Poulter explains the anatomy of a shank, and why they happen to him so often

March 14, 2017

Ian Poulter, admittedly, has hit his fair share of shanks while on the PGA and European tours, but he has an explanation for them.

Poulter joined Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck for a lengthy podcast at Poulter’s Florida home on Monday. They discussed a handful of topics from the Ryder Cup to his social media use to the closing of his company and, of course, the fact that he hits more hosel-rockets than most pros.

“There’s obviously a fault in my swing, where I dip slightly into my swing on given times,” Poulter said. “Now, if you look at the wear spots on all of my old sets of irons in this room, you will see they are all very close to the heel. Some players have it slightly toe-orientated, some player have it out in the middle, some players have it on the heel. With having that sweet spot close to the heel brings your chance of a shank, obviously, a lot higher percentage than someone who has a wear spot at the toe. Now especially if you are going to move slightly forward into the shot; it’s going to happen.”

And do they make him mad? Of course they do.

“You just laugh it off,” he said. “It really pisses me off. It really, really pisses me off. It’s been hard at times, because it’s happened at the wrong time. Honda, par-3, 5th hole, bad timing. I was going to play a soft shot, and at the time, I went through a little period where I was hitting these little three-quarter soft shots, and that happened a couple of times. Had the yardage been slightly different I may not have been in that situation where I would have hit a shank. But it did, and it happens.”

As Shipnuck points out, Poulter, to his credit, has been remarkably good at saving par after many of his shanks. And the 41-year-old pro has great advice for any amateur who has a case of the shanks as well.

“It’s not that bad a shot, is it?” he said. “I mean, it is bad; the result’s bad, but the actual swing itself was about a half inch from perfection.”

You can listen to the complete podcast below.