Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Improve your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills created by biomechanics expert Tyler Ferrell.

Regain confidence in your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills.

Free Drills to Transform Your Short Game
Free Short Game Drills
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How to Stop Shanking Wedges – Actionable Tips & Drills to Improve Your Short Game

Hitting your approach shot just before the green is great. However, when that potential easy par turns into a double or triple bogey because of a shank, it’s incredibly frustrating.

We will show you some of the main causes for shanking wedges, how to fix the shank shot with your wedge, and some drills so you can work on this on the driving range.

Having confidence in your short game will make all the difference in your scores and help you lower your handicap.

How to Stop Shanking Wedges (Key Takeaways)

If you don’t have time to read the entire article on how to stop shanking wedges, here are some of the key points you can take:

  • To stop shanking wedges, you should first check and make sure you are not standing too close to the ball. This position makes it difficult to swing the club on the intended path without hitting the hosel.
  • Too much wrist action in the early part of the golf swing can create a shank, instead wear the HackMotion when practicing and check to see that you are not creating too much wrist hinge in the swing.
  • Put an object on the outside of the golf ball as you practice; this will help ensure that you come from the inside and then take the club left (right-handed player). The outside in swing path makes it easy to hit a shank shot.
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1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Why do I Shank My Wedges

Luckily, there are really only a few main causes of a shanked wedge shot. Regardless of why you shank the wedges, you’ll need to fix it.

If it helps to know the cause, look out for these three things:

  • Improper Weight Distribution: Weight moves too far towards the toes during the downswing because weight is too far back on the heels.
  • Clubhead Moving Outside the Path: When the clubhead moves outside the intended swing path, it can cause heel or hosel contact.
  • Poor Hand and Wrist Movement: Moving the hands and wrists too far to the inside on the takeaway or creating too much wrist hinge can cause the player to strike the ball with the hosel.

5 Effective Ways to Stop Shanking Your Wedges

The first thing you want to do when you start shanking wedges is to check your setup and your ball position to make sure that nothing is out of place.

Once you have that figured out you can move through each one of these fixes to see if it helps you cure your shanked wedges.

These fixes work for both pitch and chip shots and with everything from a pitching wedge to a lob wedge.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Get the Weight Centered on Your Feet

When you set up, ensure the weight is centered on your feet. If it starts too close to the toes, you may move further on the toes, pushing the club out and hitting the wedge on the hosel.

Instead, center the weight, put a little more on the lead foot instead of the trail foot and then only allow for it to shift side to side not back to front.

Correct the Swing Path

There are a few different swing path issues that can cause you to shank. One of the easiest ways to fix this is to place a range bucket, a box, or even just another golf ball on the outside of the ball you are trying to hit.

As you swing through, the goal is to miss this obstacle.

You’ll have to keep the clubface square and ensure the club strikes the ball on the intended path and returns to the ball square.

Inside to Inside Path

The idea of inside to outside swing path can get a little confusing on these wedge shots. Instead of being so stuck on this concept try to consider the inside to inside swing motion to get rid of the shank.

You’ll feel the club approach from the inside (see drill above) and then move to the left.

You can visualize and practice the hands reaching their lowest point when they get to the right thigh and then move up and left from there. This path is entirely different and will help you feel the proper movement through the ball.

Avoid Excessive Wrist Movement

When the wrists move too much with a wedge in the hand, the possibility of a shank comes into play. Mostly what you see here is an issue with too much wrist hinge and extension in the lead wrist.

Instead of swinging the club back, it comes up and, therefore, off of the proper plane. In addition, the lower body is never engaged, and therefore, this movement is inconsistent.

HackMotion wrist sensor and swing analyzer

Wear your HackMotion and keep the wrists firm and stable, avoiding unnecessary wrist action.

You’ll want to have a slight flexion in the lead wrist as you move through impact instead of too much extension.

Watch Your Distance to the Ball

Your distance to the golf ball can cause you to shank your shot. When you stand too close there is not enough room to swing and therefore you hit the hosel of the club.

When you stand too close, the club can move outside the intended path and create the shank. Play around with a few different positions and see what feels the most comfortable.

Drills to Help You Stop Shanking Wedges

If your wedges are still shanking, here are a few other drills to consider.

Headcover Drill

The headcover drill is almost identical to the range basket drill we mentioned earlier. You’ll want this just on the outside of the golf ball as you swing through.

If you hit the headcover at any time, it’s a sign that you are setting yourself up for some shanked-type wedge shots.

One Handed Drill

This drill from Michael Breed helps you feel the path the club should be on. One of his best mindset thoughts here is to keep the thought that you must hit down and through the ground to compress the ball.

Two Tee Drill

For this drill, all you need are two tees and your golf ball. Set up to hit the ball and put one tee an inch in front of the ball and one behind it.

You create almost a gate-like opening to swing the club through. This two-tee drill gets your club started on the right path but also allows you to swing through with a smooth face.

Practice From Tight Lies

Not necessarily a drill, more of a reminder to make sure you practice hitting from tight lies.

Many golfers get in their heads about hitting a shot from a very tight lie. When that happens they tend to make strange wrist motions and it ends up causing a shank. Throw a few balls down on a tight lie at the range and let it be something you are comfortable with.

Final Thoughts

There is a good chance you are making some unnecessary movements in your wedge stroke that is causing you to shank your wedge shots.

To avoid this from happening make sure you wear your HackMotion when you practice. You’ll see how much movement you have and how that could be causing your issues with both the path and the angle of the clubface.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.