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Getting the shanks on the golf course is never a nice thing to happen to anybody you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, but to compound that problem, if you get the bunker shanks you’re in big trouble because a lot of the times you won’t actually identify it was shank because you won’t hear the same sound because the sand is involved. And the shanks, for a lot of people are more prevalent in the bunker and that’s because they’re using an open face shot.

So when you play with a square face you have this much face to aim at. But we often advocate in a bunker we will play with an open face. So, if I open the face of that the leading edge of the golf club is now running at the ball more obviously and there’s less club face to aim for. I can’t actually see this bit of the club facing the ball, certainly can’t see this bit of the club face. So, if I set up to this ball with a very open face you can always see how the heel leads. For a lot of chip and bunker shots we’d advocate getting closer to the golf ball, gripping down, getting nearer. And again that could drive the heel towards the ball as well.

So, all of those different areas could indicate you’re going to hit more shanks from bunkers. Now when you get a shank in a bunker, generally you’ll just see the ball coming out very low and quite often it will hit the face to your right hand side as a right handed golfer and just shoot this way. Sometimes it will get out to the bunker but very rarely; if it does it won’t spin it will land on the green you shoot off.

So, good practice exercise just to get rid off the shanks would be to set up with a face open. But also setting the ball up to the toe end so don’t drive the heel the ball from the centre but just ride back so you got a little bit more toe end looking at the golf pole then just practice making a swing and actually missing the ball and you can actually see where you’re going to hit. You’re going to hit down, you’re going to hit the sand slightly on the inside. That’s a great way of just making sure your hands are coming nearer to your body on your down swing. You’re not throwing your body weight too far forward and throwing the hands away, which is one of the main reasons why you could be shanking this.

So, you set up face open, ball a little bit more to the toe side, make a practice swing and swing and miss on the inside. Once you’ve got that feeling just go ahead and maybe half that feeling or quarter that feeling. So, you still feel like you’re pulling a little bit and the ball starts to hit a little bit more towards the toe end.

After your bunker shot it might be worth just having a look at the club face just to see if there is an impact mark or any sand on the face would indicate where you struck it from. If you striking it consistently from the heel we know you’ve got problems, try and get your bunker shots to strike a little bit more in the toe and that would eradicate the shanks from bunkers because let’s face it, nobody wants those.