The word that sends shivers down most golfers spine is 'shanks'. A very destructive shot can completely knock the confidence and destroy the pleasure of the game for it's unexpected victims. The shanks is a shot that has hit the heel or hosel of the golf club. The golf ball hits the rounded area of the head joint causing the golf ball to shoot off in a number of different directions and heights apart from at the intended target. The most common direction the golf ball travels in is in front of the golfer i.e. for a right handed golfer to the right and a left hander to the left. It is a very damaging shot and most commonly will be repeated many times in a row.
Fault - The body moves forward towards the golf ball leaving very little room for the hands to return to the same place in which they started and the shanks/hosel becomes involved in contact. The more a golfer shanks it, the greater the body movement which makes matters much worse.
Fix - The aim of this drill is to help hit the middle of the golf club much more consistently, resulting in much better golf shots and more enjoyment of the game of golf. The best way to help find the middle of the golf club again is to maintain the posture during the downswing. You can use this drill on the practice ground or at home to master holding the body shape and posture. First use a club that you have been struggling with the shanks. Set up to the golf ball as you would do normally, making sure you are a nice distance away from the golf ball.
Top tip - When you address the golf ball, check that you are the correct distance away by practicing two key points. Firstly, when you set up to the golf ball, always place the golf club down behind the golf ball. Continue to build your stance around your golf club. Aim to set up with your hands directly below your chin and keep a good gap (about a hand's width) between the butt end of the golf club and your legs.
Check point - Rest the golf club on to your leading leg and the grip should sit about two to three inches above the knee. Be careful you do not bring your knee to the golf club.
Now you are a good distance away from the ball, place a chair or golf bag behind you so that it touches your bottom. The aim of this drill is to keep the contact with the chair or bag throughout the golf swing. Once you have kept contact, practice bringing your hands back in closer to your body at impact. This will encourage a much more centred strike on the golf club, and therefore fixing the shank shot. Once you feel confident you can achieve this without the chair or golf bag behind you, continue to create the same feeling hitting golf balls without the aid behind you.