Astalavista shanks!

by Jordan on December 16, 2011

Say goodbye to these guys!

The dreaded “s” word.

There might not be anything worse than hitting one.

The feel. The sound. The flight of the ball.


But you’ve got them.

That’s alright because I’ve helped lots of players deal with this problem.

I guess you could say I’m some sort of shank healer.

Read on an explain how easy curing the shanks is.

The “S” Word

The dreaded “s” word.

It’s something just about every golfer has encountered at some point either on the range or on the course. A shank is where the ball hits the hozel of our club head and fly’s very low and dead away from our bodies.

Some thing it’s all mental.

Case in point, Tin Cup with Kevin Costner.

Great scene from Tin Cup where he get’s the shanks

You will remember that Tin gets case of the shanks before his first round of the US Open.

His caddie simply told him he was thinking too much. So he got him to do some very goofy stuff to put his mind at ease. Stuff like switching what pocket his tees were in and putting his had on backwards.

Very goofy and intetended to focus his mind on something else.

Unfortunately those Jedi mind tricks won’t work. I will explain how you can change your mindset after I give you some technical advice.

Curing the shanks is mostly a technical problem.

Technical Malfunction

Keep in mind that since I cannot see what it is you’re doing wrong, I can only speculate by providing a few common causes and ways to overcome the shanks.

The first thing you can do is address the ball off the toe of the club.

Normally you address the ball off so it’s in line with center of the club face.

See the below pictures for a better understanding of what I mean.

Ball lined up to the center of the club face

Start to address the ball like this…

Line the ball up off the toe of the club face instead

The next thing you can do is stand a little bit further away from the ball. This allows your arms to extend and not get so cramped up as you’re about to hit the ball.

Another easy cure is to change your weight distribution. Sometimes a shank can be caused by an off balanced swing. This causes your weight to move closer to the ball and in turn hit the ball off the hozel.

Now if all else fails and since I do talk a lot about controlling the mind, learning how to cure the shanks in golf can come down to mindset.

Let me explain.

Mind Awareness

When you hit that first shank, what happens? Be aware of your thoughts, emotions and feelings. Don’t judge those feelings and do your best to become present and in the moment.

So know that you are present, aware of your feelings and not judging those feelings, time to focus on hitting a pure golf shot. If you continue to have thoughts of that “s” word in your head, you’re attracting negative attention to the problem.

Squash those thoughts!

By now my hope is that the technical and mental things I have listed will help you in learning how to cure the shanks in golf.

If these things don’t work please let me know and I will be happy to help further.

What Do You Think?

Do you think curing the shanks is mental or technical?


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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