Ever topped your shots or suffered from not hitting the ball flush on the sweet spot? Well let’s discuss how we can cure your shank.. however, don’t despair, it’s something we have all done, especially when we first start playing the game, I know I did!
There are many reasons why you could shank the ball but let’s go through the most common reason and something that you can easily fix yourself at the range.
Cure your shank – The Problem…
At some point in your swing, you stand up. People will often say “you lifted your head” or “you looked up” and to some degree they are right.
However, when you hear someone say this, they actually mean you looked at the target before you struck the ball – which does not have a direct link to hitting these horrible shots.
Cure your shank – What do I mean by “standing up”?
During your swing, your hips push forward towards the ball.
As you do this it straightens your spine angle, you come out of your posture and “stand up”.
To the right, I’ve shown the address position and what I mean by standing up.
If you do this in the swing, you are moving towards the ball and often you find the hands (therefore the club) move towards the ball, causing the hosel of the club to contact the ball.
By going towards the ball and lifting up, you are effectively not allowing the club to bottom out at the ball, and this can mean you hit the ball from the bottom of the face and/ or the top of the ball.
Cure your shank – How do we fix it?
To fix the problem, we need to maintain our posture in the swing so that we do not move towards the ball. As I mentioned earlier – the reason you come out of posture is because the hips move forwards towards the ball. This is the root of the problem.
To keep the hips back, get your golf bag and place it against your bum. Make some swings and keep your bum back on the bag throughout – as shown right.
To start with just do this without the ball.
Once you start feeling your bum staying back, hit some shots. But when you hit some shots, feel the right bum cheek stay on the bag on the backswing, and the left bum cheek stay on the bag on the way through.
I’ve changed the thought slightly when you hit the ball just to make sure you still keep the hips turning whilst keeping the bum back.
Cure your shank – Other things to consider…
Often when a golfer makes this movement, it is because they have a weak core and/ or their hamstrings are tight.
Nowadays, many of the tour players are doing Pilates or Yoga to strengthen their core muscles and help maintain posture when they practice and play for hours on end.
I think this just shows the importance of maintaining posture and may be something worth considering to help your golf. Speak to a personal trainer before undertaking any exercises yourself!
Now read about how to cure that slice…
By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro