The most dreaded shot in golf is a shank! On tour, the word is forbidden – we would often substitute the word “shark” just to avoid saying it!
All shanks result from the hosel of the golf club striking the ball instead of the sweet spot. In essence, it means you are not swinging your club on plane.
The most common shank occurs on short wedge shots. In this case the golfers is usually taking less than a full swing, and does not have time to re-route the club as in a full swing motion.
Let’s first remember that 2 fundamentals take precedence before working on the plane. If you are making an off plane swing, it may likely be because you:
1.. -have an incorrect stance or aim
2. -have a faulty pivot motion
Assuming those two things are okay, then you should proceed with this drill. Clamp two flashlights on either end of a wooden dowel rod. Find a long line on the ground to simulate the target line.
As you make your swing, the two flashlights should alternate tracing the target line. If you are shanking, it’s likely your flashlight is veering offline in the backswing and downswing. In other words, the tilt of the clubshaft must always be pointing down at that target line. If your flashlight veers “inside” the target line, you are under plane.
On the downswing, if your flashlight veers outside the target line you are over plane. Either one can cause a shank! Practice SLOWLY indoors to get the feel for this. WARNING: swing the flashlight club slowly to avoid the flashlights and/or batteries flying off as projectiles!!