The worst feeling shot in golf is a shank.
When you hit a shank, you will feel as though you have no control over the shots that you are hitting, and you will struggle to recover from a shot like this.
What makes a shank even worse is when it is close to the green, and the ball ends up even further from the hole than you were originally.
Shanking golf wedges happens quite quickly, and it can turn what looked like an easy par into a double bogey or worse.
Shanking golf wedges is a problem that you need a quick fix for.
If this happens once on the golf course, that is more than enough to affect your mindset and needs to be quickly worked out.
We have put together some reasons that a shank can happen and fixes for those reasons.
You should find a way to work this out based on the different options that we have listed here.
Why Do I Shank My Wedges? (Reasons, Fixes)
The most common reason that golfers shank the ball is that they are taking their club back incorrectly.
Those first few inches of your swing are significant.
When you take the club back, it is going to start on a path that will determine what the rest of the swing is like.
The takeaway is not challenging to figure out, but it must be figured out early on in your golf career if you want to be a great player.
When you shank the golf ball with your wedge, chances are you were taking the club back too far inside.
If the club comes back too far inside, the clubhead will open up quite a bit.
There is not enough time in the golf swing for the club to close back down and square up at impact.
Therefore, the takeaway needs to be fixed for solid wedge shots to be hit time after time.
Even though you are trying to hit a wedge shot with plenty of loft, you must ensure that your clubface stays square.
A golf wedge has a lot of loft to it already, so you don’t need to add more loft, and in trying to do so, you may end up causing a shank of some kind.
If you are struggling with your takeaway, there are some drills that you can work on to help fix the issue.
How To Fix
One of the ways that you can work on fixing your takeaway is to use a golf shaft alignment stick.
With a golf alignment stick, you can lay down some lines to know precisely what your lines are and what it looks like if you take the club back too far inside.
The first part of fixing the issue is going to be simply learning how to visualize it.
Another way we like to work on this is to think about keeping the clubface square for that first part of your takeaway.
If you think about the clubface being square, chances are you will not open the clubface up quite as much as you turn back towards your target.
The takeaway reason behind shanking a golf club will be a rather quick fix as long as you have the tools and knowledge to fix it.
2. Weight in Setup
If your weight in your setup is not properly balanced, you are going to struggle with shanking your wedges yet again.
The weight in the setup must be balanced evenly in the center of your feet.
When your weight is too far towards your toes, you can lose your balance, and you will make contact with the hosel of the wedge as opposed to the center of the club face.
Whether a full golf swing or a half swing, your weight must be in a good position before you take the club back.
The weight in your setup should be balanced from heel to toe and from side to side of your foot.
For many golfers, it can seem like an afterthought to worry about weight during a simple chip shot, but it is still quite significant.
Always make sure you feel steady, balanced, and supported before you take the club back.
If you are having a hard time trying to figure out where your weight is in your setup, then there are options that you can use to try and fix this issue.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to get yourself balanced and stable in your wedge stance setup.
How To Fix
One of the main culprits for golfers who are struggling to get their weight balanced in their wedge swing is that they are standing with their feet too far apart.
When you hit wedge shots, your stance should be very narrow.
It is much easier to take these smaller swings and more controlled shots when your stance is balanced and stable.
When your stance gets wider, and you are standing further from the ball, it opens a lot of room for things to go wrong.
The first step in eliminating this slice is to get your feet closer together.
In addition, you will want to make sure that your stance feels athletic.
Although you are going to stand close to the golf ball, you need to make sure that you are still flexing your knees and getting your posture in a great position.
Sometimes practicing with a balance ball or medicine ball can help you get your stance properly balanced before you swing your club.
Fixing the weight in your wedge shot setup is only going to help you fix your wedge game long term.
3. Club Face Angle At Setup
Many golfers struggle to get their clubface square at setup.
The reason behind this is that the idea of hitting a shot with a wedge is to get it up in the air.
Many golfers believe that the only way to do this is to open the club face up.
There are certain shots out there that require you to open the clubface, and it is important to learn those kinds of shots.
However, there are also shots that require just a square clubface and using the characteristics of the wedge to be able to hit impressive golf shots.
The club face angle at setup is often left too wide open by a large majority of high handicappers and beginners.
If you don’t have the ability to turn that club face over and square things up, you are going to struggle with hitting the wedge shot well.
Shanking a wedge shot is not something that you want to risk happening.
If you leave the club face of your wedge too wide open, you are absolutely going to risk shanking your wedge.
Instead, you need to learn how to accelerate through the shot and get it to stop on the green rather quickly.
If you can do this, you are not going to need that extra loft you were looking for when you opened the club face too wide to begin with.
How To Fix
To fix this issue with the club face being off at impact, you are going to need to learn what a square golf club face looks like.
A square club face is essential to ensure that you are going to be able to square the club face up as you swing through your shot.
To do this, it is a good idea to take a straight edge and put your clubface up against this edge.
The straight edge can be the divider between the hitting booths at the range or even a golf shaft alignment stick.
The most important thing is that you have a straight line to hold the edge of your clubface against.
When you put the edge of the clubface on the straight edge, the end result will be a square starting point and hopefully a square impact.
Typically, once your brain gets an idea of what a square clubface is supposed to look like, you will not struggle with this open-faced shank shot again in the future.
4. Deceleration On Downswing
There are lots of different ways to get good at chipping.
If you watch the golfers on the PGA Tour, you will notice that they are chipping and pitching the ball in a variety of ways.
There is really no right way to do this.
However, there are some major mistakes that you can make when you hit chip shots, and one of those is deceleration.
Deceleration on the downswing is something that players do because they are trying to control the distance of the golf shot they are hitting.
Golfers will take a very large swing, and then as they come into the impact position, they slow the club head down and try to change the distance the shot is hit by doing this.
The deceleration on the downswing causes problems in that the club face does not properly square up to the target.
When you decelerate your golf swing, the clubface opens up a lot, and it can cause a shank but also hitting thin or fat shots.
The deceleration is a problem for players not just in the short game but throughout the entire game.
You will see this happen a lot in the bunkers when players get a little nervous about the sand, and what ends up happening is the shot stays in the sand.
Aside from simply focusing on continuing to accelerate through your shots, there are a few ways that you can practice this concept.
How To Fix
One of the best ways to learn how to work on accelerating through your golf shots is to ensure that you take a short backswing and a longer follow through.
When you get up close to the green, get the idea out of your head of hitting full swing golf shots.
Instead, focus on more compact swings.
A great drill to practice this is to go to the range and take a ¼ backswing, ½ backswing, ¾ backswing, and then a full swing.
See what the differences are in distances and realize the importance of accelerating through each of these shots.
You will quickly learn that acceleration is a key factor regardless of the size of the swing that you take.
If you are not careful to continually be moving the club forward and towards the target, you can expect to have some very poor results.
Try to hit ten shots that are small shots around the green but have very high and full finishes.
If you can get the concept down, chances are you will be able to repeat it for years to come.
Most golfers will not make this mistake again once they realize how to fix it and what it takes to become great at accelerating through their golf shots.
5. Too Much Hand Action
Chipping and pitching with wedges should be similar to a miniature version of your full golf swing.
If you are smart about how you chip and pitch, you should not have to relearn the golf swing or any new techniques in order to get this done.
However, when golfers try to reinvent the wheel and develop some new techniques in their short game, you may incorporate more hand action than necessary.
This extra hand action ends up causing the club face to open up, and sometimes this is not happening at the right time.
Some golfers forget that even though you are close to the green, your body needs to be incorporated into your chip shots.
If you happen to swing the club with just your arms and wrists, you will probably have a hard time being consistent and the occasional shank shot can come into play.
Hand action is something that lower handicap players will try and use to improve their game, but this takes a lot of practice and consistency.
If you are not able to do this consistently, you will end up having a hard time becoming proficient with your wedges.
Too much hand action in a golf swing is easy to fix, but it can creep back into your game quite easily.
You will have to practice a bit to ensure that you keep your hands in control and in a great place throughout your entire swing.
How To Fix
One of the best drills to practice incorporating your body into your wedge shots a bit more is to use a certain headcover drill.
You will take two headcovers off of your fairway woods or hybrids and place these under your arms.
With a headcover under each arm, you will hold them in place as you take your chip shots.
When your arms are forced to hold the headcovers close to your body and in place during the chipping swing, you are going to be able to know you are swinging with your body as well.
Essentially, you can’t turn your body and incorporate your larger muscles when you are not feeling connected.
Therefore, one of the best ways to fix this is to practice with this drill and ensure that your body is working together as one unit.
The more you are able to practice this, the better chance you have of continuing it through the years and becoming great with your wedges again.
As soon as you take the club away and one of those headcovers falls down to the ground, you know that your hands are getting too active in the swing
6. Overactive Legs
Last but certainly not least, just as you can have issues with your full golf swing and overactive legs, the same can be said with your short game.
It is essential to use your legs in your swing when you are turning, but if your lower body turns through the golf ball too quickly, you are going to be left with a wide open club face.
This club face causes a shank.
One of the most challenging things to work on when you practice your golf game is timing.
Timing is ensuring that your lower and upper body are all working together to pull off superior golf shots.
If your timing is off, you will end up with shots that are short or long of your target and can go left and right of your target as well.
The problem that causes the shank is when your legs up quickly and leave the club trailing behind.
It’s good to have your body rotate through the target, but you need to make sure that your golf club is not lagging too far behind.
Overactive legs can usually be calmed down quite quickly, and this reason for a shank should be an easy one to fix.
How To Fix
If you happen to shank a wedge shot because your legs got too active, you will just have to learn what it feels like to get better timing.
The best possible way to work on this is to hit golf shots with your feet completely together.
When your feet are completely together, you are going to have a much easier time controlling the movements that your body makes.
The timing issue will almost entirely disappear, and you can learn how to get things working together again.
Once you have this feeling in place, it will be much easier to repeat it time after time.
Some golfers like the feeling of keeping their feet together so much that they actually use this on all of their chip and pitch shots moving forward.
We recommend practicing this concept anytime you start to struggle with your golf game.
Standing with feet together helps you learn how to balance and to practice what it feels like to swing as one connected unit.
Fixing the issue won’t take long if you have a drill like this that can focus you and help you center your thoughts again.
As you can see, there are many reasons you may shank your wedges, but most of them are going to have a very quick and simple fix.
Shanking your golf wedges does not mean that you are a poor golfer or that you can never become a good short game player.
In fact, most of the time, shanking a golf wedge is simply because one part of your swing is just slightly off.
This makes it much easier in your mind to fix the shank and eventually become a much better player.
Overall, the shank of a wedge is rare, and it can sometimes be fixed in a matter of a few minutes spent at the chipping green.
Try to record a video of your chipping game from time to time to better prevent these issues from happening in the future.