Simple Advice on How to Avoid Heel Hits in Golf

A Miss-hit

The dreaded heel hit in golf is extremely embarrassing. Not only that, they can be dangerous if there is anybody standing 45° ahead and to the right of your shot. Heel hits get even worse because the heel is very close to the hosel of the club (where the shaft meets the clubhead) and this is where the dreaded shank comes in. A shanked shot in golf is when the ball doesn't contact the club but comes off the hosel instead.

Some Help

You will be able where you are contacting the ball on the clubface if you take a close look at the striking area of your club and see dimple markings from the ball. If these marking are towards the heel of the club rather than in the center of the clubface, then you are hitting heel shots. Here are some tips on how to avoid hitting the ball in the heel of the clubhead:

  1. First tip is to stand further away from the ball. The reason you are hitting the ball in the heel is because you are standing too close to the ball. What this means is that when you make contact with the ball, your hands want to move further away to avoid crowding your club into your legs.
  2. Don't over-swing. Over-swinging is when the club goes beyond parallel at the top of the backswing (past 90°). This often causes you to swing down from the outside and means that your clubhead is going across the ball at impact. When you strike across the ball rather than through it, you will hit the ball on the heel.
  3. It could be that you are hitting the ball too much on the heel because your weight is too much on your forward leg (your left foot). When you have more weight on your left leg, it is causing you to be ahead of the ball. Again, this causes the heel to reach the first before the rest of the clubface. To cure this, make sure your weight is even (50% on both feet) and make sure you are shifting your weight to your right on the backswing and to your left on the through swing.
  4. The last tip is to make sure that your clubs are fitted properly. If the lie on the clubheads of your irons is too flat or to upright, this can cause heel hits. I advise you to take your clubs to your local PGA professional and get them properly measured and fitted for you.

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