2 Reasons Why You Can’t Stop Shanking Chip Shots

By Todd Kolb
February 17, 2020

Always Shanking Chip Shots? You’re Probably Making One of These Common (and Completely Fixable) Chipping Mistakes.

No one really wants to talk about the shank. Most of us get chills just saying the word. But if we don’t face the reality of our shank shots, we can’t fix them. And that includes shanking chip shots.

You can find a lot of advice out there if you want to stop shanking the ball on a full swing. But those full swing golf shots aren’t the only places in your game where a hosel rocket can break your heart. It’s just as easy to shank a chip shot, and nothing is more frustrating than launching the golf ball away from a green that’s eight feet away from you.

If you struggle with shanking chip shots, I have some great tips to help you gain more confidence around the green. I’ll explain what causes a shank chip shot and highlight the two common mistakes that might be plaguing your game. More importantly, I’ll tell you how to fix these problems and give you a great drill to help you put these tips into practice.

Before you know it, you’ll get rid of those chipping yips and approach the green with confidence.

First things first.

What Does a Shanked Golf Shot Look Like?

Let me clarify what I mean when I talk about shanking your chip shot.

Shanking is when you hit the ball on the inside of your club. More specifically, you catch the ball on the hosel, back towards the heel of the club face. When you do this, the ball shoots straight off to the right (for a right-handed golfer).

What Causes a Shank Chip Shot?

So why exactly are you shanking chip shots? Why are you consistently making contact on the hosel instead of the sweet spot?

Odds are, you’re making one of two mistakes. When my students struggle with the shank, it’s almost always for one of the following reasons.  Learn these 2 golf tips and improve your short game in minutes!

Mistake #1: Incorrect Hand Position

The next time you take your setup for a chip shot, take a look at your hands. Are they too far forward, reaching toward the target?

When your hands are too far forward, you force the club to lean forward as well. This rotates the clubface open to the right (if you’re right-handed) and exposes the heel on the downswing. Inevitably, that heel is going to hit your golf ball and send it shooting off to the right.

Mistake #2: Incorrect Swing Motion

I see a lot of golfers shanking wedges because they drag the club head inside on the backswing. To put it another way, they work the clubhead back so it’s on the same plane as their body, instead of a swing path that is straight back and straight through.

The problem? Well, when you drag the golf club inside, you rotate the club head, once again exposing the heel. You have little chance of hitting the ball with good, solid contact.  It’s really tough to make good wedge shots with the heel of the golf club

How Do You Stop Shanking Chip Shots?

So now that you know what not to do, let me give you some advice for actively eradicating that pesky shank.

First, remember these two essential tips:

  1. Take your wedge setup with the club in a neutral position.
  2. Swing the club straight back and straight through. (Here are more tips for nailing your swing motion.)

You can practice these concepts easily using my favorite drill for chipping. All you need is two tees and an alignment rod.

The Drill

  1. Lay the alignment rod on the ground alongside your ball. The rod should be pointed at the target with the ball at the center of the rod.
  2. Place a tee at either end of the alignment rod.
  3. Remove the rod.
  4. Take your wedge setup, with the shaft in a neutral position, ball position middle to slightly back in your stance.
  5. Take some practice swings, focusing on swinging the club straight over the back tee on the backswing and straight through over the front tee.
  6. Finally, make your shot, and find yourself hitting it closer to the hole in no time

This drill helps you get the proper hand position and swing motion in your body to hit the ball. Practice it regularly, and I guarantee you’ll improve your ball striking and finally stop shanking chip shots . . .

. . . most of the time. After all, even the professional golfers still feel the pain of the shank.

You Stopped Shanking Chip Shots—Now What?

While shanking the golf ball may be one of the most heartbreaking challenges of chipping, it’s not the only issue golfers struggle with. To learn about other mistakes that could be plaguing your chips shots, check out this great advice.

We also invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below. Were these tips helpful? Do you have any questions or differences of opinion you’d like to share? What about your own tips? Have you discovered other methods of fixing this problem? Tell us all about it!

For more in-depth golf swing tips, visit us at GreatGolfTipsNow.com. This new video series is completely free and packed with detailed advice to help you play better golf!

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