Clement: The Be-All and End-All Cure For Shanks

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I am sure you have seen a lot of videos on solid ball contact and the shanks. This one is different for sure, and it includes elements that are essential and have, by and large, been neglected in the past.

See how a couple of easy analogies, combined with a key setup component, will get you singing a much happier tune on the golf course.

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Shawn Clement is the Director of the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn Clement was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee and was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet with 65 K subscribers on YouTube and 29 millions hits.

7 COMMENTS

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  1. You certainly like to use ‘imagery’, like the football, for teaching. You include effective verbal and great demonstration modes too.
    My understanding is that ‘shanking’ is also due to inadequate ‘supination’ of the lead forearm and hand through final release and impact.
    I suppose there are other causes but when the club heel leads into the ball to me that means the closure rate is delayed, or, the ball is in the wrong position for solid impact.
    Your thoughts and thanks for your informative videos.

    • Old Gaffer – Inadequate supination actually just sets the golfer up for a slice because it does not change the relationship between the hosel and the ball. In order to shank, the hosel must be forced forward into the path of the ball somehow, or the ball forced into the path of the hosel. Supination, or lack of supination, cannot be the cause of a shank, except for rare instances of extreme supination of the forward arm (or pronation of the trailing arm, so I actually prefer to call it forearm rotation). If forearm rotation is extreme and shuts the face down, then in rare instances the angle may be enough to vector the ball off the club face and into the hosel.

      Instead we have to look at the cause of the hosel moving outward as it goes through impact, because these are the forces that actually cause a shank. In videos of my students during the process of a shank, I typically see one of two things. The swing center changes slightly outward, or the arms extend farther out than they were at set-up. Usually the cause is the former, and it is because the student doesn’t have good balance from heel to toe, and they put too much weight on their toes during the swing, thereby changing the swing center and putting the hosel into a path where it can impact the ball. Believe it or not, I have seen some of the most experienced teachers in the world not understand the physics of a shank. I don’t know why that is, but it is true. I won’t mention any names, but one of the top 5 in the world blames it on an over the top swing – outside in swing in one of his videos. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact an extreme inside out swing is much more likely to cause a shank because it puts the club face into an extreme closed position that once again can deflect and vector a ball into the hosel. Bottom line is this, somehow the hosel must move into the path of the ball during impact, forearm rotation, or lack of, does not do this.

      Hope that helps.

        • Dan Jones, PGA:– It did help somewhat and I have learned more about the mechanics of the shank from your reply. Btw, when anybody uses the word “vector” or “physics”, I suspect I’m communicating with another engineer!
          – As I understand it from you, a shank can be (1) the face staying open and the hosel directly hitting the ball, and, more likely, (2) the face closing and then the ball is struck by the hosel or the ball is vectored off the club face into the hosel…. which sounds really ugly!
          – I suspected lack of lead arm supination plus losing my swing center towards my toes. I’m tall and my clubs are extended 1” and 2º upright so my Center of Pressure can wander. My ball shank direction was outwards, and occasionally inwards when I overcompensated for perceived lack of supination.
          – In my opinion, shank golfers are coming out of their hip rotation too quickly and go erect by extending their hip joints open. This changes the swing center and balance, and the arm will naturally extend up and out due to momentum conservation changes in reaction to the altered swing center.
          – I see this on others, and I have solved my shank problem long ago by controlling my CofP for balance, and also the position of club butt in final release going into impact, for parametric acceleration.
          – I believe shanking golfers resolve their problem by hitting on the toe, to avoid hosel impact. Perhaps that’s why club companies add mass to their SGI club designs in an attempt to design out common swing faults. The best solution is not at the club head; it’s with proper technical instruction backed up by swing instrument data.
          – I appreciate your detailed response based on your teaching experience. Thanks again.

        • t did help a lot and I have learned more about the mechanics of the shank from your reply. Btw, when anybody uses the word “vector” or “physics”, I suspect I’m communicating with another engineer!
          – As I understand it from you, a shank can be (1) the face staying open and the hosel directly hitting the ball, and, more likely, (2) the face closing and then the ball is struck by the hosel or the ball is vectored off the club face into the hosel…. which sounds really ugly!
          – I suspected lack of lead arm supination plus losing my swing center towards my toes. I’m tall and my clubs are extended 1” and 2º upright so my Center of Pressure can wander. My ball shank direction was outwards, and occasionally inwards when I overcompensated for perceived lack of supination.
          – In my opinion, shank golfers are coming out of their hip rotation too quickly and go erect by extending their hip joints open. This changes the swing center and balance, and the arm will naturally extend up and out due to momentum conservation changes in reaction to the altered swing center.
          – I see this on others, and I have solved my shank problem long ago by controlling my CofP for balance, and also the position of club butt in final release going into impact, for parametric acceleration.
          – I believe shanking golfers resolve their problem by hitting on the toe, to avoid hosel impact. Perhaps that’s why club companies add mass to their SGI club designs in an attempt to design out common swing faults. The best solution is not at the club head; it’s with proper technical instruction backed up by swing instrument data.
          – I appreciate your detailed response based on your teaching experience. Thanks again.

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