Don't fear the shank, just eliminate it from your game

By Tyrus YorkAugust 22, 2012, 1:30 pm

The shank can lead to some miserable experiences on the golf course. But if you know what causes them and are comfortable enough to fix it, you’ll have nothing to fear.

The shank (by my definition for the sake of this article) is when the ball contacts the hosel of the club. The most often result is a low, quick shot well right of the target (for a right-hander).  You can shank any club in the bag, but most often it happens with shorter clubs, especially wedges.

I was watching the seconnd round of the LPGA’s Safeway Classic when I happened to witness one of the tour’s young star players get a case of the shanks. On the 17th hole, Lexi Thompson hit not one but two “lateral” shots (as some call it) with her wedge as she was trying to get on the green.

At the time Lexi was hovering around the cut line, but she quickly saw hope fade away as she would go on to make an 8 on the par 4.

Lexi isn’t alone when it comes to the best players in the world falling victim to the shank, but as I watched her struggle, I saw a lesson to be learned.

Most shanks can be contributed to a temporary lack of focus, but there are some fundamentals and swing keys, if incorrect, that can make the margin of error very slim.


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The first step to safeguarding yourself from the shank is to check and double check your set-up fundamentals. The easiest test for this is to check your balance. If your balance is in your toes or heels it is very easy for the club to move outside the ball during the swing. So make sure your weight is balanced on the balls of your feet and you should be good to go.

Standing the correct distance from the ball is another very important factor when eliminating the shank. Get too close to the ball and the danger level is going to be high. Get the correct distance by making practice swings and pay attention to where the club hits the ground. If you can hit the same spot over and over, you have likely found a good distance from the ball.

So let’s say you have a perfect set-up, but you still hit the shank. As was Lexi’s case, this can happen when your arms swing away from your body and become disconnected through impact. This is usually caused from a lack of upper body rotation.

To fix it, try this simple drill: Place a towel across your chest under both arms. Using a wedge, make half swings focusing on using your chest to swing the club. The towel should stay under your arms from start to finish. When you get comfortable hitting the ground in the same spot over and over, try it with a ball.

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.