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Golf: So What’s a Shank?

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Everyone knows that Ben Hogan is one of - perhaps the - greatest ballstrikers in golf history. But did he ever shank it? Just once, maybe? Did Hogan even know what a shank is?”

Thank goodness for Ben Hogan
The moral of this blogging post is when stuck for something to write about there’s always stories about Ben Hogan to fall back on and sure enough I found this headline, “What Ben Hogan Said When He Witnessed a Shank,” from Brent Kelley.
Brent writes, “Maybe not, based on a incident relayed in the book Mr. Hogan, The Man I Knew, by longtime LPGA Tour player Kris Tschetter.”
Tschetter got to know Hogan first as a college golfer who practiced daily at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Hogan's home club. They developed a close friendship, and that's what the book is about. Although Hogan served as Tschetter's golf instructor, and there is plenty in the book about Hogan's teaching, the focus is on the friendship.
“But what about the shanks? Late in the book, after Tschetter has spent a few years on the LPGA Tour, she writes of developing a case of the shanks.

The shanks show up
Brent continues, “After the shanks showed up, however, Tschetter - for the only time, she believes - sought out Hogan upon her arrival at Shady Oaks and specifically requested his help. From the book:
"I see your scores haven't been so good. What's been the problem?" he (Hogan) asked.
"Mr. Hogan," I began, "I really need you to come out today. I need some help. I've got the shanks."
"The what?" he asked.
"The shanks." He was looking at me as if he didn't understand. "The shanks. You know, when you hit it off the hosel and it goes dead right."
"Hmm," was all he said. "I'll change my clothes and be out in a few minutes."
Tschetter headed to her practice spot, and Hogan joined her. She hit a few balls, and it didn't take long for the shanks to appear.”
And Tschetter writes, “Oh, good God,” he (Hogan) said. “It was like he had never seen a shank before, or hit one for that matter."

And the fix from Hogan is…
“Thirty minutes later, Hogan had cured Tschetter of the shanks. (Downswing too far from the inside, weight out on her toes, getting her out of position and aiming the hosel at the ball.) But it's Hogan's reaction to seeing a shank that I love.”

Here’s the link to Brent Kelley

Quote of the Day
"The three things I fear most in golf are lightning, Ben Hogan and a downhill putt." – Sam Snead


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