Fixing The Pitching Shanks

August 2nd, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you’ve got a little bit of an issue with the shanks with your pitching, I’ve got a couple things here to offer you that can hopefully help you get rid of those.

So, the first thing I would say is to get some of this Dr. Sholl’s foot powder, OdorX foot powder spray, and it doesn’t have to be Dr. Sholl’s necessarily, it can be some off brand, it can be some kids’ chalk powder spray, but it’s something that’s a little bit – it’s a valuable tool. Only costs a couple of bucks and it’s a good thing here that can hopefully help us get rid of these shanks for you, so what you want to do is spray a little bit on the clubface like this, and then don’t worry, it wipes off easily with a towel, and then what you want to do is hit a few pitches, and then what you’ll find is that the ball will leave an imprint on the clubface wherever you’re striking it, and if you’re shanking it, you’ll probably see that maybe half the ball mark is on the hosel here, and then half is on the clubface. Basically, you’ll see what’s happening as you’re hitting too close to the hosel here and you’re actually hitting a little bit of the hosel there, and that’s what’s making the ball come off so funny like that, and just not go very far because it just comes off, for a right-hander, kind of dead and to the right. It’s just not a good feeling; we all know that, I guess. So, anyway, so the purpose of the spray is just to kind of bring your awareness to where you’re hitting on the clubface, so without thinking about things too technically, you don’t really necessarily need to think technically how to fix it, just the awareness of where you’re hitting on the clubface is a good start for helping to resolve this issue. So, just try to see if you can hit it all the way out on the toe. Now, it’s not going to be necessarily a good strike either, but the idea is just to play with moving your strike around. If you’re hitting over here, and then if you can – just by focusing on and seeing what your body needs to do to hit it out here, that’s going to start to fix some of the technical things that you may think you need to fix in your swing, and then also, if you can build the skill of being able to hit here, hit here, then finding the middle is – you found the extreme, so that is just about toggling it in there. So, the point is just to use the spray to bring awareness to where you’re hitting it, and then to play around with trying to hit it in different parts of the face: hit it a little bit more towards the toe, hit it towards the toe or the heel where you’re already hitting it, try and hit it towards the center, and then once you can be hitting it towards the center, pay attention to what that feels like and what you need to feel to get it in the center. What you may need to feel is that what you think is in the center is actually here, so you may have to feel like you’re hitting out here to actually hit in the center, and then once you kind of discover what that is that gets you hitting in the center, then you can kind of shift your brain a little bit and like, okay, this is what produces a center strike, and you can kind of retrain your brain and you’re [0:03:59] there a little bit. That’s the first thing I would say.

And then, if you’re still struggling a little bit with moving the strike more either outward or towards the center there where you, I would say, ideally want to be hitting it, then what you can do is get some kind of object and go to the range, and then placing the object so that – you have an issue with here is you set up to the ball in the center, and then if you have an object here, your club can’t come out to hit it here because you’ll strike the object. Now, with an object, I would say to use something that if you hit it, it’s not going to hurt you or it’s not going to hurt someone else, or it’s not going to damage anything, so something like a tee is something that you’ll notice that if you hit it but it’s not going to hurt yourself, it’s not going to hurt someone else, if you hit it, so on and so forth, sometimes, tour pros will use water bottles like this. That’s maybe pushing a little bit dangerous there, so we’re talking about pitches, we’re not talking about full swings here. So, if you do hit a water bottle, it may not be so bad because you’re not making a full swing, or you can use like a little foam noodle, those are often used for teaching and with instructions, so if you hit those or strike those, again, it’s not going to hurt – use something – again, the point is, use an object that’s not going to hurt yourself or not going to hurt someone else, or damage anything, but put an object – let’s use this water bottle again – out so that you have to miss the object, and then that’s a way of helping you feel what you need to do to move that strike towards the middle to drill, I guess you could call it.

So, that’s the two things I would say to help you resolve this shanking issue with your pitches. Get the foot powder spray, spray a little bit on the clubface, start hitting balls with that, bring awareness to where you’re hitting it on the clubface – shanks are going to be towards – you’re basically hitting the hosel there so you want to move that strike over towards the center, see if you can do it just with the spray alone and keeping it simple, and just letting your body adjust and see if that does it, and then if you’re still struggling a little bit, use some kind of object – safely use some kind of object that you can set there such that you have to swing inside the object and not hit it, and get yourself returning back to the center of the clubface there.

So, try those things, put them into practice, put them into play, give them a go, give them a whirl, and hopefully, your pitching shanks will be a thing of the past.