a Shank and How to Fix It

By Bob Williams

August 6, 2023


If you’re a golfer, there’s nothing more frustrating than hitting a shot off to the side and watching your golf ball rocket away, hopefully not into any water or dense rough.

There may be something even worse – striking it with such a thick thud that you know immediately it will only travel twenty yards maximum! This is known as shanking, and unfortunately, many of us have experienced this dreadfully embarrassing mishit at one point in our golfing history. But why does shanking happen?

In this blog post, we’ll look at what causes shanks, and how they can be avoided and remedied with some instruction points. So if you want to say goodbye to the old ‘shanker’s curse forever – read on!

Understanding the Basics of a Shank

In the world of golf, the term “shank” strikes fear into the hearts of players everywhere. But what exactly is a shank and how does it happen? In simple terms, a shank occurs when the ball comes into contact with the hosel of the club, rather than the sweet spot on the face.

This results in a shot that shoots off to the right (for right-handed players), and often goes no more than a few yards. Shanking can be caused by various factors, including improper grip, poor alignment, and even a lack of confidence.

While it’s definitely a frustrating experience, understanding how and why shanking happens can go a long way in preventing it from happening in the future.

Identify the Causes of a Shank

Golfing is a beautiful game that is easy to learn but difficult to master. Every golfer out there can relate to the frustration of shanking a shot. It’s an embarrassing and demoralizing feeling that can dampen any round of golf.

The three main causes of shanking are faulty swing path, incorrect weight transfer, and grip issues.

Faulty swing paths typically occur when a golfer swipes across the ball instead of hitting it squarely.

Incorrect weight transfer happens when the golfer doesn’t shift their weight to the front foot during the downswing, causing the clubhead to swing toward the ball’s heel.

And lastly, grip issues can cause shanking when the hands are too close or too far apart on the club.

Once you understand and correct each of these reasons, you can fix your shanking issue. With patience and practice, you can become a consistent ball striker and say goodbye to the dreaded shank.

Fixing the Shank from Inside Out

Have you been struggling with a dreaded golf shank? Fear not, because it’s possible to fix it from the inside out. Start by examining your setup.

A proper setup is crucial to a successful swing, so fine-tune it to make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are all in the right positions.

Next, re-evaluate your grip. A grip that needs to be tight enough or loose can lead to consistent shots. Finally, work on your swing. Take some time to practice hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the clubface and avoid swinging too quickly. With these adjustments, you’ll be on your way to leaving those shanks behind and improving your game.

Overcoming Mental Blocks

The mental aspect of golf is often overlooked, but it can have a huge impact on your game. To avoid shanking, you need to focus on positive thinking, visualization and self-talk. Instead of dwelling on past mishits or mistakes, try to stay in the present moment and take note of the good shots that you make.

Visualization can help by picturing yourself hitting perfect drives down the middle of the fairway. And self-talk will remind you how capable you are when you stay focused and positive. With practice and dedication, these techniques can go a long way in helping you overcome any mental blocks that may be causing your shank issue.

Practicing Smartly – Drilling and Repetition to Build Muscle Memory  in Golf

The best way to fix a shank is to practice it and make it a regular part of your golf routine. Start by drilling the correct swing path and weight transfer, as these are key elements that can keep you on track. Then do some repetition with different clubs until you have built up muscle memory. This will help your body get used to the correct motion while giving you the confidence to hit good shots without worrying about shanking them. With patience and dedication, you’ll soon be saying goodbye to shanker’s curse for good!

Making Use of Technology – Learning With Video Analysis Software to Reduce Your Shank Shots

Golf can be a frustrating sport, especially when pesky shank shots keep creeping into your game. Fortunately, technology has upped its game and created video analysis software that can help reduce those frustrating strokes.

By using this software, you can break down your swing, analyze it from every angle, and correct any missteps that may be leading to those errant shanks. Learning from your mistakes has never been easier, and with a little bit of practice and video analysis, you can start seeing significant improvement in your game. Say goodbye to those shanks, and hello to a more enjoyable round of golf!


In conclusion, mastering a golf shot like a shank requires practice and dedication. Although it may take some time to perfect, improving your setup, fine-tuning your swing, re-evaluating your grip, and focusing on positive thinking, visualization and self-talk are the key ingredients for making the shank shots more consistent.

But don’t forget to practice smartly too; just repetitively hitting balls won’t get you desired results. Utilising video analysis is one of the smart ways that can show you what’s truly happening with your swing and help you identify potential areas of improvement. Finally, believe in yourself and never give up! With hard work and determination comes success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a shank in golf?

A shank occurs when the ball comes into contact with the hosel of the club, rather than the sweet spot on the face. This results in a shot that shoots off to the right (for right-handed players), and often goes no more than a few yards.

What causes a shank in golf?

Faulty swing path, incorrect weight transfer, and grip issues can cause shanking when striking a golf ball. Improper grip, poor alignment, and even just a lack of confidence can also be contributing factors.

How do I fix my shank issue?

Improving your setup, fine-tuning your swing, and re-evaluating your grip are all important steps in fixing a shank. Additionally, focusing on positive thinking, visualization, and self-talk can help eliminate mental blocks that may be causing the shank issue. Finally, practice smartly with video analysis software to reduce any further mishits.

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