Shanking at The Range

Lukeyash

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This year I really decided to get back into my golf and I played 50+ rounds on 23 different courses in the north west of England. My average score (to par) was 8.4 and my best round was a 73 (+1) at Pike Fold in Manchester. Now winter is on the way and the weather has turned I thought I'd move from the course on to the range, which I'd never previously done, and just keep my swing ticking over until spring. I got there, got my PW out, hit my first shot fairly solid and then preceded to stone cold shank the next 25 shots in a row. And, I know no shanks are good, but these were horrific. They were so bad in fact that I could hear the young lads in the next bay laughing. I literally couldn't get the ball in the air. I just couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.

The next day, in a panic, I went for a round at my local club to see if I had a problem. I shot a pretty good 81 in tough conditions and, other than a couple of slightly heavy wedges, I didn't really hit any bad shots. So, full of renewed confidence, Friday night I went back to the range. And, it happened again. Shank, after shank, after shank. It's so weird.

Has anyone else had a similar problem or does anyone have any thoughts on why this might be happening? I've never been a big fan of mats but not to the extent that I can't hit the ball off of them. My only theory is that the bays at the range are quite enclosed and I'm not swinging freely as, subconsciously, I think that I may hit the wall/roof. I guess I can just be thankful that I'm doing it this way round: shanking at the range rather than the course.
 
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Maninblack4612

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The pro at my range advised me to use the mat to line up, i.e. aim at right angles / parallel to the edges of the mat because doing otherwise messes up your lining up. Like you, I used to get a lot more shanks at the range than on the course & I think that, since being given this advice, the shanks have almost stopped.

This may not be your problem but I find that lining up this way eliminates one variable, so that, if I, say, hit it left I know it's not because I aimed left by mistake.

Might be worth a try for you.
 

Orikoru

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:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I'm laughing because I have exactly the same problem sometimes. Play many rounds without a single shank, go on the driving range and hit 20 of them. It happened to me recently during an iron fitting as well, they very graciously agreed to call it off early and not charge me! I can only imagine it's because golf on a course is target-based, so I just think about where I'm going and not what I'm doing. On a range that's not the case really, I end up thinking too much about my swing and making a mess of it.

It sometimes helps if you take more time over each shot and really picture it like a golf shot on the course - I know from my experience when you start hitting shanks you almost speed up and race through your remaining balls out of embarrassment and frustration but that only makes it worse. However, the best fix I could come up with was just to stop going to the driving range. :LOL:
 

IanM

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I do it on the range sometimes, and all through my last lesson. I don't do it in the course (thankfully)

The alignment issue above rings true, as I do it if I aim at a target off centre line.

No idea why it happens on other shots. In lessons I'm often thinking about what I'm working on.
 

HeftyHacker

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Had the exact same last week. I've reckon I've hit less than10 actual shanks on course all year, but i hit 10 on the bounce with a sand wedge at the range the other day. Was laughable by the end.
 

RichA

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I don't enjoy the range. I tend to hit down on the ball quite hard, so rather than digging into soft turf on course, my club feels like it is clanging off the concrete under the crappy mats. As a result, I think my body unconsciously changes my swing to avoid the impact and results in a really poor uncommitted stroke.
 

Lukeyash

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Cheers for the responses, guys. It makes me feel slightly better that I'm not the only one having this issue. It's baffling. Like I say, I've had 50 odd rounds this year and I can only remember shanking one shot. And that was a 20 yard pitch where, stupidly, I just looked for it before I'd hit it.

The mats are definitely a factor. Similar to RichA above, I take quite a big divot and like to really punch through the ball with my wedges and short irons. I feel that if I do that on a mat the firmness of the surface is a problem and if I'm slightly off with my strike it could go anywhere. It's also psychological. I'm not used to shanking, touch wood, so once I've done it I really struggle to get it out of my head. I think I'll take the advice given and not go to the driving range anymore. Or, if I do, I'll just hit driver and my woods.
 

Orikoru

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The mats are definitely a factor. Similar to RichA above, I take quite a big divot and like to really punch through the ball with my wedges and short irons. I feel that if I do that on a mat the firmness of the surface is a problem and if I'm slightly off with my strike it could go anywhere. It's also psychological. I'm not used to shanking, touch wood, so once I've done it I really struggle to get it out of my head. I think I'll take the advice given and not go to the driving range anymore. Or, if I do, I'll just hit driver and my woods.
I think this is true for anyone. Even if I've not done one in several months it's still in the back of my mind when I have an iron in my hand. I envy people that have never done it. (Although there can't be many in that boat to be honest.)

And yeah, my conclusion was the same - I've gone back to the driving range in recent months because my wife has started playing and I go with here, but I tend to just practise my fairway woods and hybrids to tighten up my long game, as the mats are fine for them. Otherwise you're better trying to get nine holes in (much harder in winter of course).
 

MarkT

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I'm still haunted by one round in 1988 where I piped half a dozen wedges and, thankfully, haven't been too badly afflicted since. I'm convinced an element of panic is the main problem with the shank so, when you're at the range, you're just hitting the same shot over and over while, at the course, you go off to a different part of the course (generally a bush at right angles) and think about playing a different shot. I can easily pipe the odd 5-iron* so I now just get the hybrid out and leave everything with a hosel firmly tucked away in the bag. On the course I might hit one** 5-iron whereas I might hit 25 on the trot at the range so the stakes are high.

* I've just ordered a 26 hybrid to stop this happening
** guaranteed none
 

Jonnoj

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Yep this is 100% a thing, get me on any range mat and the shanks won’t be far behind, on the course I think I’ve done it maybe three times ever (11 hc) .
The line up thing may be it, not sure, and it’s also true that I come down on the ball a lot with irons but my god it’s embarrassing!
 

Bdill93

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Im also a member of the "Shanks it at the driving range" club.

No idea how or why, but when it starts - I cannot stop it.

I now just stop, go home and try to forget it even happened. Normally fixed by the next time I play.
 
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Oddsocks

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I find the minute I hit a heel clicker, I instantly stop and put a basket to the outside the ball and try and pick them away with the toe of the club, works like dr bobs head cover drill, but I have to ensure the takeaway is connected.

My shanks are caused by getting too on my toes and delivering the face open which normally comes from rolling the hands in the takeaway.

Real men shank, don’t be ashamed.
 

AliMc

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I don't enjoy the range. I tend to hit down on the ball quite hard, so rather than digging into soft turf on course, my club feels like it is clanging off the concrete under the crappy mats. As a result, I think my body unconsciously changes my swing to avoid the impact and results in a really poor uncommitted stroke.
A bit the same for me, i tend to hit down a bit too (the reason I have never been a great long iron player) and used to get sore wrists after hitting a few on the range, plus tbh I found it boring as hell. Today I was running late for my tee time, was told who my partner was as I was teeing it up had one practice swing and flushed it down the middle into a slight breeze, 4 rescue to about 20 feet for a tap in birdie, can't be bothered with practising now tbh
 

HomerJSimpson

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The range I use has Toptracer so I am aiming at different targets, slightly left or right normally from the straight down the line shot so I don't get too hung up on the straight line of the mat and in fact find it helps by working on my alignment for times when I'm approaching a green from an angle
 

JamieB

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I have the same problem. My chipping on the course is usually decent but when I go to the driving range on a Wednesday night I can’t do it. Everything I try ends up going along the ground or 90 degrees right and the top tracer app doesn’t even pick up the shot. No idea why it happens and is putting me off going but I’ll stick with it until the lighter nights come back. I’m glad you brought this up and I’m not the only one because it was driving me mental.
 

clubchamp98

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Pro at the range told me that lots of players shank the ball at the range because they try to hit it to hard.
They are trying to knock the cover off the ball that it changes the swing path.
You only need 1/2” out and your in trouble.
He told me never hit more than 3 balls with the same club.
Hit woods then irons and deffo don’t stand there hitting 25 Tommy’s on the trot.
 
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