Why do I shank my wedge shots?

Almost all golfers at some point have felt the frustration of wasting a perfect drive by then shanking an iron shot into the trees or the water.

One shank can sometimes be enough to make you so paranoid that you’ve then shanked the next four chips around the green.

The root cause golfers hit shanks more often with their wedges than other clubs is the steep, out-to-in club path it takes to use wedges properly. Additionally, the clubface has to be open to get the ball to fly high and straight. This combination places the hosel of the club in dangerously close proximity to the ball. If you have problems with longer irons as well, read this shanking article.

Over the years I have given lessons to many players suffering with the shanks. It’s a debilitating fault that either stems from an ‘over the top’ motion where the clubface moves from outside to inside the target line through impact, or an angle of attack that comes too far from the inside.

Either way, the heel is presented to the ball first, and a shank is the result. To cure this, I’ve found this drill most effective: place two balls next to each other, address the furthest one from you, but hit the one nearest to you.

This drill will retrain the way you deliver the club through impact; you should start to develop a much more neutral swing path that allows you to strike the ball from the correct part of the face.

Read more golf swing tips

The shanks can be the most frustrating fault in the game, but with this drill and some dedicated time, you should be able to eradicate them.

Another drill

Try putting three tees approximately one-eighth-inch to a quarter-inch beyond the toe of your club. Then, when swinging, be sure to miss these tees. Avoiding the tees will prevent you from extending so much that you hit the ball with the hosel.