We get people all the time that ask us about shanking the ball and I know that is a real problem for a lot of people. I have even seen people when you say the word shank they would shank it. But let's talk about why you shank.
Why Golfers Shank It
There are really two ways that a person shanks a ball, the most common way is because people are trying to stay behind the ball or pull the handle of the club down to the ball, and when they do they create such an angle that they can only hit the ball right at the shank or neck of the club. That is really where 99% of all shanks come.
I have on occasion seen people who have the heel of the club coming at the ball and then they flip their hands and still catch the ball with the heel. But almost always it is pulling the heel of the club at the ball that causes the shank. The thing that I tell people is from the top of the swing you never want the feeling of pulling the heel down from that point. That just creates an angle and a glancing blow no matter what you do.
How to Stop Hitting Golf Shanks
From the top of the swing you should tuck your left elbow in so that you can square the back of your left hand to the ball. If you can square the back of your left hand to the ball then you can square the club to the ball. A lot of my Tour Players have felt for years, I know Curtis Strange was a good example, he felt that he tried to cover the ball with the toe of the club on the downswing, never the heel.
So any thought of working the toe of the club helps you to square the club. Any thought of working the back of the left hand, not the butt of the left hand, is correct, while if you work the butt of the left hand then the back of the left hand ends up pointing at the sky, the heel leads and there is your shank. You have to feel like the back of your left hand squares to the target; that will help square the club by working the toe to the ball, which is what helps to square the club. But you can never get out of the shanks until you learn from the top of the backswing to work the toe of the club not the heel of the club.