How to Stop Shanking Your Pitching Wedges

By Steve Silverman

Most golfers know the pain of shanking a shot with your pitching wedge. In many cases, the shot comes after a great drive or second shot that allows you to hit an easy wedge to the green. The hard work appears to be done and hitting the wedge shot should be easy, right? That's not necessarily the case. It takes a different type of swing to hit a wedge shot accurately and while it's not as long or as fast a swing, it takes great finesse to hit your wedge correctly.

Hit a shot with an outside-to-inside swing plane and the club face slightly open to hit your wedge shot. Because you are bringing the club face inside when you bring the club down, you are coming close to hitting the ball with the lower part of the shaft (called the hosel). Hitting the ball off the hosel will result in a shank.

Have your arms hang down naturally as you address the ball when you are about to hit a wedge. It should feel like you have to slighlty reach for the ball in order to make contact with it.

Begin your backswing. As you start your swing, push your backside away from the ball slightly. It should feel as if you are about to sit down in a chair. This will create more space between your hands and the ball. The more room between your hands and the ball, the less more likely you will be to hit the club off the shaft of the club. That will keep your from shanking your shot.

Practice hitting with your wedge as often as possible. One drill that will keep your from shanking the ball is to put three tees on the ground inside your ball.just outside the toe of your club. If you can hit your wedge shot without striking the tees, you will be hitting the ball with the correct part of the club and you won't be shanking it.

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