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hitting it off the heel!!!

jim g

just out of nowhere I started hitting it off the heel, with every club in the bag... including more than a few sssshanks!!.... Ive tried standing farther away with no help.... feel like my weight is balanced well, over the balls of my feet... Im at a loss!!    I play to a 7 hdcp.... any advice or suggestion would be appreciated

12 Replies

  1. Connor I.

    Make sure your arms are fully extended at address because you could have your hands to close to your body and extending them on your way down. And you could try putting your weight more on the heels of your feet. Last thing you should try is setting up with the golf ball on the toe of your club at address. Hope this helps!



  2. Padraic S

    try standing more stable youre clubs might be a problem as well address the ball at the toe is another quick fix but you re best tip is to go to a local pga professional they will fix you up

  3. Tony C

    Another idea is choke up on the club. This way you don't mess around with you swing too much.

    Tony C.

  4. James f

    I also have trouble with this sometimes. I will go to the range and hit every club just fine and i pick up a 3 iron or even a wedge and every one is a hosel rocket. it usually happens when i try to hit a punch shot with a long iron. not sure why. it comes and goes too. one day it wont happen once and another day it will be every shot. I try o self diagnose it but i cant seem to figure it out.

  5. Lou G

    If you are setting up to the ball properly, it should appear that your nose and first knuckle of your right (for righties) line up.  arms should be extended slightly.  

    Also make sure your weight is balanced between the balls of your feet and heels.   Losing balance by falling forward is a cause of a shank and this happens by standing TOO FAR from the ball.

    Main problem is arms too close to the body and standing too close to the ball.

    One of the other teaching pros on (John Brott) mentioned to have an "athletically ready stance".  This is something we learned on the 'rasslin team in school.

    I've noticed a few have almost no knee flex and the arms appear to be tucked into the chest. 





  6. Curtis M

    "Tie your left shoe tighter, move everything to your left pocket, stick a tee behind your left ear, and turn your cap around backwards" - Romeo

  7. Keano26

    It's funny, because I had just begun to do that. My first month of the season was the best month of golf ever. Then for the whole month of May, I absolutely stunk. Couldn't hit anything. Hardly played. This past week, I began getting my swing back with my driver and long irons. Then, suddenly- Bam. Heel hits. Shanks. I've always been one to stand very close to the ball, and it worked for me for a long time. I just stood a little further from the ball, and put some bend in my knees (tried not to stand so straight up). Last thing I did was concentrated in keeping my spine angle and shoulders level throughout my swing. It's helped me. The shanks aren't 100% gone, but much more cleaner hits. But it's tough to give or even take tips on this forum because 1. We don't know your swing; and 2. What works for me may not work for you.

  8. Gale G

    Lots of good tips already.  Some of the best/most famous instructors talk as if there is just one cause for the shank.  "You hit it on the hossle really does not help.  Haney, Peltz and others suggest putting a row of tees or a board about an inch above your ball as you address it which creates a barrier that will prevent you from shanking---but you might hit the board!  But the board will help to ingrain in your mind where the target line really is since the board is parallel to the target line.  With most clubs you would not want the tip of your club going beyond the target line that is firmly implanted in your mind as you address the ball.  The club face will be closing as it approaches the target line, will be square to target at impact, will start closing to the inside after impact.  No chance for a shank exists if you can do this.

    Some things I learned that were causing my own shanking spells included having my shoulders open when I thought they were parallel to the target line as my feet were.  Not shifting weight to left (front) foot to begin down-swing which allows you to drop club into slot making the attack of ball from inside possible.  All causes of shanks have something to do with getting the clubhead a tad closer to the ball than you want, so that contact is made with hossle rather than the middle of clubface.  Bad sequencing that leads to the over-the-top first move down will have you fighting for your life to get the clubface square by impact and you can just as easily make contact with the heel, middle, or toe of the club.  Have someone make a simple video of you with the camera looking down the target line, or do it yourself with a camera, tri-pod, and timer.  Watch for anything that is getting closer to the ball than it was at address.  I mentioned the over-the-top move.  Also, look at what your back knee (right for right-handed) does.  If it does not move pretty much at your left or lead knee, it will move towards the ball, and that can easily be your problem.

    Lastly, we have all heard of the X-factor.  Lower body resists; upper body turns.  The more the upper body turns relative to the lack of turn in the lower body (hips), the greater your potential power.  Great, but if your right hip does not turn some going back, you have blocked out the space to which you would like to drop the club down into the slot. Put another way, you have moved the slot out towards the target line, and here again you have a shank making situation----something getting the clubhead out too far.

    Double check ball position, body alinement, posture (balance), sequencing of swing.  Last point, I promise. Keep your eyes level and parallel to target line which greatly improves the mind's ability to connect to the real target line.  Get that target line in your mind, get a fundamentally sound set-up, add the right sequence with some good rhythm and tempo---hey, do all that, and all of your shots will be just fine.  No shanks.     CP

  9. scott a

    This creeps into my game at the start of each season. For me, it means I'm not turning and finishing my swing.

    My swing thought for all irons is keep turning.


  10. Fred C

    Jim, it's a common issue, as you can see. Fortunately, the solution is easy. Your downswing is starting with your upper body (arms and shoulders) causing your hands to move away and crating an "over-the-top" swing path. this also happens a lot on punch shots as they are very arm dominate swings,  Work on starting down with your hips and feeling the arms and club lagging behind just a bit. Your swing will then return to the inside and your "hosel rockets" should disappear. Let me add, don't get in too big of a hurry to start down - give the "lag" time to form before you hit the ball. Too many people swing entirely too hard and start too quickly.

  11. Mike C

    Curtis M

    "Tie your left shoe tighter, move everything to your left pocket, stick a tee behind your left ear, and turn your cap around backwards" - Romeo

    I think Curtis has it figured out with his advice!!!  Finally, something that should work!!!

    In all seriousness, I think this is something everybody has gone through at one time or another.  If I start hitting balls like this in practice and I can't seem to correct it, I just walk away.  It usually has something to do with my setup that I just cannot diagnose myself at the time but is just a little tweak.  When I come back a day or two later with a fresh mind, the issue usually corrects itself.  If I every continue to have a swing issue after a break like this, I seek professional helps (i.e., PGA Professional, not the head kind, although I probably should at times).  Seems the more I try to think about it in these situations, the worse it becomes.

  12. Ken W

    Another problem I have found amateurs do that can cause the dreaded shanks is that the hips thrust forward on the downswing. That was my issue when I started shanking. So, I just started focusing on foot balance and ensuring my butt stayed back on the downswing.

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