What is a shank - well only one of the most feared words in golf.

What is a shank? Well it’s probably What is a shank in golf?. It is the equivalent of what the play Macbeth is to some actors, a name that some ‘in the business‘ just cannot bear to say out loud.

The only word which probably can strike equal fear into golfers is the yips.

A shank is, well, frankly a terrible miss-hit when the ball is not actually hit by the clubface. It manifests itself normally a shot which scuttles off almost at right angles to the intended target

What is shank caused by? Well the simple answer is that is it caused by then hosel of the club making contact with the ball rather than the clubface.

The hosel is the part of the club that joins the clubface to the shaft. This part of the club used to be called the shank, hence why shanked shots are so called.

As in a shank, the ball appears to slice off to the right of the intended target for a right-handed golfer it is sometimes confused with a slice. But it is not a slice.

A slice comes off the clubface. A shank comes off the hosel. Very simply, if you shank a shot then you have hit the ball with the wrong part of the club.

If you have this affliction and wish to eradicate it, see how Peter Finch set about doing exactly this with one of his pupils; or read Golf Monthly top 25 coach Barney Puttick’s cures for a shank.

Once a golfer has one shank in a round, more may follow, especially if the golfer loses confidence. This confidence aspect means that many wrongly equate having the shanks to having a case of the yips.

But a shank is much simpler to understand and cure than the yips. A shank is caused by a fault in the swing.