how to never shank a golf ball again

How to Never Shank a Golf Ball Again: Things to Know

Last Updated on October 26, 2023

Golfers, do you dread going to the driving range and hearing that dreaded ‘shank’ sound? The feeling of embarrassment and frustration when your ball goes flying off into the trees or out of bounds is one we all know too well. But fear not. I’m here to help you get back on track with your golf game and forget about shanking forever. In this article, I’ll be giving my top tips for helping you how to never shank a golf ball again.

Definition of a Shank

A shank is a really bad shot in golf that’s typically caused by an incorrect swing. It usually results in the ball going off to the right, toward the golfer. The club head strikes the hosel of the club or near it, causing a sharp angle as soon as contact with the ball has been made. This causes an unintentional hook and sends the golf ball flying off into oblivion. The word “shank” comes from baseball, where it was used to describe balls that were hit outside of play. When you’re playing golf, hearing someone yell out “Shank” can be pretty embarrassing – but don’t worry too much about it because there are ways to prevent this from happening again.

Causes of a Shank

Now that you understand what a shank is let’s discuss the causes of this frustrating shot. There are several common culprits when it comes to shanking golf balls. First and foremost, a misaligned clubface can be responsible for sending shots offline in an undesirable direction. To help prevent this from happening, make sure your grip pressure is consistent with each swing; too light or too tight will cause accuracy issues. Additionally, keep your swing speed even throughout the entire motion for maximum control over ball flight.

Techniques to Improve Swing Path

Improving your swing path is essential to avoiding shanking a golf ball. Here are some techniques to help you get on the right track:

  • Establishing an effective pre-shot routine:
    • Visualise the shot and its direction in your mind’s eye before stepping onto the tee box.
  • Set up a consistent stance with each club, making sure it fits comfortably and that you can see where you want the ball to go before starting your backswing.
  • Take practice swings without hitting a golf ball to feel what kind of motion creates a successful swing path.
  • Developing muscle memory:
    • Practice drills that focus on specific parts of your swing (like a taking-away drill, one-piece takeaway, etc.) which will help create better coordination between arms and body when swinging.
  • Focus on connecting different parts of your body while practising; start slow until they become second nature.
  • When playing an actual round, try not to think too much about technique – trust that your muscles have memorised the correct motions for creating a consistent swing path every time.
  • Improving accuracy:
    • Work on visualising where exactly you want the ball to land before taking your shot. This will give you more control over accuracy as opposed to just aiming at the general vicinity of where you want it to land.
    • Pay attention to how far away from centre contact you were after impact – this could be due to poor alignment or bad timing of releasing lag in the downswing, which would result in incorrect flight paths for shots. Adjust accordingly.

By using these tips, you should be able to improve your golf swing and prevent yourself from shanking any more balls. With enough dedication and hard work, if you’re currently struggling with shanking, you’ll eventually master proper form such that shanks don’t happen anymore.

Common Mistakes That Can Lead to Shank Shots

a man is mastering the art of avoiding shanking a golf ball

Many golfers struggle with shanking the ball due to common mistakes they make. It’s important for any beginner golfer or a seasoned pro wanting to improve their game to identify and eliminate these errors in order to hit the ball straight on a consistent basis. To help, I’ve put together this table of some of the most commonly observed faults that lead to shank shots:

SetupSwing PlaneGripAlignment
Incorrect postureToo steep/flatWeak left-hand gripAiming too far right
Too close/far from the ballUncoordinated arms and bodyHands too far forwardAiming too far left
Poor balanceInaccurate weight transferStrong right-hand gripNot enough hip turn
Improper spine angleOverly aggressive takeawayLeft-hand grip not strong enough ­­­­­­­Aiming at the target instead of the swing path

The setup is very important when it comes to hitting a good shot – poor fundamentals can cause you to mis-hit the ball. Your stance should be comfortable and balanced; your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your back arched but not overly so. Additionally, try not to get too close or too far away from the ball, as this will affect your swing plane. When swinging back, maintain an even tempo throughout your entire body and keep your arms connected with your torso; otherwise, you’ll struggle to control the clubface position at impact. Be aware also of how much power you are generating on the downswing – don’t allow yourself to become overaggressive, which can cause an incorrect club path through impact resulting in a shanked shot. Finally, pay attention to where you’re aiming – if pointing too far left or right. Then there is a greater chance of striking outside of the intended line.

By focusing on avoiding these common mistakes during practice sessions, golfers should notice improved accuracy, along with fewer instances of shanks ruining their rounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell if I’m Shanking My Shots?

Shanking shots is an issue that many golfers face. It can be frustrating to mis-hit a shot and not know why it happened. Knowing how to detect shank shots or signs of shanking can help you avoid them in the future.

There are several symptoms and signs you should look out for when trying to detect a shanked shot. The most common sign of a shank is when the ball takes off straight right (for right-handed players) with no backspin. Additionally, if the ball feels like it was hit from outside the target line, this could also indicate a shank. Another symptom of a shank is excessive noise coming from impact, which indicates incorrect contact between the clubface and the ball. Finally, if there’s more grass on your divot than usual, this could suggest that you had cut across the ball at impact instead of hitting down on it as intended.

As an instructor/coach, I recommend paying attention to these signs during every practice session so you can identify any bad habits before they become too ingrained in your swing mechanics – this will help ensure better performance on the course. With some time and effort put into analysing each shot properly, you’ll soon find yourself consistently avoiding those dreaded shanks.

Is There Any Way to Fix a Shank Quickly?

The first thing to do is assess the issue at hand – what caused the shank in the first place? Was it an incorrect grip or stance? Or maybe a poor alignment of the clubface relative to your target line. Whatever the cause, understanding it is key for finding a quick shank fix.

Once you’ve determined why you’re hitting this shot, start making small adjustments until you find something that works for you. For example, if your stance was too wide, try narrowing it; or if your grip is too weak, strengthen it. With enough practice and experimentation, you’ll eventually find an instant shank fix that prevents future occurrences. Practice makes perfect, after all.


Shanking a golf ball can be incredibly frustrating, but by learning how to never shank a golf ball again, you’ll never have to worry about it again. By understanding which clubs tend to cause shanks and being aware of how your shots feel when you hit them, you can quickly identify if you’re hitting off-centre. To increase accuracy and reduce shanking, I recommend focusing on the impact position during practice and using visualisation techniques to stay focused before each shot. Mental preparation is just as important as a physical technique in order to avoid shanking every time. With dedication and consistency, you’ll soon find that pesky shank becoming a thing of the past.

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