This question and answer was taken directly from the TPI website. www.mytpi.com
I just agree with Sheri’s answer to the question and would like to share it with everyone.
I’m a 5 handicap who is trying to increase distance especially with my irons. I tend to hit my short irons high and short. When I try to hit the ball harder…or even when I try to punch short irons…I end up getting the shanks. How can I feel like I can swing at the ball without the fear of shanking. And how can I increase distance without increasing the likelihood I will shank.Thank you very much for your consideration…I’m at my wit’s end.
Thanks for your question. Clearly no 5 handicap wants to stand over an iron shot in fear of shanking it, so let’s get to it.
I’m betting the solution to your problems is all in your hips. When the hips are not initiating the transition of the forward swing in a proper rotary function a couple of things will happen: First, the arms and hands will have to try and take over to hit the ball. Throwing the clubhead at the ball early, resulting in high weak shots. Second, the lack of proper hip rotation could result in your hips thrusting toward the ball (as well as the hosel of the club) at impact. The situation is the harder you move at it, the bigger the problem.
Having said that we need to get to the underlying issue, is it physical, conceptual, your habit or motor pattern, or a combination there of?
Physical: if you haven’t done so already, check 3 screens from our website, Pelvic Rotation, Pelvic Tilt, and the Toe Touch. If you have difficulty with any of the these 3 screens it would make it difficult to maintain your posture with your hips as they are rotating into the transition and forward swing. If so you would have to recruit power from somewhere else like the arms and hands resulting in an early release of the club or early extension of the hips, which clearly can cause the high, short and shank shots.
Conceptual: often times our concept of power is to swing the club faster. Our brain tells our hands to ”let er rip”, which results in leaving our trunk behind. This concept doesn’t really create efficient energy, and often results in early release for those high lofted shots, and getting the clubhead out of position at impact for those shanks.
Habit or motor control: The ability to create separation in our trunk (hips to upper torso) while maintaining posture, is key in creating an efficient golf swing. The problem is we don’t do that motion much in our daily lives. The best way to work on this is with the hip twister exercise on mytpi website. It will help you learn the feel and enable you to repeat it in the swing.
SHERI HAYES, LPGA, PGA & TPI-3
2711 Haymar Dr.
Carlsbad CA 92010