PGA Tour golfer and golf instructor Butch Harmon explains the reasons — and offers a cure for — the dreaded shank.
What is a shank? It’s pretty simple. A shank is when the ball hits the hosel of the club and it shoots off to the right. Most people think they come in with an open club face and they hit it this way. That’s not what happens. The club closes as it comes in, the ball hits the hosel of the club here, and it shoots off to the right like that, not very far and it doesn’t feel very good. Let me hit one for you. Gosh, I hate even trying to hit this, but I’m gonna do it just for you so you can understand what happens. There’s the shank. Let me explain why this happens. This club face comes in closed like this, the toe of the club hits in the ground, and you get a long, skinny divot like that as the club exits. The reason it’s so hard to get rid of is everybody thinks they do it with the open club face and they say, I’m gonna get that right hand in there this time, and it gets worse and worse. If you’re on a practice tee and you’re having trouble hitting shanks, a simple drill to help you get out of it. All you have to do is take your head cover off your driver, bring it over here, and put it right next to the ball, just so the toe of the club is almost touching the head cover. The first couple shots you hit, you’re going to see that you come over the top, and you hit the head cover with the toe of the club. To help you, one other thing. Address the club a little bit on the toe, make your swing, and have the feeling you’re hitting the inside of the ball, swinging out. If you get the shanks, remember, most of the time you do it with a closed club face. Use the head cover drill, you won’t shank again.
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Butch Harmon on How To Fix The Shanks | Golf Lessons | Golf Digest