What causes a shank in golf?

If you played golf, you have probably shot a shank shot in your life. We are digging deep to discover a shank is, what causes a shank in golf and how it can be fixed.


So, let’s start with the first and foremost. What is a shank? If you hit the golf ball with the heel of the club instead of the face of it, it is called a shank. It is one of the shots that no one wants to hit but it still happens. For example, if you use your right hand, the ball will fly to your right after hitting it with the hosel. Similarly, a left-handed person will see it fading toward their left side.

Why does shank happen?

golf club and ball on grass, What causes a shank in golfIt has several reasons for the shank to happen. Basically, you do not contact the ball with the clubface but instead, it hits with a rounded object. But why?

The most likely reason is that your posture. Your swing might lean you toward the ball and it causes the hosel part (or the heel part) hitting the ball instead of the clubface.

Apart from how you stand, your forearms might be in a way that the club does not rotate through the ball, so the clubface is open, resulting in bypassing the impact zone. This, of course, leads to a shank.

However, any shank can be prevented no matter the reason is. Here are a few tips on how to fix shanks and hit golf balls as great as possible.

How to stop the shanks?

You should think of it step by step. The first step is that you should not be panicking. It happens to everyone. Even some professional golfers, under lots of pressure, has such an issue from time to time. So, if it happens to you, you had better not take it personally.

In order to prevent it later, you should have this checklist that we are going to detail.


right and wrong golfing postureFirst, you should be checking your position and the distance between you and the ball. If you are too far from the ball, your swing will shift and it will cause a shank. In a similar fashion, if you are too close, the spine angle will be loose and resulting in a shank. To solve this posture problem, you need to think of yourself as a weightlifter. Widen shoulders as wide as possible and give your weight to keep your stance. Later on, you should get your arms down in a way that a handbreadth should be between your thigh and the club’s top end.

This is how the perfect posture is.

Erratic Grip

After a good stance, you still might shank. The next thing you should fix is your grip. People sometimes apply insufficient grip on the golf club and this causes bigger issues. For example, if your grip is too light, the club will move in your hand while swinging. So, you need to solve this problem, as well. There is an easy solution to that. You can pluck some grass and put it between your thumb and the butt of the club. A grass or paper would do the job. When you swing the club, it should not fall down from where it originally is.

Swing path

This probably is the hardest to overcome to prevent shanks. One of the first things you will learn about hitting a golf ball is the ideal swing path which is the inside to outside. Yet, most players still shoot outside to inside because it is easier like that. If you do that, you, unfortunately, shank it.

However, there are solutions. The easiest way to solve it is that you need to take a tee and place it right before the ball and try to miss the tee on the inside. Yes, it is still a complicated process but once you learn it, you will not hit a shank because of this reason anymore. It only takes a bit of drilling.

Do not slide toward the ball

Lastly, your hips may be the cause of your problem. If you move even a bit while swinging your club, it probably ends up with a shank.

There is an easy solution to that. Put your golf bag next to your left if you are right-handed (your right if you are left-handed). When you swing, your hips meet up with your bag and then you need to turn your lower body toward the bag. You should note that your bag should not fall. Otherwise, you need to work on how to maintain your stance.


The first thing that is worth knowing is that shanks happen. They will keep happening. Now you know what causes a shank in golf you can try to minimize their numbers as much as possible and follow our drills.

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