GOLF: Two Drills To Quick Fix A Shank

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Two Drills To Quick Fix A Shank

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There are two main drills that I use all the time to fix the shank shot for my students and we’re going to fix it for you.

The biggest thing that I see that leads to a shank is an error with people and where their weight goes in their feet. When I take my normal setup the weight is dead middle of my feet and I have that golf ball in the middle of my club. If I make my weight go more towards my toes, my club is going to move away from me, which introduces the heel to the golf ball. You shouldn’t have your weight going more towards your toes at any point in the swing.

If you want to quick fix a shank we can use a drill that’ll give you feedback.

Start with a short iron for this drill, like an 8 iron, and work your way up. Even if you only hit shank shots with your driver, still start with a short iron first.

The first item I’ll use is a range bucket. I put the bucket right outside of the golf ball – maybe about a 16th of an inch outside the ball. I don’t have a lot of room at all. If I typically hit a shank – which will be my club head center mass too far outside of the golf ball – I would clip the basket. For this drill I need to do a couple of short practice swings and hit a couple of golf balls and I need to feel whatever I need to feel to NOT hit the bucket. The same drill works in a similar way with a golf club box or shoebox. I set up the box much like the bucket and do the same pieces.

Drill number two is more of a feel-based thing, but it turns into a drill. A lot of people have the butt of the club, the handle, and their working too far to the right during their downswing and that makes the hosel hit the ball. Certainly the club head’s going to move to the right some amount during the downswing, but your hands, your handle, the grip needs to work left.

During the downswing, once you get your club somewhere by your right thigh, you need to feel your hands and the grip ripping left. It needs to feel like you’re hitting yourself in the left thigh on the way through. What does that do? Well, if I take my normal setup and I rip my grip and my hands up and left, that would make the club comes more towards me and would get the hosel away from the golf ball. Hit some short and slow to start – like 100 yard shots – and feel your hands and grip ripping as far left as you can possible make it go. You might even hit one or two off the toe with this drill which is a beautiful problem if you have issues with the shank.

So the main points here:

-If you are struggling with shank shots, reference your weight in your feet and distance away. Anything overly towards the toe is an issue and any kind of path that’s crazy outside of normal is an issue as well.

-You can fix a good portion of the weight issue with the bucket or box drill. Set the bucket or box up just outside of the ball and do short, slow practice shots with a goal of not hitting the bucket or box.

-The sensation of everything – your hands, the grip, the butt of the club – ripping up and left is going to get you off the shank.

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Comments

Andrew Ferguson says:

Hi, great video, shanking 50%+ of my irons, my pro had me on pressure mat today, and sure enough weight going to my toes in downswing!!
The ripping handle to the left sounds interesting actually, but is that feeling something that should be applied to all shots out on the course, well irons anyway, kinda like what Tommy Fleetwood does?
Thanks again
Andrew

Luckydog - says:

Great instruction! Thank you very much!

Scott Casey says:

Thanks Eric! Glad I found this as I just came down with a case of these. Only full swing irons. Doesn’t seem to affect pitch shots, woods or hybrids, so that’s good. Bringing a shoe box to the range tomorrow!

Ben LaLance says:

This helped a lot! Thank you I went to the range and I’m starting to get back into things. Great instructor.

6string - Dave says:

I finally found the cause of my heel shots and shanks mostly with wedges and short irons. I tried everything I could find to cure this. Nothing worked to actually fix it. I stood farther away, closer to the ball, placed an object (box, head cover, another ball) outside the ball. Tried to hit off the toe, couldn't do it! The fix for me? Club shaft angle at address. My club shaft plane at address was too flat. When I raised it so the handle pointed above my belt I now hit the sweet spot consistently and can now hit toward the toe of the club. I haven't seen any so called expert instructors mention this as a cause.

Christopher Coelho says:

Definitely can see this helping. Recently I’ve had shanks show up pre-round, out on the range. Immediate sweats! One thing I think I’m doing incorrectly is a lack of consistent grip pressure through the swing. I can literally feel my hands release grip pressure just prior to impact, thus completely losing control of center mass. Thanks for the video!!

Aron Mitsunaga says:

This video changed my life.

James E. Gierach says:

Eric — Thank you for the prompt response and suggested drills. I’ll try it.

James E. Gierach says:

I hit full shots on toe and short chip shots on hosel. Half swing more likely toe or middle of club. Golfing over 50 years, right hand numbness/right arm also missing some feel.

stan nitchell says:

I have nvr heard of ripping the handle to the left but it works awesome (@practice) hopefully it works on course thanks for the tip

Yi Gu says:

When we do “ripping to the left”, mainly it’s a hip rotation using legs rather than just whipping the handle with hands. Am I right?

Brian Lesslie says:

In Bobby Clampett’s book, the impact zone, he suggests aiming the hands some 18’’ in front of the ball during the downswing to improve ball turf contact. I wondered what you thought of this principal as it has resulted in me hitting a few shanks with a five iron as neatly explained in your video

Captain Ron says:

Really interesting video! Literally decades ago I was in a miserable slump. I had continued playing through a painful shoulder injury and when my shoulder healed, I hit the slump. Among other things, I started shanking. It took two months to figure out what I was doing wrong … favoring my right injured shoulder, my swing had radically changed to taking the club back way too far inside (I'm a righty). The cure was to take the club back so far outside my line it felt ridiculous (I think you did a video on this typed of thing).

It's gotta be 40 years later (I'm 72 now) and I'm in another slump which also includes shanking. My cure from decades ago hasn't helped. I recently tried some impact tape that showed I'm consistently hitting toward the heel of all my clubs. I tried many, many shots on the range with the impact tape, trying to strike more toward the toe. I tried addressing the ball further off the toe of my clubs (even though I do this normally) and still no success.

Well, I've heard it said that golf is a game of opposites, so out of desperation I tried addressing off the heel of the club. Jeez! Improvement. But still not where I was. I've gone from a 7.1 to a 10.5 in the last month!

I like this tip about using a range basket and will give it a try. Thanks for this and your many other helpful videos. Cheers.

wskripka1 says:

Great instructor ! Best explanation to Shanks I have found .
Thanks so much
Wayne from Michigan

stonewallre7 says:

Thanks I will do what you recommend. Thanks.

stonewallre7 says:

Eric,

It usually happens on the down swing that I tend to feel my weight go to my toes. Thanks

stonewallre7 says:

Great advice. Thank you.

stonewallre7 says:

Eric do you have a drill to stay off the toes and not lean to far back? Thanks

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