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3 Skill Drills to Fix a Shank

The shank – just the word can send shivers down the spine of any golfer. It's that jarring, unexpected shot where the ball hits the hosel of the golf club and veers off at a sharp angle, (to the right for right-handed players).

The cause could be down to your setup or swing technique, and it's best to seek advice from a golf coach to determine this, but sometimes it's just a matter of honing your skill and coordination. After all, consistently hitting the middle of the club face is a skill in itself. Let's explore three straightforward drills to help shift your strike away from the heel/hosel of the club.

1. Obstacle Avoidance Drill

Objective: Redirect your focus and strike point.

  • How to Execute:

  • Place an object like a box, bottle, or tee just outside the toe side of the ball you intend to hit.

  • The goal is simple: hit your ball without touching the obstacle.

This drill leverages the power of mental focus. By aiming to miss the obstacle, you naturally adjust your swing to avoid the heel strike. It’s a mental trick that shifts your focus from the ball to the space around it, often leading to a cleaner, centred strike.

2. Address the Ball, Miss the Ball

Objective: Dramatically alter where the club moves through impact

  • How to Execute:

  • Address the ball as you normally would.

  • Make a full swing but intentionally miss the ball on the inside (closer to your feet).

The essence of this drill is in the exaggeration. By intentionally swinging inside and missing the ball, you're training your body to avoid the outer area where shanks typically occur. This exaggeration can recalibrate your swing path, making a centre-face strike more achievable when you hit the ball.

3. Consciously Hit Out of the Toe

Objective: Use targeted practice to find the centre.

  • How to Execute:

  • Apply foot spray or a similar substance on the face of your club to get clear feedback on where you're striking the ball.

  • During practice, consciously aim to hit the ball with the toe of the club.

It might sound counterintuitive, but by trying to hit the toe, you're likely to move your strike point away from the heel. The immediate feedback from the foot spray will show you where your actual contact point is, allowing for quick adjustments. Repetition is key here; the more you practise, the more your strike point will centralise.

Give these drills a go if you're struggling with a shank, or heel strikes. It's important to remember that it could be a set-up or technique issue as well. We would always recommend getting regular coaching to help diagnose and fix your striking issues.

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