Short shot Shank's

15/06/2010 at 16:40

Hi Guys

I'm desperate, on the verge of binning the clubs and going back to Mountain biking.

My short game, chipping and pitching is infested with shanks and has been for weeks now, it even shows up once in a while in my long clubs especially if the ball is below my feet.

I have been to three pro's, had two video's and none of them have even begun to cure this problem. They all want to see my full swing, video it and fix it, all in different ways I may add! I can't play, ever tried to play golf when your doing nothing but fearing a shank on that delicate pitch shot?

This is about my last chance, so please watch the swing and give me some feed back as to what I can try to sort this out??

15/06/2010 at 17:22
Set a box about 2 inches away from the ball and DON'T hit it.

Like this:

Edited: 15/06/2010 at 17:22
15/06/2010 at 19:20


I'm certainly no swing guru,but for what it's worth you are straightening your right leg, and consequently you do not have enough tension in the backswing. Also (if you pause your video at the top of your swing and just as you start the down swing your 'coming over the top' which could be one culprit causing the shank.

On the backswing, from the knee down the right leg should not move at all. Have a look at some Pros playing short iron shots, their lower right leg does not move.

When you try it you will be surprised how tight and contained the swing feels.

15/06/2010 at 20:04
Are your arms perhaps too much in a straight line with the shaft of the club rather than forming a bit of an angle? ie hands need to be a little lower?

Health warning: that comment comes from one who did exactly the same squirt to the right twice today. - probably because although I usually benefit from opening my stance for these shots, there is a limit to how open and I had gone way beyond it
Edited: 15/06/2010 at 20:09
15/06/2010 at 20:06
It does look as though you are out to in. Do what Ringer suggests, but may I also suggest that you place a driver headcover where he shows the box. Lay it so that it extends back several inches at least. Then hit some balls. You WILL catch the headcover. Work the club so that you come from the inside until you stop hitting the headcover. Its really worth a go.
15/06/2010 at 22:03

Thanks Guy's...

 Here's my problem, that video is defo out to in, but I have been doing the head cover thing for weeks now and theres no change. This vid is from the same day. Is this one still out to in?

Besides thousands of golfers play an out to in every day and don't shank like this.

 On the course the only way I can prevent this happening is to stand well back and stretch my arms out to the ball, causing tension. That works well as an anti shank, but sucks for getting the ball near the hole.

 I will try the box drill thanks Ringer!

 Oldboy, always have straightened the leg on the backswing, it's something I plan to work on over the winter, right now I am working on the OTT move. Unless they are related???

15/06/2010 at 22:44

post deleted

Edited: 15/06/2010 at 22:46
15/06/2010 at 23:10
You take the club back very flat which is a common cause of shanking with short irons. I'd make sure that I am well planted on my feet (rather than weight on balls/toes) and swing with a much more upright swing. I notice that you pause to check your club position. When hip height the club should ideally be pointing towards the target (butt end) with the leading edge at 90degrees to the target (ie. pointing upwards).

It's hard to tell with the limited frames but it looks as thought your club position is aiming well right with an open face = you current shot shape. If you go to the range try some short practice swings with your backside against the wall. Impossible to swing behind you from this position. If using your practice net then try putting a stand bag or something behind you and make sure that you don't hit it.

Don't worry though, your shoulder turn is good and the tempo doesn't look bad - no reason why you should be hitting good shots.
Edited: 15/06/2010 at 23:11
16/06/2010 at 02:13
Bottom line the hosel is hitting the ball. In your case that's mostly because it's leading the clubface before hitting the ball. So along with setting a box down you also need to learn to release with some tilt in your swing.

That is not easily remedied by just watching your vid and making a few suggestions. It will take some work.

For right now, imagine that you are wrapping the toe of the clubface around the golf ball.
16/06/2010 at 09:02

I know that swing clips are always less than perfect because they show only that swing. For instance, in the past few weeks, I have had a pro tell me to swing flatter, that was shortly before these clips and why I'm swinging flat in the second one particularly!

Then Yesterday because I'm swinging flat, another pro says, you need to be more upright and on plane.

Perhaps my problem is going to see different pro's, whoever's available at the time I have the problem, rather than having one pro and a set series of lessons.

So Ringer has given me something to work on shank wise and thanks to all the other guys that have contributed too, some good points especially about the OTT move. Which lead to this next question...

This is my 5 iron swing in March before any tinkering or any shanks.

My ambition is to get better at golf for my own satisfaction and pleasure rather than anything else... But to a single figure kind of standard eventually... Looking at my swing, and knowing I have been playing a couple of years now, would you...

A) Keep working on the full swing, taking lessons, getting down the range ironing out the faults as often as possible...  or

B) Leave the swing building for the Autumn/Winter times, get out in the sun and play the course/practice the short game enter all the comps etc...

I mean when I don't shank, I can get around in 85-90 even with my crap short game and dodgy putting. I had 6 pars in 13 holes match play last night! So it's not as if I'm a dead loss.

Really what I'm asking is (after I have the shank under control), while I'm still quite new to the game, is it better to build a really good effective swing asap that will stand me in good stead in the future, or make the most of what I have and learn to play real golf and score better?

16/06/2010 at 15:40
on the short shots it looks like you are not releasing the clubhead properly and at impact the clubhead is still wide open. Take your normal address position then without moving your body just rotate the club to the right with your hands, you will now see that you are addressing the ball with the hosel this is your impact position, so you have got to work on releasing the clubhead even on the shortest of shots...
16/06/2010 at 15:44
Have just watched the second video you posted and you are definitely not releasing the clubhead...
16/06/2010 at 20:21
Ringer wrote (see)

Bottom line the hosel is hitting the ball. In your case that's mostly because it's leading the clubface before hitting the ball. So along with setting a box down you also need to learn to release with some tilt in your swing. 

For right now, imagine that you are wrapping the toe of the clubface around the golf ball.

Paul L 11 wrote (see)

but even on the shorter shots you need to get the club head releasing through impact. Give it a try, it worked for me...

plimo wrote (see)
Have just watched the second video you posted and you are definitely not releasing the clubhead...

I'm not going to claim a cure yet, because I only tried chipping tonight, but even when I stood tall and close to the ball, I found the centre of the club every time when I consentrated on releasing the club head.

Could it really be as simple as that... I sure hope so

I'll keep at it, but thanks to everyone who replied!


17/06/2010 at 22:38

I just had to post and say thanks again for the help I got after being in despair so recently. 

This post from my blog explains why i'm smiling again:

I can't belive that a few days ago I was ready to jack in the game, and then tonight I played my best ever golf.  The catalyst is not in doubt, freed from fear of uncontrollable shanks I played without protecting my pitches and chips for the first time in weeks. Tonight I actually did have one shank, but I knew what caused it and also knew I would not do it again.

It started when I headed up to the club to go to the practice area and work on pitching without shanking. I saw my regular playing partner on the putting green and we decided to play a few holes on the way to the practice ground. So off we went and I just had the confidence on every shot right from the start, as the round progressed I got more and more confident I almost knew I was going to hit a good shot even before I got to the ball. We cut out 3 holes to bypass a slow 4 ball and by the time we got to the practice ground I just wanted to keep going so we just played.

I returned a score of 66 for the 15 holes we played, which is 8 over par, I had just one double bogey on the 6th hole when my third hit a ball washer and rebounded 30 yards.

But on the back nine I played the best golf I ever have experienced. I came back in 38, par for the nine is 34, That included three 3 putts!!!!!! No doubles, No duffs,  loads of GIR's and pars, great driving and even despite the 3 putts I putted well.

I can account for all four of the dropped shots, one of them on each of the three puts and the shank on the 12th.

It's true what they say, golf is more fun the better you play

One day, I know I'll do this in a medal, can't wait!!


fairways hit 45% (My average 46.4%)
Greens in Regulation 73.3% (My average 25.3%)
Putts per hole 2.2 (My Average 2.01)
Putts per GIR 2.27 (My average 2.28)

Edited: 17/06/2010 at 22:39
20/06/2010 at 08:43
crux wrote (see)

Hi Guys

I'm desperate, on the verge of binning the clubs and going back to Mountain biking.

I should keep the clubs and ditch the shorts
Edited: 20/06/2010 at 08:45
07/01/2013 at 04:07

I used to have a terrible shanking problem.  For me, the root of nearly all shanks is not sticking the butt out.  Sticking your butt out causes your spine angle to be flat, and when it's flat, you can swing around your spine in a more consistent path, time and time again. 


The problem I see in your video are two things:

1), you're sort of bending at the mid-stomach.  stick out that butt like you want everyone in the world to see it.

2) your take away is very flat.  this sets up more of a flat swing path that will generally cause more shanks.  take the club away down the target line and this will create a steeper swing plane. 

1 and 2 i can almost guarantee will cure your shanks.


I find that by using 1 and 2 above, I can stand almost stupidly close to the ball and still not shank it.

07/01/2013 at 07:46
Your problem with your pitching is that you dip into the ball. This tends to come from nervousness, you aren't confident so rather than turning through the shot you are hitting at the ball. By dipping you reduce the space between you and the ball and a shank is likely

Looking at your full swing you have excessive hip turn on the back swing, which causes your spine to straighten and your weight to shift onto your front foot, both of these will not help with your shank.

You need to keep your right knee locked bent at address and maintain that bend throughout the back swing with the feeling of no hip turn. This will help you maintain your angles and weight throughout your swing giving you a better strike
07/01/2013 at 21:19
Wow, that's just too much of a coincidence, I visit the golf magic forum for the first time in maybe a year and click latest posts only to see an old thread of mine resurrected today of all days. Maybe it's a sign? I mean I was just thinking that maybe it's time I started to play some golf again, hence logging on!

Regards the shanks, your right, what I eventually worked out was by keeping a flexed back leg I kept my angles better and the problem improved a lot. Also, really watching the ball helped it stopped me dipping into it so much
17/05/2014 at 08:01

From watching your swing, definately over the top, correct with the right leg straightening and shanking can be all in the head caused by anxiety. Main issue I see in your full swing is that you do not pivot over your right leg (Not a way) Regards the shanking which I have suffered from, to stop the over the top you need to pivot properly in the downswing ie the legs lead the downswing which will drop your arms and club on the correct path. If you don't the club will come out of plane (0ver the top) and steepen. If you take the club to the top and gently move your hips and knees gently to the right keeping your arms relaxed you will see that the will move on their own dropping down like Rory or Garcia etc. I would also agree that the toe must pass the hosel otherwise the face is wide open but the pivot is the main issue on the back and down swing. A good tip would be to view a rory mcilroy or adam scott slo mo swing on you tube regards the pivot

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