Why is Ian Poulter prone to the odd shank?

The Scoop

Gary Alliss, PGA Master Professional and NCG swing analyst, looks at why the Englishman is prone to the odd power pipe.

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Interestingly, a number of top players are great shankers and, strange as it may seem, it is not that far away from a great contact when a tour pro hits the ball from the socket of the iron.

Many, if not most, touring professionals try to keep their sternum behind the ball at impact whilst clearing their left hip out of the way. When doing this they also work hard to ensure that their hands and forearms stay out in front of their bodies as the club is swung down.

They do not want the club to dragged down by their hands towards their right leg, so that the end of the grip looks like it may disappear into their right hip pocket.

As commentators and pundits tell you, “He’s dropped the club behind himself!” This move often leads to the ball going way right, or left and tour players hate this loss of control.

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So, in their quest to avoid this, they over do it the other way.

The hands and arms move the club out and away from the body so that, when the player releases the pent up angles in the wrists at the moment of impact the club head is re-presented to the ball further away than it was originally placed behind the ball.

The club comes back further away from the player so the hosel is in line with the ball which causes the shank to occur.

A player like Poulter, quite tall, who stands fairly upright and close to the ball at address, is always going to be prone to a J Arthur, if he is a little slow in clearing the lower body.

Since this delay will force the arms away from the body as the club descends into impact and hosel meets ball.

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