How to Stop Shanking (Golf Swing Fix)

Shanking in golf is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a golf player. But how to stop shanking in golf?

The best way to stop shanking in golf is to check your setup to make sure your body is aligned for the perfect shot.

For example, grip the club less tightly, shift the weight from your toes, avoid flying elbow, etc. You can also use a golf spray and a golf barrier.

Let us help you with a few tips, you can deal with it and make your golf more enjoyable.

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

What is shanking in golf?

A mishit shot is referred to as a golf shank. When you hit the golf ball and it ends up 90-degrees away from the sideways or the intended target line. Golf shank occurs when the ball hits the club hosel instead of the face. As a result, the hosel sends the ball right along a fraction of the distance it is supposed to travel.

Put differently, golf shanks occur when the club impacts the ball at the wrong spot. When you play golf, the ball is supposed to hit the sweet spot or the club’s central area. However, instead of this, it hits the hosel, the place where the clubface connects with the shaft.

As expected, golf shanks ultimately affect your final scoring. However, it is the damage to your gameplay and reputation that you should really be worried about. This is why most golfers dread shanks and never want to be associated with the word.

There are different types of shank shots depending on the player. For example, the ball can completely miss the clubface and hit the hosel’s rounded part. This then unpredictably shoots the ball in any direction. Apart from this, shank shots by a right-handed golfer will make the ball travel sharply to the right side at a low speed.

So, yes, shank shots happen occasionally in golf and can ruin a great sport. Not only this, but it happens to amateur golfers and professionals. But if you understand the why, you can avoid it or better deal with the aftermath.

What causes golf shanks?

Golfer’s proximity to the ball

One of the commonest reasons for shank shots is when the golfer stands too close to the ball, puts too much weight on the toes and heels, or stands too tall over the ball.

  • Standing too close to the ball: When you stand too close to the golf ball, there is little room to move the golf club away from the ball. As a result, there is a higher chance of hitting the ball with the hosel instead of the clubface.
  • Putting too much weight on the toes: An unbalanced golfer puts too much weight on the toes. Unfortunately, it brings you closer to the ball since downswings transfer weight from your heels to your toes. When your weight is on the toes, you will lose balance when you swing.
  • Putting too much weight on the heels: too much weight on the heels in a stance forces you to lean back. But when a downswing occurs, the weight naturally shifts forward and brings you closer to the ball. Not just you, but it also brings your golf club closer to the ball; hence, increases the chances of hitting the ball with the hosel and not the club’s face.
  • Standing too tall over the ball: standing tall over the ball also has a similar effect as it affects the weight distribution to the toes. In essence, you tend to lean closer to the club and this ultimately brings you closer to the ball.

Holding the club too tightly

We understand you don’t want to let go of the golf club. However, holding the club too tightly affects your wrist movements.

You need to loosen up your wrist a bit to allow flexible movements on your swings. Plus, your arms should not be too tight so that you don’t rigidly hold the golf club. When this happens, it increases the chances of a shank shot.

Swinging your elbows and arms from your body

When your elbow sticks out too much after a backswing, your swing becomes steep. Also referred to as a flying elbow, the downswing makes the club more vertical than it should be and causes a shank. Not only this but also pushing your arms from your body causes shank shots.

Leaning too close to the ball and target

When you lean too close to the ball, it affects your posture and pushes your swing arc closer to the ball.

Resource: How to Score in the 70’s Golf Training Plan

Tips and drills to fix shank shots

Check your setup

Like we explained, your posture significantly affects the quality of your shots. Hence, you need to check whether you are standing too close to the ball or not.

For example, you need to adjust your shoulders and feet to make them parallel to your swing line. Not only this, but you should shift weight from your toes before you swing the club.

You should also check the tensions in your arms as gripping the club too tightly won’t let you release the club as you should. For a drill, force the bottom hand to go over the top hand when you hit the ball.

Another way to avoid shank is to correct your swings when you notice that you are taking an inside-out swing or cutting across the ball.

Use a golf spray

An inexpensive way to reduce golf shanks is to is a powder spray for an athlete’s foot. Spraying the clubface leaves a white film that you can draw on and improve your shots.

After spraying, draw a line at the midway between the toe end of the club and the hosel, and the middle. You can also use a marker pen instead of the spray.

After hitting the ball, you can record where the club hits the ball to know where you are making an impact.

Use a golf barrier

Use a second ball as a barrier directly in front of the main ball with a small gap between them. Although both balls are close, you should try to hit only one of the balls

Hence, you must hit the main ball without touching the second ball. This will help you position yourself and get your timing right for a hit. Keep the distance between the balls significantly small to make this routine productive.

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The cure at a glance

  • Hang your hands in a natural way
  • Stand away from the golf ball and swing arc
  • Check the angle along your feet and shoulder to make them parallel with the line of swing.
  • Adjust your weight balance and transfer weight from your front foot and back foot.
  • Adjust your swing path and fix flying elbow
  • Loosen up your grip and flex your toes
  • Position your hit and get the distance right
  • Jot your impact spots

Mental thoughts to focus on to help fix it

Shank shorts are not a product of age, experience level, or club type. Instead, it happens to the best of us and amateurs. In essence, you don’t need to beat yourself up when it happens.


  • Relax and stay calm: anxiety, anger, frustration, and many more make a weak player out of the best. Reduce tension and swing away.
  • Visualize your shot: perfect your shots in your mind before you ever hold the club.
  • Keep your posture in check: manage your weight and adjust how you stand and swing.


Don’t let shank shots weigh you down. The secret is that it happens to everyone. View it as another hurdle you need to cross to stand in league with the best of the best. Happy golfing.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow

Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
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