Not the time to get the shanks!

Not the time to get the shanks!

If you read my last update, you’ll remember I’ve been struggling to balance my golf challenge and my work. I’m almost one year into running my own business, so as you’ll appreciate (especially if you run your own business), when you have work… you work. So, that has meant the last month or so has been pretty full on.

The biggest thing now is that it’s a race against time before the season ends, and the horrible winter mats come out. As we all know, that also means no more handicap reductions for a while. Now, despite work commitments, and of course spending time with my family, I’ve still managed to play. We always find a way to get out right?!

I played at the fabulous Mottram Hall last week with some friends. Mottram Hall is a lovely course, which I guess you’d expect from De Vere and the amount of money they throw at it.

The Shanks - Mottram Hall

Despite a shaky double bogey on the 1st, I actually played the front really well. I decided that I’d try and get through as many holes as possible without the driver as on the last couple of outings it was pretty inconsistent. Turns out that was a pretty good strategy. I was hitting it great off the tee, and hitting it arrow straight every time. Again, my chipping wasn’t ideal and it was leaving me some long putts. Thankfully, I was making a few of them! The highlight was a birdie 3 on the 8th, and a par on the 9th leaving me with a 42 on the front 9, +6 gross.

The back 9 wasn’t so good. Some poor club decisions left me over and under hitting on a couple occasions. That coupled with a distinctly average short game left me finishing with a 50 on the back 9! Apart from the last hole, the big positive was my game off the tee. I was hitting it so well with my 3 wood. Interestingly, every time I have scored well I’ve had that same strategy. However, 9 times out of 10 when I get on the tee, I just want to rip the Driver!

I opted for the same 3 wood strategy at The Manor, but it didn’t quite work out the same!

This is the most frustrating thing about golf. Just one day previous to this, I was hitting it straight and long every time off the tee with my 3 wood. Now, despite nothing changing (other than my clothing of course!), I couldn’t hit it for love nor money! Somehow, in my sleep I developed a slice!

After a few holes of hitting horrible shots that were leaving me in trouble, I decided I might as well just whack the driver as the 3 wood wasn’t showing me any love. That didn’t really work out either! After the front 9, I shot an absolutely horrendous 48.

The back 9 didn’t get any better really, and encountering greens like this didn’t help me!

The Shanks - Manor Green


The worst thing that happened during this particular round, was the dreaded S word. Yup, I had a couple of shanks around the greens. That was not what I needed! It was a shame really, as I was just starting to feel like my chipping was improving and feeling good again!

I did manage to improve a little, and scored a couple of pars. Sadly, it was too little too late and I came in with a 46, which left me was a total of 94. Not even close!

This week I finally managed a catch up with Ryan. He had a look at my driving, which ironically worked absolutely fine!! It made me out to be a liar as I boomed shot after shot right down the middle of the range.

Then, we moved onto my chipping, and the most terrible thing that can happen to a golfer. I have had the shanks before, and you’ll know if you’ve had them too… they’re horrible things. So destructive and completely kill your confidence. Shanks can happen to us all… and can come at any time. Honestly, they really can happen to anyone… even these guys on tour!



I stood there on the range with Ryan whilst he watched and videoed me hitting a basket load of shanks. We tried a couple of different things, but to no avail. It was so bad, I just wanted to go home, pack away my clubs and never play again! That’s how the shanks make pyou feel!

But, then we had a breakthrough. Firstly, I was swinging around my body, so the first thing that was coming into the ball, was the hosel. Secondly, my weight was all over the front of my feet, so as I swung the club back I was rocking forward.

So, after a while of experimenting with some trusty old rods, we fixed it! Essentially, if I was to sit back a little more and just take the club back with my shoulders it worked. Phew!

That was a few days ago, and I’m pleased to confirm I’ve played a few holes and the shanks seem to have gone back into their hiding place…hopefully never to be seen again!

I class that as the biggest positive of the week. Also, this was pretty special. I received a message of good luck from the LEGEND that is Butch Harmon whilst he was covering the Ryder Cup for Sky Sports. I can’t believe he took the time out to do this…


So, I’ve got rid of the shanks and I’ve had a good luck message from Butch Harmon. Now I just need to pray for the weather to stay mild and dry so we have a couple more weeks before we go onto the winter mats, and its game over for this season.