Professional Advice On How To Avoid Heel Hits When Playing Golf

Every golfer fears a shank. Suddenly, and for no immediate reason the ball seems to go off the club at right angles and in many cases that means in deep rough when you have taken your shot from the middle of the fairway. It is something that can ruin a round of golf. It can become a regular habit unless you get to understand what is happening and work to rectify the problem.

Club Path

The problem is usually because of the path of the club rather than anything to do with blade angles though an open blade does increase the likelihood of it happening. In other words you can shank the ball equally easily with a 3 iron as a pitching wedge. Where the swing path is outside-in, regularly caused by the temptation through strong pressure from hands and arms to hit the ball too hard. An associated problem is if you are not properly balanced and are reaching for the ball.

Wooden Exercise

One solution is to a piece of wood on the floor parallel to your target line. The ball should be placed within a short distance of the wood though far enough away for safety. If you hit the ball in the centre of the club face you should miss the wood comfortable. If you replicated your shank the toe of the club would hit the wood with the ball coming out of the heel. Perhaps you want to do your swing in very slow motion a few times to be certain that you will hit the ball correctly?


Practice is essential for all aspects of the game of golf. It may be to improve stance and swing, touch around the green with short irons or developing routine in a putting stroke. That should be an ongoing process but rectifying such a problem as hitting the ball off the heel, shanking, must be treated as urgent and given immediate priority. You begin by understanding what the problem is and take action to sort it out. If you hit the board you have more work to do. Even if you only hit it once in twenty swings that could result in a couple of shanks during your next round. You need to be perfect. It is worth the time and effort because if shanking becomes part of your game on a regular basis you may be in trouble.