Curing shank by placing a tee next to the golf ball

by Paolo
(Richmond, VA)

I have played golf for about 10 years, and although I am no scratch golfer, I have been able to carve my way to a 10 handicap.

If I look back throughout my game improvement process, it is obvious that the chief obstacle is a nagging shanking of the ball that from time to time seem to creep up on my swing and haunt me for a while.

It happens more often on the driving range, to the point that I have stopped practicing for several months on end at times.

The shank on the golf course happens more seldom, but when it does it has devastating consequences on my score, as it undermines my confidence on the course.

On the driving range, I found out I can "cure" my shank by placing a tee a couple of inches next to the golf ball directly away from me. I guess it gives me a focal point and allows me to swing in plane instead of "throwing my hip" and causing me to hit the ball with the hosel of the club.

My question is: if I sense a possible shank coming on the golf course, or just to make sure I hit those long iron crisp, am I allowed to plant a tee in the ground next to the golf ball as I do at the driving range?

Thank you for your time.


To answer your question I am going to refer you to the USGA website. I found that Rule 14-3 should apply to this.

It says, "Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:

a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play." (USGA)

As far as the shanks, that is a good drill to use with the tee since its helps with a few causes of the shanks.

Through my teaching experience I have found that the shanks are more of a mental problem than physical. To hit a shank it is a matter of you missing by no more than an inch and a half.

Below is a picture I have borrowed from Brian Manzella to help show you the difference between the sweetspot and the spot a shank will occur.

shank golf

All it takes for someone to shank is a matter of thinking about it. If you think about it, more than likely you will shank it. It is similar to a situation where "you think don't hit it left" and sure enough you will hit it left.

I hope this answer helped and for more information be sure to look into the answer I provided for How to Cure the Shanks.

Please comment, if you have further questions.

All the Best,


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Jul 11, 2011
Bo add this:


You're welcome, let me know how everything works out for you.


Jun 17, 2011
Re: Bo's comment
by: Paolo

Hi Bo:
Thank you for your quick and efficient feedback to my query.
I was pretty sure I am not allowed to plant a tee on the ground next to the ball when I play a round, and I am glad you pointed me to the right rule.
I will have to work on that pressure point #3 and what really means to "feel the lag of the sweetspot rather than the hosel".
Best regards,

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Bo, I wanted to thank you for your help so far with my golf game. I wanted to let you know that I shot a 75 the other day in a tournament round, my best round ever. I had 32 total putts and NO 3 putts. I definitely couldn't have done that before. Thanks again and I'll be back in touch soon to get some more lessons lined up.


Bo I just wanted to tell you about another tournament I played in. I went out and played and shot a 75 which is one of my best rounds this year so I think everything is coming together. I've been making alot of birdies lately and just wanted to thank you for everything!

Adam Mikhalko

Hey Bo when I got back from camp I played really well I’m putting great and I’m hitting the ball well. Thank you for everything at camp.


Hey Bo!!! I have been playing my best in golf, mostly because of you!!! two days ago I shot an 80 in my club tourney and came in 3rd place.

Brandtley Taylor

I played in a tournament when I got back from camp and shot 76 and came in fourth. I feel much more confident on the course with my mental thoughts. I used the tips you wrote down on that sheet and they have helped me alot.

Freddy Weber