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Answer Whats the best quick fix for a shank

A golfer with the shanks is like a kid with a plate of broccoli – one miserable creature.

Unlike broccoli, however, the shanks have no nutritional value. In fact, they can be fatal to your passion for the game. As with any disease, understanding how youve contracted the shanks is the key to curing them.

While there are several possible causes, the most common is a laid-off club position at the top of the backswing. This means the club points left of the target (for a right-handed golfer) at its highest point. From here, the clubhead tracks a route to the ball from well inside the target line. If the golfer doesnt quickly rotate the arms and hands approaching impact, the clubs hosel meets the ball and shoots it sideways like a rocket.

Logic says there are two possible fixes: 1) Get your backswing on track, or 2) Rotate the club more quickly through the hitting zone. The first choice is much easier, and more reliable.

The laid-off position is usually rooted in a faulty takeaway. The shanking golfer pulls the club back well inside the target line, “flattening” his swing plane (i.e., making it more horizontal). At backswings end, the club points too far behind him, and he cant recover on the downswing.

Heres a very simple practice drill to get your takeaway squared away, which will lead to a more “upright” (vertical) swing plane and a proper path into the ball:

Using an iron that youve been shanking, place an object (headcover, golf ball sleeve) about 6” – 10” behind the ball and a couple of inches inside the target line.

Swing away from the ball without hitting the object. If your takeaway is too far inside, youll hit it.

Do the same thing coming down, missing the object to the target line side and hitting the ball.

Try some slow, short swings at first, then add length as you get used to it. On the course, simply picture the object in the same spot on each swing.

Its possible your shanks arent caused by a laid-off backswing. In that case, scroll down to find links leading to other common causes, and their cures.

Theres no single fix that covers every golfer with the shanks. But weve got em surrounded with tips addressing whatever specific ailment youve contracted. We wish you the best of luck:

Shank Golf Shot Drills: Introduction

Help Stop My Golf Shanks

Swing Upright to Cure the Shanks

Help with Shanked Chip Shots

Left-handed Golfers: How to Cure the Shanks

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Typically, this move gets golfers in trouble. Best-case scenario, it causes pushed or hooked shots. Worst-case, the golfer develops the shanks. Work on taking the club straight back from the ball for the first 6” – 10” of the swing to position yourself for success.

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Matt Kuchar aside, few good golfers swing on an extremely horizontal plane. While theres no single right, wrong or perfect plane, an overly flat swing is a leading cause of the shanks. Add some verticality to your motion if shanks are an issue.

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The simplest shank cause – standing too close to the ball. If you crowd it, your clubheads path will send the hosel crashing into the ball. Try stepping away an inch or so and see if it helps.