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Catching shanks during your cycle? Here's what you should do

If you catch shanks during your rotation, don't panic.

Ed. Note: This version of Play Smart is published in partnership with XXIO.

Shanks are one of the most debilitating mistakes in golf. Even worse, they can appear without warning.

Anyone who has ever handled shanks knows how they can shake. Every other part of your game can work, but when the shanks are visible, it may feel like there's nothing you can do to get rid of them.

Catching shanks on the list is one thing, but if he goes up in the middle of the round, there's nothing worse. Every club with an exposed hosel becomes your enemy and all you want to do is get off the golf course.

However, sometimes that doesn't happen. You have to complete your round whether you like it or not. And when times like this come, it's important to know how to fight shanks.

Check out the video below as instructor and XXIO ambassador Nathalie Sheehan shares tips on how to loosen shanks during your cycle.

The dreaded shank occurs when you expose the pipe of the club to the ball as you approach the impact. When this happens, the ball contacts the hosel and rockets from the right. If you want to fix the problem, you have to figure out how to get the claim back in the center of the clubface.

The feeling of two balls

The easiest way to correct this error is to imagine that you have two golf balls in front of you at address – one in your normal ball position and one outside the clubhead. Set as if you are going to hit the outside golf ball and take the club up. However, if you go down, hit the nearest ball to you.

“We're almost making that loop feel,” said Sheehan. “Often, for whatever reason, your hands and clubhead come out toward the golf ball too much in your swing … This is a great way to teach your hands to get a little closer to your body on the way down.”


Correcting the club's path during the downswing is key to treating shanks. You want to swing more on the outside than on the inside. To enhance this feeling, Sheehan suggests using his own “figure eight” drill.

Hold the stick in front of you with your arms outstretched, and with your wrists, draw the outside of the upper part of the eighth.

“That's the kind of loop feeling we need to feel during the downswing,” Sheehan said. “If you shake it, it might go a different way.”

When you set up on the ball, feel that same figure-eight through your wrists as you lower. If done correctly, it should improve your swing and help you get rid of shanks.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Before joining the GOLF team, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists in all disciplines and covers youth and women's golf. He can be reached at [email protected].

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