No golfer likes to hear the "S" word during a round. That's right, I'm referring to the shanks. Even I prefer to call them hosel rockets, but a question was sent in that asked how golfers can avoid shanking a golf ball and what may be causing it.
When you shank a golf ball, it's typically because the ball is hitting off the hosel instead of the center of the clubface. The frustrating thing is that sometimes the shanks seemingly come from out of nowhere. Even Tiger Woods had his battles earlier in the year, which forced him to rededicate himself to his short game. He looked sharp around the greens during The Masters, but that was only after months of fixing the issues!
Weekend golfers and amateurs don't have the luxury of beating balls from sun up to sun down, so it's important that you find the cause quickly, so you can enjoy the game again!
Usually the shanks can be traced back to the movement of your knees. If you're bending your knees too much before impact, the club will not return to the same spot it was in the setup position. Your knees are the levelers and stabilizers of your golf swing. Move them too much, and you're going to get stung.
Watch the video above to see how bending your knees too much can lead to the shanks!
Keep it vertical!
It is not often that i can help a great instructor like you but i can give you a 100% way to eliminate shanks; i can't take credit for it because Pro Al Artack in Denver showed me this tip in 1967; clear your hips first in the swing & let them rotate behind you & the club face automatically moves to the inside. I have corrected the shanks of dozens of good players since then & they thanks me every time they see me.
LESSON TUNE UPS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT
After struggling with the swing and thinking I was doing the PPGS right from the manual and your daily lessons, I was ready to try something new. Having improved significantly prior to this "bump in the road" I reconsidered hanging up the PPGS and instead had a lesson with Stretch Condor in Tempe, AZ. In a few short minutes Stretch suggested a set up modification to my chin and take away adjustment to my hands/arms and all of the PPGS items clicked together. Thanks to Stretch and faith in PPGS I am on my way to more improvements. Bottom line: Sometimes it pays to have a pro see your "self taught perfect" PPGS swing - Just in case!
Keep up the good work and thanks once again to Stretch as well.
Sincerely, Tony Vacca
Darrell, I wish that I could just think of clearing the hips first, but that thought would guarantee, an over the top move every time with my shoulders. In order to have my shoulders close to square at impact, I always make sure that the downswing is triggered first by a small lateral move of the left knee toward the target ( the bump) followed by the inside of the right knee shifting toward the left knee. With a little practice this simple little 2 staged move gives time to slot the club at the start of the downswing, clears the hips without spinning them, and makes sure that most of the weight is on the front foot at impact.
I just ran across a couple of swing drills that I think might be useful for those doing the Surge swing.
The first one is a strength increasing drill for the lower body. It involves increasing the knee flex by 50 % at setup and hitting balls. The author of the tip suggests hitting about 10 shots every day this way. Like most drills this is an exaggerated move but it does give you the feel of an ultra stable lower body with level knees.
The second drill involves increasing the flare of the rear foot to about 50 degrees. While taking gentle practice swings, you can practice the feel of separating the knees (the left knee moving away from the right) as the first lateral move of the downswing and at the same time feel the slotting of the club at the start of the downswing.
Just a quick question.
Do you have a certified PPGS instructor in Melbourne, Australia?
I am wondering how a downswing can start with a slight lateral move of the left knee? This is not the bump at all. The knee does not move in the PPGS swing. This completely ignores the tenant that outward pressure of the knees is maintained. The bump is the slight lateral move of the left hip which I contend comes about as your "ring the bell" (pulling down of the arms as you transition.)
Left knee action during the downswing
Doc, because I do focus on keeping the left knee stable during the backswing, a slight lateral move of the left knee toward the target, after completing the back swing works well for me as a downswing trigger. This move preserves and even increases the torque built up between the ground and the upper body. I think that it is easier to keep the head behind the ball and slot the club with my method. I've never been able to make a consistent controlled bump while thinking about the hips without overdoing it laterally and forward swaying.
If I understand correctly from what you are saying , you think of the bump as a "result" of pulling the arms down. I see it as a way to lead the downswing with the lower body while maintaining and increasing tension and a trigger for a faster on plane downward arm swing.
Before adopting the Surge swing, I played a lot of good golf with this left knee downswing trigger. There is nothing new about this trigger. It has been used for years by many players. I'm having better luck using it with the Surge swing because all that is required is very small controlled move, when the left knee barely moves during the backswing.
The following link from Surge talks about left knee action during the backswing and downswing. He shows the kind of left knee action that I'm using starting at 6:55 min in the video. He talks about footwork pulling the arms down. His leg action is very dynamic during the downswing and appears to me to be leading the band not following the arm swing.
All the best,
It will be something that I will have to discuss with Surge on our upcoming trip to Houston. Each time I watch the video, I see the snap being mention as the transition, or pulling down, and not a kick of the left knee outwards. In the traditional vertical golf swing where the knee pointed to a spot behind the ball, the down swing was indeed initiated by a "knee" drive. From my perspective, if the knees stay stable, there is just a slight movement of the knee but it's a result of turn and therefore not activated so to move it would require a good bit of conscious effort. Now, that's not to say that any of us have all the answers and what works for one may not work for another and there is room for all. : )
If I start thinking about doing a lot of knee drive I'll be in trouble. I think about it as more of a small trigger that starts the weight shift to the left foot followed by a pushing off of the right foot. There is some conscious effort involved for sure. When I'm tired or not thinking about what I'm doing that left knee has a tendency to move back too much during the backswing and produce disastrous results. I try to be very conscious of where the inside of the left knee is throughout the backswing so it can be used deliberately to trigger the downswing sequence with a very small move towards the target.
We do not have a certified instructor in Melboune. Did you know that we were just there in Feb. of this year?
No I didn't if I did and was working on PPGS I would certainly have attended as I am struggling a bit getting it vertical enough. Oh well will just have to box on and study videos thanks heaps.
Looks like you haven't been
Looks like you haven't been on the site long?
No only about 3-4 weeks but really enjoy the setup you have and the instruction from Surge I think its great and I also think the PPGS makes a lot of sense and I am working hard on perfecting the basics which although very frustrating at times is a lot of fun. I have lived and slept golf for a long time and got down to a +1 handicap a few years ago and now after a relatively long spell off are getting keen again and think PPGS is a way of future proofing my golf swing for when I get older(57 now) A shame you don't have an instructor here in Melbourne but that's life I will certainly attend when you are back here whenever that may be.
Make sure you register with SSGM and that they have your postal code. You'll get an email when we return.
Thanks Doc I will do that and look forward to maybe catching up at some stage. Excuse my ignorance but was is SSGM exactly?
Swing Surgeon Golf Management, Surge's company.
Thanks for all the wonderful dailies and videos.
I started with the vertical swing about 2 and a half years ago. I bought your beginning videos and watched your daily vidios (and continue to watch). I do have to admit, it took some time for me to gain confidence in your method but because the method is so logical, based on sience, simplistic and above all very friendly to ones body I persevered. My index is now falling but the best thing is I am enjoying this wonderfull game of golf more than I thought possible.
Thanks and thanks again,
R. David Jewell
PPGS is the "real deal"!!
I just started with this swing a few months ago and even though I'm sure I'm still doing a lot of stuff wrong - I've been having the best "ball striking" rounds of my life. Played a quick 9 last night and hit every fairway. I just need to get my short game going....
I can't tell you how excited I am about this swing!!!!,
Thanks for the post and the
Thanks for the post and the testimonial!
Has PPGS ever thought about setting up a forum where Surgites could post and share their ideas? I know they do through the comment section on each of these blogs - but it seems a little inefficient. I'd love to see a central location of comments from other Surgites on their experiences and even find out if any live near me so we could get together for a round or practice session.....
Forum for customers
Never has been a priority. There was once a private forum - actually twice. Both times the forum was derelict - people used the comments area to carry on discussions. We have a feature request area in our support system that allows for people to vote on things, but no one has submitted anything so far: https://swingsurgeon.freshdesk.com/support/discussions/forums/5000022754
Today the hot topic seems to be how to get to the impact zone. What is your theory or instruction on how to get there.
With the PPGS, getting to the impact zone is not considered an issue. To put it simply, we are concerned about 3 positions: The Master Setup Position (MSP), the top of the Back Upswing (BUS), and the T-Finish.
Everything flows from the MSP. If you get that right, the rest is easy.
From the MSP, you execute a 70* limited turn, 3/4 back swing to the top of the BUS.
The next step is to swing AFAP (as fast as possible) to the T-Finish, recoil and relax.
Note that in none of these positions is there any mention of the impact zone. Don states that impact happens in 0.005 sec (5 millisec). It is virtually impossible for anyone to observe impact while swinging AFAP. If you get the 3 position correct, impact will happen without any conscious thought. The ball just gets in the way of the swing. The main idea is to concentrate on the target and swinging down the target line.
All the details can be found in Surge's Foundations Manual, which I highly recommend you purchase. You can also use the Search function in the upper right corner to find the answers to almost any question you may have. Ask as many as you like. The folks on here are glad to help. If you have specific questions for Don, The Surge, address them through Customer Support.