What is Shank in Golf? Exploring this Common Golfing Term




what is shank in golf

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If you’re a golf enthusiast, you may have heard the term “shank” being thrown around on the green. But what exactly is a shank in golf?

A shank is a type of mishit shot in golf where the ball is struck with the hosel of the club, causing it to veer off course sharply to the right (for right-handed golfers) or to the left (for left-handed golfers). The shank is considered one of the most frustrating shots in golf, as it can completely ruin a golfer’s confidence and lead to poor performance.

But why is the shank such a common occurrence in golf? And what can be done to prevent it? This article will explore these questions and more.

Key Takeaways

  • A shank in golf is when a golfer strikes the ball with the hosel of the club, causing it to veer off course.
  • The shank is a common occurrence in golf, but it can be avoided with proper technique and adjustments.
  • Understanding the causes and impact of shanking can help golfers prevent and correct this frustrating shot.

What Is the Shank – Causes and Impact

Shanking in golf can be frustrating and can have a significant impact on a golfer’s game. Understanding what causes shanking can be helpful in preventing this issue from occurring and improving overall accuracy.

There are a few main causes of shanking in golf:

Poor SetupIf your posture or grip is incorrect, it can affect the position of the club face at impact, resulting in a shank.
Swing PathIf your swing path is too steep or comes from the outside, it can cause the club face to be open at impact, resulting in a shank.
Lack of FocusIf you lose focus or become too tense during your swing, it can cause your body to move in a way that leads to a shank.

The impact of shanking in golf can be significant. Not only does it result in a loss of distance and accuracy, but it can also affect a golfer’s confidence and mental game. Consistently shanking shots can lead to frustration, anxiety, and even a loss of love for the game.

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Thus, it’s essential to understand the causes of shanking and take proactive measures to prevent it from becoming a recurring issue. In the next section, we will discuss practical tips and techniques for stopping shanking in its tracks.

How to Stop Shanking in Golf

Shanking is one of the most frustrating issues a golfer can face. Fortunately, there are several techniques and adjustments that can be made to avoid shanking and improve your accuracy on the course. Here are a few tips to help you stop shanking in golf:

  1. Check your grip: A common cause of shanking is an improper grip. Make sure your hands are in the right position on the club, with your thumb placed on top of the shaft and your hands working together as a single unit.
  2. Focus on your posture: Poor posture can also lead to shanking. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet and your spine is straight, without overarching your back. Additionally, make sure your arms are relaxed and hanging naturally from your shoulders.
  3. Practice with alignment aids: Alignment issues can cause shanking, so it’s important to practice with alignment aids to ensure you’re setting up properly. Place clubs or alignment sticks on the ground to help guide your stance, and make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are all aimed at your target.
  4. Slow down your swing: Shanking can also be caused by an overly aggressive swing. Try slowing down your swing tempo to give yourself more control and reduce the chances of shanking.
  5. Visualize your shot: Many golfers shank shots due to anxiety or tension. Visualize your shot before you swing, and focus on your target instead of worrying about the potential outcomes of your shot. This can help you relax and swing more naturally.
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By implementing these techniques and adjustments, you can overcome the issue of shanking and improve your overall golf game. Remember to practice regularly and stay patient with yourself as you work to develop better swing habits.

Correcting Shank Shots

If you are struggling with shank shots, it’s important to work on correcting your technique. Here are some strategies that can help you improve:

1. Adjust your stance

The positioning of your feet can have a significant impact on your golf swing. When addressing the ball, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your weight is evenly distributed between them. Additionally, try moving the ball back in your stance slightly to encourage a more inside-out swing path.

2. Change your grip

Consider experimenting with different grip styles to find one that works best for you. One common adjustment is to rotate your hands slightly to the right (for right-handed golfers) to promote a more open clubface at impact.

3. Focus on your swing path

Shanking is often the result of an outside-in swing path, which causes the clubface to strike the ball at an angle. Practice hitting shots with a more inside-out swing path to promote a cleaner strike.

4. Try a drill

There are several drills you can use to help correct shank shots. One effective drill is to place a tee just outside of the ball and try to hit the ball without touching the tee. This drill can help you develop a more consistent swing path and avoid the outside-in motion that leads to shanking.

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By implementing these techniques and strategies, you can work towards minimizing shank shots and improving your overall ball striking. Remember to practice regularly and seek guidance from a professional coach if you continue to struggle with shanking.

Preventing the Shank – Proactive Measures

To prevent shanking in golf, it’s important to take proactive measures. One of the first steps is to ensure that your grip is correct. Your hands should be in a neutral position, with your fingers wrapped comfortably around the club. Gripping too tightly or with your palms can lead to shanking.

Additionally, your posture and alignment can also impact your chances of shanking. Make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and parallel to your intended target. Your hips, knees, and shoulders should be in alignment, ensuring that your clubface stays square at impact.

Staying mentally focused and relaxed can also help prevent shanking. When you’re feeling tense or anxious, you’re more likely to make mistakes during your swing. Practice deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques to help you stay calm and focused on your swing.

Another proactive measure is to practice regularly. The more you practice your swing, the more consistent and accurate it will become. Consider working with a golf instructor to help you identify and correct any swing flaws that may lead to shanking.

Finally, don’t forget to warm up before your game or practice session. Take a few minutes to stretch your muscles and practice your swing mechanics. This will help prevent muscle strain and improve your ball striking.


Now that you understand the shank in golf, it’s important to take proactive measures to prevent it from affecting your game. Make sure you have a proper grip, posture, and alignment before each swing.

It can also be helpful to practice drills and exercises specifically designed to prevent shanking. Keep a clear mind and avoid getting too tense or anxious, especially during high-pressure situations.

Shanking can be frustrating and impact your confidence on the golf course. But with the right techniques and strategies, you can overcome it and improve your overall game.

Implement the tips and tricks discussed in this article and practice regularly to reduce the occurrence of shanks and achieve more consistent ball striking.

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