How To Fix A Golf Shank

Chipping is important to your game

Broadly speaking, 60% of our shots are within 60 yards of the flag when we play on the course. Most of us spend hours working on and finding golf swing tips in search of the perfect golf swing, yet we neglect the part of the game that makes us score well – chipping, pitching, sand shots and putting.

There is a shot that destroys confidence – the dreaded golf shank! This shot can plague established golfers and is common with beginners. The old wives tale says that shanking is mental. Nonsense! The shank has a physical cause – it’s the second shank that is mental. It’s a terrifying shot that shoots out of the hosel of the club, at nearly 90 degrees to the intended target line.

Where does a golf shank come from?

So, let me give you some swing tips to help you avoid this destructive shot. Firstly, we need to understand where a golf shank comes from. Short game shots are normally played with the shortest clubs in the bag i.e. putter, Sand wedge, Lob wedge and Pitching wedge. The club maker gives us a short shaft in order for the club to swing in a very upright plane. When we use a short club, our golf swing functions like a “Ferris wheel” – almost straight back and straight through. Consequently, our forearms have hardly any forearm rotation and this prevents the club face from rolling open in the takeaway.

With a short club in our hands, our posture should be the most defined as we “tip from the hip” to take our grip. Disaster strikes when we succumb to sitting back on our heels with slumped spinal posture. This causes us to swing too flat in the takeaway and our forearms roll the clubface wide “open”. Under pressure, our forearms jam, and we present the hosel of the club to the ball – that’s a golf shank!

Golf swing tip to stop shanking with Explanar

So, we need to create the perfect golf swing plane for chipping and there is no better way to do this than use the Explanar golf training aid in an upright plane and employ the short PoweRoller. To help matters, it is vital to “pull the club up your sleeve” – this makes the wedges function close to the plane of a putter. Now, the takeaway will track straight back and straight through as the hoop of Explanar absolutely stops you from a flat, rolling takeaway.

Don’t think for a minute that you cannot hinge your wrists – you absolutely can! “Chipping” is non-wristy whilst “Pitching” employs wrist hinge or wrist “cock”. So, here are a few golf swing tips to help your short game and avoid the dreaded “Lucy Lockett”, or socket!

1.    Ensure that you “pull club up your sleeve” – wedges adopt a putter “lie”.
2.    Don’t slump – make sure your posture is well defined by tipping from the hip.
3.    Allow the shoulders to create a simple “back & through” mechanism.
4.    Use wrist “cock” for Pitching – keep wrists quiet for Chipping.
5.    Make sure the forearms have almost no rotation in the Takeaway.
6.    Don’t confuse a simple chipping action with tension – stay loose to help “feel”.
7.    Finally, let the loft of the club lift the ball – your job is to send ball FORWARD!

Just 2 or 3 minutes a day on Explanar, using the Short PoweRoller, will transform your golf swing and shots around the green.

For more information, watch my video ‘Fix a golf shank with Explanar.’