The Correct Rotation in the Back swing and How to Stop/Correct the Shank

More about the hosel rocket, hoosel, pitch out, lateral, the s word…. What causes the “s word” and how can we prevent it?

The pictures are up. Please visit our website at and click on the ETIP tab to the left of the home page. Then scroll to Aug’ 04 Etip – Curing the Shank. Click on CHANGE ALBUM.

Picture #1 (Todd set up over a 6 iron) The reason you shank the ball is because you have lost your space between you and the ball. From a Club Mechanics (club movement) standpoint, your hands and arms have lost the room to swing the club between you and the ball. You can see that you establish this spacing at address.

Picture #2 (Split screen 2 pictures of rotation vs. non-rotation) The reason you lose this space is due to swinging the club too flat in the backswing because of arm rotation.

Picture #3 (Split screen pictures of on-plane position vs. flat) Because of arm rotation, the club moves flat in the backswing. When you flatten the shaft in the backswing…

Picture #4 (Pictures of Straight Line Motion (SLM) vs. over the top) You must steepen the shaft in the downswing. This causes you to lose the distance that you established at address because the club handle comes closer and the club head moves further away.

Picture #5 (Split screen comparing impact positions – enough room vs. not enough room) Because the handle moves closer to you at impact, the club head is further away and this causes the heel or hosel of the club to hit the ball. In other words, you must move the hands and arms correctly in SLM to have the correct spacing to hit the ball solid.

Picture #6 (Correct backswing) Correcting the Shank starts by moving the hands and arms correctly so that the club moves correctly in the backswing. In order to move the club correctly in the backswing you must move the club back without turning the forearms….SLM. From the correct address position, turn the shoulders and allow the arms to move also. This initial movement will move the club approximately 4 feet but you will notice that the clubface still moves square relative to the plane.

Picture #7 (Club in front of hands vs. club behind hands in backswing) This indicates that the forearms are not rotated and that the club movement is exactly in proportion to the torso movement. In other words the club is still “in front” of you, not rotated “behind” you.

Picture #8 (On plane at top of swing and down the line) Because you have the correct arm movement in the swing (Straight Line Motion), you can then have the backswing on plane where you can then move the club back down the line in the downswing..

Picture #9 (Impact Position – NOTE THE TRAIL ARM IS BENT) And into impact where the lead arm is higher than the trail arm