What causes a shank?

(Thoughts on the PGA event tomorrow)

While I agree and understand that many shanks are caused by a steep angle of attack, I still say that most of the better, lower handicap, every day golfers that get them, come as a result of perceiving they have to hit draws, from the inside and hold the lag.

The steep angle of attack is a result of the same pathology. Using the hands to increase lag often causes a steepening of the plane and narrowing of the arc. It is too inside either on the back swing or beginning of the down swing, forcing the hands to steepen the plane and another saving motion out to the ball…shankopotomus.

This all brings in the hip thrust (goat humping).

I believe if I can install the perception that if you learn a proper release, don’t necessarily have to hit a draw unless it’s natural, don’t force lag and completely eliminate the inside/out discussion, the shanks will go buh bye.

…and since there are many videos on how to release properly, you should know how to avoid the shankopotomus. 😀




  1. Wally

    using the right hand (for right hand golfers) too early in the swing

  2. rojoass

    A quick on course band-aid is to address the ball way out on the toe.
    Then the big fix when you get back to the shop.


  3. s.

    Maybe too much guiding is a factor in shanking. Guiding works against a proper release.

    I once had a book that said that what a pro thinks about is where he wants the ball to go, and what it will look like going there.

    Instead of trying to guide the club into the ball, maybe let hand-eye coordination take care of it, and don’t be all that concerned with things behind the ball (plane, path).

    Picture what you want to happen from the ball forward, and maybe it will happen.

  4. rojoass

    True s. According to the “new laws” the CF accounts for 85% & path the other 15%.
    So maybe we need to spend 85% of our time concerned with CF control.

    But all I ever hear is path & plane.



  5. Westy

    Speaking from experience (and I’ve had a lot of it) the cause of my $h@nks was an over the top move followed closely by an almost subconscious need to hold the face open through impact because I instinctively knew that if I released it properly I would yank it dead left. All this inner turmoil creates massive tension in the grip and arms which leads to more hosel rockets. So now I’ve moved to the other end of the spectrum and am battling with shots that are way off the toe. Anybody got a good name for those?

  6. Doug B

    I know there are a lot of reasons for shanking, but the way I cured a recent episode was by making a mental adjustment. I was becoming too “ball-centered” and was hitting “at” the ball rather than through the ball. I was also thinking about positions rather than allowing the release to happen naturally. When I have the thought of sending my momentum “through” the impact zone and toward the target, I can finish the shot properly, with my weight properly shifted onto my left leg and the right toe nicely on the ground for balance – and the shanks go away. In fact, I find that my finish position is a good report card for how well I released the club.

  7. Ted

    I have fought an OTT casting move since I started playing golf and fought many demons in the form of shanks along the way. They always surfaced when I was too focused on forcing lag, taking club too far inside and not releasing the club.

    Once I learned how to release the club properly that all went away. In fact it cured many of the things in my swing I long obsessed over. A lot f thanks to Montes videos on that but ultimately I needed a lot of trial and error with a pro to find it.

  8. Andrew

    Doug B,

    Nice description – could have been an entry in one of Penick’s books.

    I find that when I start to go all rightish , whether it be lateral or just horrible push/slice, I think of rhythm and swing to the finish – I try to get all thoughts of hip release and arm movements out of the brain – this is the hard part.

    Andrew from Addis

  9. Wally

    I have been watching a video of the late great Ben Hogan, an I am convinced ther is no Forced lag in his swing AT ALL

  10. Ricky

    My shanks come after falling onto my toes in the downswing, The body moves out and shank. I have fixed them by pulling my hands in and I get a pull draw


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