How to Prevent the Shank Golf Shot

How to Prevent the Shank Golf Shot

The dreaded shank is a shot no one ever wants to experience during a round of golf.

It’s a shot that has assumed many different names over the years, such as the ‘hosel rocket,’ the ‘Davie Crockett,’ and the ‘socket.’

Regardless of what we call it, it’s a shot that is struck off the hosel, resulting in a ball that flies off at right angles to the intended target and leaves your playing partners diving for cover.

We’ve all experienced it.

Everything is going smoothly and out of nowhere - BOOM...Sh-sh-shank!

Some people don’t even like hearing the word because it starts to stir negative thoughts and emotions.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I doing in my swing that is causing this shot”?

If so, this blog post and video below is for you.

Mitchell had a similar question and he emailed to ask:

Hi Sean, every now and again I go through a case of the shanks.  I have absolutely no idea what might be causing them, or what I can do to avoid them.  Can you please help me out?

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How to Grip a Golf Club

How to Grip a Golf Club

Have you ever wondered how to grip a golf club?

If you watch the pros on television, you’ve likely noticed that all of them have different golf grips.

So, is there a “right” or “wrong” way to grip the club?

AJ had a similar question after watching a golf telecast:

Hi Sean, I was watching the PGA Tour on television this weekend and the commentators were talking about a strong, weak, and neutral grip.  Could you please explain the differences between these three grips and suggest which one you think is best?

Strong Golf Grip

The first grip we’ll talk about is a strong grip.  (right-handed golfer)

When we hear commentators on TV talking about a strong grip, they are typically referring to how a golfer places their left hand on the club (i.e. a strong left hand grip).

When you look at your left hand, you will see a "v", which is created between the index finger and thumb.

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The Truth About the Left Arm in Golf Swing

The Truth About the Left Arm in Golf Swing

Are you one of the many golfers who worry about whether or not they should try to keep their left arm in golf swing straight?

Have you read golf magazine articles saying that all pros keep their left arm straight, and that this is the key to hitting it longer and straighter?

Miles read something similar to this as well, and wrote to us asking:

I'm fairly new to playing golf, but I have heard that I need to keep my left arm straight and that it will help me hit better shots.  Is there any truth to this - and if so - what can I do?

The answer to this question, Miles, is that it depends on the golfer.

The range of motion in your Thoracic Spine (T-spine or upper back), in almost every case, will determine how straight you can keep your left arm or how much you’ll have to bend it (for a right-handed golfer) to make a complete backswing.

For me, I do like to see golfers keep the left arm fairly straight.

I don't want it locked, but I only want this position if the golfer’s range of motion can support it.

One of the main reasons why some people are able to keep their left arm straight is because they have great range of motion in their T-Spine.

I’ve had students come to me who’ve read an article telling them that they must keep their left arm straight.

They come for a lesson, begin making a few swings, and then ask me if they were keeping their left arm straight during their swing.

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Two Senior Golf Swing Tips

Two Senior Golf Swing Tips

Are you retired and feel like you no longer have the flexibility to produce the correct golf swing?

If you are you looking for ways to increase your range of motion this is going to be helpful.

Charles wrote into us and asked a similar question:

Hi Sean, my name is Charles. I am retired and I just don't have the same flexibility - particularly in my hips - that I used to have.  Is there any way for me to improve my range of motion?

There are a couple of things I look for when assessing range of motion in the hip area - especially for senior golfers.

First, a common problem I see it that their stance is too wide. I find that when I ask my students to narrow their stance, this helps to increase the range of motion.

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How to Fix a Slice Using Ball Flight Laws

How to Fix a Slice Using Ball Flight Laws

It’s a Saturday morning, and you’re playing in your club’s weekend game or with a group of friends.

You tee off on the first hole, starting your drive down the middle of the fairway; however, the ball curves right into the rough or trees.

On the next hole, your ball again starts down the middle of the fairway, but curves too far to the right.

By now, one of your friends has probably mentioned that your “club face is open.”

But you’re probably wondering: if the ball starts where you want it to, and then curves right, is the club face really the issue?

Jay recently had this same problem: 

I'm struggling a lot with a slice. Typically, my drives start down the middle of the fairway, then slice into the trees on the right-hand side.  My experience is the same with my irons.  Ideally I would love to hit the ball straighter; do you have any ways to correct this?

Before we get into techniques and ways for you to reduce a slice, the first thing I want you to focus on is actually where you are striking the ball on the face.

A prominent factor that I see with some of my students is that they are striking the ball out of the heel and this is a contributing to the amount of curve they are experiencing on their shots.

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Course Management with Tee Box Strategy

Course Management with Tee Box Strategy

The correct tee box strategy can make the difference between hitting a ball in a pond versus hitting onto the fairway.

Here is a scenario we have all experienced: when you step on to the tee box, you see a large pond - or out of bounds (“OB”) stakes - down the right side of the fairway.

You’re thinking, “I definitely don’t want to hit it in there.”

So, where do you tee the ball up to increase your chances of missing the pond or OB stakes?

Phil had this same question when he wrote:

Hey Sean, is there a specific area or spot in between the tee markers I should tee up my golf ball? Should the presence of hazards or trouble influence my decision?

Tee Box Strategy: Number One Factor

The number one factor when deciding where to tee off in between the markers will depend on what shot shape you naturally have,  or the shot shape that you are trying to create.

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How to Hit a Fade in Golf like a Pro

How to Hit a Fade in Golf like a Pro

Did you know that if you execute a fade correctly, it will go just as far as a draw?

Are you having trouble hitting a fade? Are you looking for a more consistent technique?

Recently, Ryan was having difficulty with hitting a fade and wrote:

Hey Sean, I’m having trouble hitting a fade. Typically, my ball always slices when I attempt to do this. Do you have any techniques that will help me improve my consistency?

There’s a way for you to learn how to hit a fade in 3 simple steps. I want to tell you about it, so read on...

 First Step

I would like you to picture a clock face. The target or flag is going to be twelve o’clock. This is where we want to ball to finish.

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How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball

How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball

Have you ever topped a golf ball and watched it skid off the tee box or along the fairway?

Have any of your friends chirped in and said,  “You lifted your head - you need to keep your head down”?

If someone tells you to keep your head down you should run for the hills!

This tip has been around for what seems like forever; you hear people say it all the time: “Keep your head down, you’re lifting your head.”

Sam knows what I’m talking about too because his friends had the same advice. He asks:

Hey Sean, I’m having some serious trouble topping the ball.  My friends tell me that I need to keep my head down.  Is keeping my head down the correct thing to do in order to solve this problem?

Sam, keeping your head down is probably one of the worst things you can do in the golf swing.

Annika Has Done Alright...

Think about one of the greatest women's golfers of all time, Annika Sorenstam.  

She was a person who rotated her head and swiveled it with the shot.

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Mastering the Downhill Lie Golf Shot

Mastering the Downhill Lie Golf Shot

Do you find that you catch shots heavy when you have a downhill lie golf shot?

Are you looking for a consistent technique to help you fix this?

I’m sure you’ve been there before; I think we all have.  Here’s the scenario:

You absolutely crush a drive on your tee shot - hitting it down the middle of the fairway.

You’re thinking you’re in good shape - only when you get up to your ball, you find it on a steep downhill lie.

The good news is that your ball is in the fairway; the bad news is that you're not really sure what’s going to happen when you hit the shot.

Cody had a similar problem at a course he plays regularly. He asked, 

I play a course with a lot of hills and slopes, and I have trouble with the downhill lies. I have a tendency to catch them heavy.  Do you have any techniques that can help me catch the ball first?

What I’d like you to remember is this: when hitting a downhill lie golf shot, one of the most important parts of the golf swing is knowing where your weight is in your golf swing.

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How to Break 100 in Golf the Smart Way

How to Break 100 in Golf the Smart Way

Have you ever thought about what part of your game could help you break 100 in golf?

What if I told you it’s a lot easier than you might think?

More importantly, what if I told you it doesn’t involve hitting three hundred yard drives?

Leo wrote in and asked a very similar question:

I’ve been playing golf for a few years now and I have still not broken 100.  Do you have any tips or information from your experience that could help me achieve my goal?

There are many different aspects of the game that you can work on to help you break 100, but the main thing I feel you should be focusing on the most is improving your speed - or distance control -  putting.

Do this to help you break 100 in golf…..

The part of your game I’d like you to stay focused on is the speed (or distance control) of your putts.

I play with a lot of amateurs in pro ams who throw away numerous strokes on the green.

What you don’t want to be doing is leaving putts five to six feet short of the hole, or hammering them five or six feet past the hole.

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Driving Range Tips You Can't Practice Without

Driving Range Tips You Can't Practice Without

You’ve been there before - I think we all have.

You hit the golf ball great on the driving range, but when you go to the golf course, it’s the complete opposite - just terrible.

Why is that?

Troy asked the same question when he wrote, “When I go to the driving range I hit the ball great; but when I go to the golf course, I really struggle to repeat what I was doing on the driving range.  Do you have any driving range tips that will help me take my practice from the range to the golf course?

Before I share a few driving range tips with you, I would like to bring to your attention the importance of practicing on the range as if you are on a golf course.

Driving Range Tips #1

There is a simple thing I would like you to do with an alignment rod that will help.

First, set the alignment rod down, aiming it slightly left of the target (this will change based on the shot shape you are trying to hit).  

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How to Hit a Draw in 3 Simple Steps

How to Hit a Draw in 3 Simple Steps

There’s a way for you to learn how to hit a draw in 3 simple steps.

I want to tell you all about it, so read on...

Steve asked this same question about his game, and I think you can relate as well:

I struggle to hit a consistent draw, and a lot of the holes on my golf course are shaped right to left, which require a draw shot.  I try rolling my wrist at the bottom of my swing to hit the draw.  This leads to hooks and inconsistent shots.  How can I hit a consistent draw?

In order to get your draw more consistent, there are 3 things that you absolutely must do:

First Step

I would like you to picture a clock face. The target or flag is going to be twelve o’clock. This is where we want to ball to finish.

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How to Break 90 in Golf the EASY Way

How to Break 90 in Golf the EASY Way

How would you like to learn about one part of your golf game that you should be working on to learn how to break 90 in golf?

….and, what if I told you all it took was just “one” golf club.

Keep reading.

That is the very question TJ had about his golf game.  He asked,

I have been trying to break 90 for a while now and I feel my wedge game is letting me down.  Do you have any techniques or suggestions to help me improve from 100 yards and in?

The one thing I would like to share with you today in helping you break 90, is the importance of knowing how far you hit each wedge.

Let me explain… For me, if I have my 54 degree wedge, I know that if I put my full swing (100%) on it, the ball will go 100 yards.

For you, it might be a pitching wedge that goes 100 yards, but whatever club it is the important thing is that you know how far it goes when you hit it at 100 percent.

So, in order to become a better player with your pitching wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge you MUST know how far your full (100%) shots go when you hit them.

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