By Erika Larkin on 10/16/13
It almost feels like a sin to say the word, let alone write it, but let's face it we have all had a case of the "shanks" at one point or another along our golf journeys.
We usually associate the shanks with a horrible shot that goes dead right off in a low squirrelly sort of fashion. The late, great and renowned Harvey Penick called them "lateral shots". If you toe a shot bad enough it can be mistaken for a shank but a true shank actually happens from Inner Heel/Hosel contact with the ball. So there are two ways that I've seen this occur:
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she's oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
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Thanks for the tips. As an occasional sufferer of the lateral shot, I find the mental stress the worst. Once you hit one, suddenly areas on the course you never considered in play become a problem.
Agree! Even if you know how to fix one of these, the tough part is hitting another shot knowing what you just did.
Question - I went through a stage where I had the occasional shank of a pitch / chip shot - is this any different from a full swing shank in cause and cure?
Erika Larkin says:
It's no different but can easily happen if you're trying to open the clubface too much for a pitch shot which just increases the odds of the hosel hitting the ball with improper swing path.
I prefer the term "hosel rocket."
I am always so surprised when it happens..."What the hell did I do?"
Unfortunately once one happens, it seems the door is open and the thought of more sneaking in gets solidly in my head.
When it happens, I'm not so sure which is worse, the embarrassment or the maddening result.
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