Are You a Shanker?

I saw a cool little article the other day by Rick Lipsey over at and they were asking for the best shank stores…so I thought it couldn’t hurt to borrow their idea and ask for you to post your absolute best shank story.

I really hate even bringing up the dreaded “S” word, but maybe talking about it will help some of us overcome the disease.  I’d love to hear your shank stories . Where have you shanked? With what club? Do you constantly worry about banging one off the hosel? Have you been able to shank-proof your swing or find a shank-proof club? Have you hit somebody, broken something, sought the help of a pro?

My worst case of the shanks came when I was playing a practice round before the annual City Tournament several years ago.  About halfway through the round, the day before the tournament was to start, I banged one off the hosel, and proceeded to shank every single wedge shot for the rest of that day.  I immediately went to the practice tee after that round and hit about 200 balls trying to get it figured out.

I stepped on the first tee of that tournament scared out of my mind.  I had no idea if it was just nerves or what the hell was going on, but I knew the shanks we’re not gone.  I played that round and only hit one mild shank, but it took me months after that to get my confidence back with any wedge in my bag.  I never want to go through that mess again.

Even the pro’s manage to throw in a shank now and then.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but man are they embarrassing.  So are you a shanker?


12 Replies to “Are You a Shanker?”
  • John Barry
    July 31, 2009 at 8:14 am

    My Buddy Edgar will set up for a 10-30 yard chip, and BAM, shank, he will hit the ball behind him somehow. Always good for a laugh and a thrown Pitching Wedge.

  • Christian • Post Author •
    August 1, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I’ve seen a couple of those “hit the ball behind you” shanks. I still can’t quite figure out how that is physically possible…but it happens.

  • Jason @ pro v1 golf
    August 4, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I went to the driving range one night and had 75 balls, I ended up shanking 73 on the trot. Money well spent I say.

    Another funny thing that happened was during a round of golf one day I was hitting an 8 iron which I shanked and was heading straight at my mate, who wasn’t looking. I shouted him and he turned around to my ball coming at his head at 100mph. He dived on on floor with his bag still on his back like he’d been shot. I couldn’t stop laughing. Luckily he saw the funny side as his carear as a pro footballer would have been well and truly over!!

  • TKL
    August 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    i shank a couple behind me everytime i play. it’s easy, i can teach you.

  • Christian • Post Author •
    August 6, 2009 at 9:44 am

    @TKL…I can’t remember the last time you shanked one ‘behind’ you. Maybe in front of you…and I definitely don’t want to learn that one! LOL.

  • John
    August 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    After walking out on the elevated tee box, I viewed a surveyor about ten-yards below me in the middle of the fairway. He looked up, and upon seeing us arrive, collapsed his transom, and quietly walked into the deep brush at an almost 90-degree angle directly below us. As I teed up the ball, I heard his last, nervous admonition emanating from the deep, thick, jungle-like forest near where he entered. “Now don’t hit the surveyor…….” Of course, my tee ball glanced off the heel of the club, and like a smart, mammal-seeking missile, savagely thrashed through overgrowth, tree and limb inward bound at the exact location where I last heard his voice. Seconds passed, there was no sound coming from the woods, a panic tsunami overwhelmed us as we ran back to the cart for a cell phone, and a 9-11 call. Then, the voice from the woods rang out again, “Ya missed meeeee.”

  • Wendy
    August 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Liked the article thanks!

  • DJ
    September 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    My worst shank was teeing off and having my ball hit the tee box 10 yards ahead and my golf ball richocheting backwards 25 yards.

  • Cheymike
    June 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

    LOL… some of these are just too funny! Last summer, I was playing at the USAF base in Cheyenne. I had just returned to the game after a 30+ year absence, and was playing with a friend (John) who had talked me back into the game.
    Things weren’t going all that well that day and I was definitely playing Military Golf. Left, Right, Left, Right… all the way around the front 9. On the #10 tee, My left/rights were cured. They became shanks. ARRGGHH! I shanked the tee shot, shanked the first fairway shot, shanked a wedge shot and then danged if I didn’t hit my first putt off the heel of the putter! This continued for 2 more holes and John obviously thought it was completely over after I played #13 well and actually got a par on it. He was standing to the left side of the tee box as I hit my drive. Yep… shanks back! Pinged him in the shoulder. He hollered and all I could do was holler back at him. “HEY… its YOUR fault! You got me back into this da#n game! Now shut up and take your punishment!”
    And now for the fix… I sucked up my pride (at one time when I was in my 20s I was a 4 handicapper) and took some lessons. The Pro fixed the shanks on day 1 after about 3 swings! For some crazy reason, as I was starting my downswing I was unknowingly leaning out over my right leg! WIERD but thats what was happening. I blame it on old age and bad back. LOL! I haven’t hit more than 1 or 2 shanks in 30+ rounds since.

  • Mike Pedersen Golf
    November 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I remember about 13 years ago playing with a client at an exclusive club. He wanted to show off my longish drives, and I proceeded to shank like 3 pitching wedges in a row. I couldn’t get rid of them…UGH! I picked up my ball (after I found it), and sat in the cart for the next hole or two. Hit a great drive, had a PW in my hand, guess what? SHANK AGAIN! I was done for the day. So much for showing off my long drives eh?

    Hope you like the story.


    • Christian • Post Author •
      November 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      Nice one Mike. They’re a virus. They come and go with no warning. I’m not even going to say the S word.

  • Golfing Gloves
    December 26, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Any reason why they call it a shank, and it’s so closely related to a toilet shank? 😛

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