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Good question this one, why we shank our golf irons. Now at some point in most people’s golfing career, they will go through a phase of catching the shanks. And the golf shanks are a breed of shots that are hit from the heel part of the golf club. So we have the hosel or the heel or the shank of the golf club, and that’s impacting the ball either before or at the same time as the ball is hitting the face. It creates a very distinctive sort of shot, a very distinctive sound even. It’s a clicky sound, sometimes even a double hit sound. And the ball veers off very quickly to the right hand side and shoots away quite low. And it's an incredibly destructive and frustrating shot.

And I guess one of the frustrations happens because, it's actually pretty close to being a good shot. If the ball was to hit the middle of the face here, sounds perfect goes fine. If the ball hits there, it still flies pretty well, it still goes okay. But as soon as it catches that corner edge, hits the hazel, it's a dramatic cut away to the right hand side, and a very frustrating shot. Now for most golfers there’s two reasons if you like, there’s two causes for the hitting the shank. We’ll talk through them one at a time. The first reason why I see a lot of golfers hitting the shank is purely in the setup position. They just don’t give themselves enough space, so when they're lining up to the golf ball they’ll crowd the golf ball a little bit here and get too close.

And even if there’s a little bit of space between the handle and the legs at setup that looks okay. But at impact their legs are going to start turning and this will happen. And the back thigh, the right thigh for me comes forward a little bit. My hands simply have no room so they have to move outwards to create some space, the heel pushes towards the ball and we start shanking it. It happens in full swings, also it happens when you are chipping and pitching quite dramatically as well. So if you get yourself too near, the heel gets involved which starts shanking. So check point one, check the distant you're standing away from the golf ball, so a good distance back, lower the club handle down, it lands one inch above my left knee, my front knee, then I've got plenty of space here, now I can turn my hips without affecting my hands and I should be able to strike the ball more cleanly, more evenly and less away from the neck. So we need to spend some time checking the distance that we are standing away from the golf ball to avoid the shanks. The second reason why I see a lot of people shanking the golf ball, is that they make a movement in the downstream where the hands and arms come too far away from their body. And often this is actually caused by being off balance. So during the swing they’ll take the club to the top, the club will start to move forwards too much this way, comes outside the line, they fall into it and they step forward then go through the ball onto the tiptoes.

So make sure you're balanced, make sure you’re setting up far enough away from the golf ball, and try to avoid the feeling of bringing the club out in front of you. So a lot of golfers I found we can correct the shanks simply by asking them to try and hit the toe. Just say, ‘try and hit the toe of this club.’ Maybe put some markings, or some tape on the club face, so you can see where you are striking it, and simply by trying to hit the toe they will self correct if you like. They will understand, well I need more distance and I need the feeling of the club coming a little bit more inside, my hands nearer to my legs, strike the toe and you’ll actually avoid hitting the shank quite instinctively. Apply those two changes to your game and hopefully that will stop you hitting that dreaded golf shank.