How to Cure the Shanks

by Dillon Shoe
(Trinity, North Carolina)

Hey Bo, I've spent a lot of time on your site and wanted to compliment you on the professionalism it exhibits.

I'm a scratch golfer but lately I have developed a case of the shanks. I don't know if I'm thinking too much or simply lost my swing.

I was wondering if you had any tips or drills to help me correct this disastrous "disease." I've got a couple tournaments coming up and would love to correct this problem before I send some hosel rockets down the line to my playing competitors on the range.

Thanks in advance.


Thanks for the compliment. In response to "how to cure the shanks," I am going to quote a famous quote.

"Put your change into your left pocket. Now, tie your left shoe in a double knot. Turn the hat backwards. Turn your hat around. Take
a tee and stick it behind your left ear. Take a ball and hit it up the fairway." (Tin Cup)

In all seriousness, you first need to understand why the shank occurs. The main reason a shank occurs is due to losing the feel of the sweetspot.

When you transition from the top of the backswing and start the downswing, a shank will occur when you substitute the "lag of the
hosel instead of the sweetspot." To fix this, you will need to emphasize Pressure Point #3 (your right pointer finger).

cure shank

When you put an emphasis on pressure point #3 you will start to feel the sweetspot from the top of the backswing all the way to the ball. This is essential to feel because this is what controls your release sequence into the ball and allows you to make proper contact.

What needs to happen is that you need to re-find that feeling. You can do this by doing slow motion swings by bringing the hosel to the ball and doing several motions of bringing the sweetspot to the ball.

Be sure to pay attention to where the pressure of the pointer finger is located at impact. If it feels underneath (right hand turned)then you could be substituting the lag of the hosel instead of lagging the sweetspot.

One way or another you are going to have to trick your mind into feeling the sweetspot and not the hosel. No matter the many positions or faults you may have, if you are feeling the sweetspot you should eliminate the shanks.

All the best,


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Aug 07, 2014
Thank you! NEW
by: Gordon

Excellent teaching! That one picture, the notion of a 'pressure point'', and with a couple of comparative practice swings I can see immediately where today's horrific shanking bout appeared from. The clubhead position at the top of the downswing has changed without me even thinking about it.

I'm almost certain that's it. I've been dragging it down with the face almost pointed straight up.

Thanks a million!

Jul 17, 2011
Bo adds this:

Al, thanks for the question.

To lag the hosel in the downswing would be like using a shaft without a club head at the end. When you do this you make the end of the shaft the sweetspot.

To help you understand further, Brian Manzella has an excellent video explanation on the danger of substituting the sweetspot with the hosel.

Hope this helps,


Jul 17, 2011
by: Al

What do you mean by substituting the lag of the hosel instead of lagging the sweetspot?

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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