There are few shots that strike more fear into a golfer than the shank. It is without doubt one of the most destructive shots a player can hit and usually leads to a drastic loss of form and often more shanks soon after. If the fault that caused the shank isn’t fixed quickly the golfer can often suffer a sudden loss of confidence and in some extreme cases the player will stop playing altogether.
A shank is where the ball is struck from the heel or neck of the club usually leading to the ball flying low and sharply right. I say usually because the ball will sometimes fly straight or left depending on what part of the heel the ball has been struck.
Although the shot is horrendous the fault that causes a shank is often very slight and many times pupils are surprised by how good the swing that caused the shank looks. Therein lies one of the main problems as players tend to make desperate changes to their swings in an effort to cure the fault often making the problem worse as they do this.
All sorts of swing faults can make a player more likely to shank, however all shanks are the same in that the club head is moving out beyond the ball through impact bringing the heel into contact with the ball. In my experience if the player isn’t closely focused on impact then he will often continue to shank even though other areas of his swing are improving.
So for those of you struggling with this particular fault take comfort in the fact that even though your confidence is at an all time low your swing probably isn’t as bad as you think. It is my belief that all shanks are curable. All the golfer needs are a couple of lessons to learn how to focus their practice on the correct areas and a little time to help regain some faith in their ability.