Path to Better: How to Fix the Shanks
There is no worse golf swing ailment than catching a case of the shanks. Understanding why the "dreaded 'S'-word" can creep up in your game is the first step to curing them, followed by quality time on the practice tee.
What is a shank?
A shank is when a golf ball is hit off the hosel of your golf club, or the lower-most extension of the club shaft. There is little to no impact on the actual clubface, and the ball often shoots off to the right (or left, depending on your dominant hand).
Here I am demonstrating this position. No, this wasn't on purpose.
If you look closely, you can see both the dreaded impact position described above and my dreams of a pleasant day at the driving range shatter. You can also see an overall horrible spine angle, crippling posture, and horrific basketball shorts.
What causes the shank?
95 percent of the time the shanks are caused by your hands moving away from your body. In my case above, my balance shifted toward my toes (among other postural issues). A backswing on an extreme inside path can also eventually lead to poor downswing transition that results in a shank (see Zach Allen's video below).
Moral of the story: the club is moving perpendicular to the target line. That's bad. Real bad.
Never fear. They can be fixed.
How do you fix the shanks?
There are a multitude of drills from some of the best golf instructors in the world available on YouTube. Any of them can help cure your shank ailment, but here are some of the best drills I've found.
(Note: All of these videos give different takes on the same concept. This reinforces the point that the root cause of the shanks is almost always the same!)
The David Leadbetter Drill --
Mark Crossfield Drill --
Zach Allen's Explaination of 3 Types of Shanks and Drill --