You're Correct!

Correct Golf Answer Keep the hands tight to the body

The shanks are possibly the most debilitating shot in golf and can ruin confidence in the golfer.

The good news is that it is fairly simple to get rid of them. A shank occurs when the golf club head impacts the golf ball, not from the centre of the club face, but from the area where the shaft of the club attaches to the club head - the hosel. This produces a cracking or snapping sound and the ball shoots off low and to the right (for right handed golfers).

This shot occurs because at some point during the swing the hands move further away from the body than they were to begin with. At set up, the golfer is in a position where the ball is set to the middle of the club face with the hands positioned somewhere under the chin. At impact, however, the hands move away, to a position outside the line of the chin, which pushes the club head out and forwards presenting the hosel of the golf club to the ball instead of the middle of the club face.

To stop the hands moving away from the body try these two techniques:

1. Brush your trouser leg as you swing into the golf ball. For right handers - in the down swing, focus on getting the right hand close to the right trouser leg in the approach to the golf ball. This keeps the hands tight in to the body in the downward swing and stops the club being pushed out and into the ball.

2. Put a head cover down on the floor approximately one inch outside the line of the ball. Take some swings and avoid the head cover. If the hands are swinging too far away from the body then you will hit the head cover as you swing into the ball. This gives you a great piece of feedback as to whether you are successful or not.

Use these two techniques to keep the swing tight and compact and never shank a ball again.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This can be a good short term solution in desperate times. However, if used consistently your shots will get worse as eventually you will overbalance forwards as you have to stretch forwards to reach the golf ball. This will lead to mis-hit shots and a loss of power due to a loss of balance.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

As before, this can be a good short term solution for a desperate situation but in the long term you will be learning to perfect a shank swing. Setting up in this way means that you have to push the hands away from the body to strike the ball from the middle of the club head. This is the shanking action and instead of curing the problem, you are rehearsing it.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This is a common misconception of the shot. Many golfers think that a shank is caused by the club face being too open (pointing to the right for right handed golfers) at impact - hence the shot shoots off to that side. Consequently, the reaction is to close (point the club to the left for right handed golfers) the club face which actually makes the problem worse. Make sure that you understand what is happening before you try to rectify the problem.