You have been practicing faithfully and can see your golf game improving, except for one little thing – you end up hitting golf shots off the heel (also called shanking) way too often. Before we get into how you can stop doing this, it is important to understand what the most common causes of hitting off the heel are.
Looking At The Why
The first possible cause of hitting off the heel is that you are simply too close to the ball. As you swing, your arm stretches out too far and the club swings out over the ball. This causes the heel of the club to make contact when the club reaches ground level.
Another possible cause is your center of balance is off, causing you to lift up on your toes too much. This causes your body to swing too far forward, in turn causing your arms to extend past the ball.
The third reason you could find yourself hitting on the heel is that you swing downward too hard with the club. When this happens, your arms extend outward from the force and you either miss the ball completely or end up hitting off the heel.
Now that you have an idea of what is most likely causing you to hit the ball with the heel rather than that all-important “sweet spot”, let’s take a look at how you can fix each of the causes.
Too close on the address – This one is easy enough to fix. Try moving back just a bit to give your arms more room. Keep your elbows close to your body, not stiffly, but without allowing them too much movement. This will keep your swing closer.
Balance issues – Proper balance is the greatest key to a good golf swing. You want to keep your elbows loosely tucked in and your knees slightly bent. Tilt forward just enough to put weight on the ball of your foot, not your toes. Finally, don’t allow your hips to swing too aggressively. This will end up causing the opposite problem and you will find yourself using the toe of the club when you swing.
Hard swing – When you swing your club, you should do so from a position that is just between your waist and belly button. Rather than swinging outwards, most of the impact from the swing should come from the side of the ball. By allowing this, you increase your chances of hitting the ball without extending your arms.
This is one of the most frustrating problems golfers find themselves having, but it is also one of the easiest to fix. With practice, you will be able to instinctively know if you are too close to the ball and if your balance is perfect. Being aware of these two things should have you hitting that “sweet spot” on a regular basis.