Golf Slice and Shank Tips

A golfer hitting a pitch shot

First of all: What is a “Golf Slice and a Golf Shank”?

A golf slice is a specific left-to-right velocity shape for a golf ball created by a significant tilt or misalignment of the spin-axis of the golf ball to the right Also known as a clockwise spin (for right handed golfers). This is opposite for lefties. A slice usually ends up right of the target line, and the term is often used when the curve in the trajectory is extreme and unintentional. The less extreme version of a slice is called a “fade”.

A golf shank is where a golfer accidentally miss-hits the ball with the club face. Other terms for miss hits are: Topping, Bladding, Dubbed, Whiffing and Fat shot. These faults are usually caused by only a few things such as:

– The golfer not keeping their head down during the golf swing.
– The golfer standing too near to or too far from the golf ball.
– The golfer clutching the golf club too tightly or too loosely.
– The golfer using incorrect swing dynamics.

What Causes a Golf Slice & a Golf Shank?

In order to hit the ball squarely and straight in every single shot, you have to return to the original spot at impact. A “Slice” is made by the club face striking the ball while being slightly open at the point of impact, resulting in the ball spinning off to the right, (right handed golfer). Usually your swing path is correct, it’s just you are not striking the ball squarely at the point of impact. This is usually caused by a “Weak Grip”.

How to Cure a Golf Slice and a Golf Shank

Two main ways to cure your slice:

i) Make sure your arms don’t come “over the top”. This problem happens when your arms follow the outside track, rather than the inside track in the down swing. This problem causes your arms to cut across your body and in turn results in the ball flying out when the club move at a slightly diagonal instead of straight strike, hence a slice.

ii) This time it’s you feet. Be sure your feet are square to the ball and the target. Spread legs and feet will also increase the possibility of a slice. Maintaining you feet in a square position prevents movements in your feet and legs and will help bring more power, balance and better posture into your swing.

A shank is when a golfer strikes the ball with the heel of the club.

In order to prevent this place a basket or a headcover just beyond or outside the toe of the golf club. Avoiding shanks can sometimes be more of a mental exercise than a physical one. Every golfer out there hits shanks now and then. And trust me, nobody likes them. Some golfers have even hit so many they have thought about giving up the clubs altogether.

Golf instructors and pros can sometimes give you a whole litany of tips on swings and drills to fix the problem of shanking, but few people know you only need to do one thing; grove a swing that misses the heel of the club. Set a soft object just outside the ball and start striking tees. Being sure to miss the basket or whatever object you’re using as a guide. Give most of your priority to this.

As you get better at this, start to use a golf ball and every time you miss the basket it is impossible to shank the ball. After a while you will get the feel for a perfect swing without shanking. Keep this in mind when on the proper golf course and you will almost always have a shank free swing.

If you’d like to go a little more indepth on fixing your shank, we’ve got a really useful article that you can find here.

Good luck out there!