One of the most dreaded mis-hits in golf is the shank/socket.
The ball is hit with the part of the club where the shaft connects to the clubhead – the hosel.
The golf ball bounces away in all kinds of sharp angles. Often the shank comes fast and sudden surprising and frustrating the golfer.
Seldomly does he know why the mis-hit happened and in which way he can avoid it. The shank usually means big trouble and bad lies.
It sabotages your whole course strategy and lets your feelings run high.
Topped pitches are frustrating as well. They usually go way above the green and end up in ugly places.
The following visualisation should help you to make better pitches and save your score.[clearboth]
The Wooden Wedge
If you take a look at high pitches of professional players you can see them them taking a divot with their shot.
They are taking out a small part of the turf under the ball in the form of a small wedge.
If you think about that piece of turf and visualise a small wooden wedge right in front of the ball you can make pitching a lot easier for you.
Try to drive this imaginary wooden wedge further into the ground, under the ball with the leading edge of your clubhead.
The visualisation has several benefits. First of all you will probably be more in the moment with your mind and keep your head still.
Secondly your swing plane and angle of impact will be better and thus deminish the risk of a socket or a topped ball.
Depending on the height of the pitch you want to play you can change the angle of your imaginary wooden wedge.
For a higher pitch you imagine your wedge placed more upwardly so you have to hit it in a steeper angle.
Lower pitches require a smaller imaginary wedge that is not as upright, leading to a more shallow angle of attack.
The Magic Ball
If you are fighting sockets with your full swing you can use a second ball to teach yourself to hit the ball more with the center of your clubhead.
Place the second ball some inches away next to your first golf ball. Now hit the first ball with a full swing.
When you shank the ball you will hit the second golf ball as well.
Because you want to avoid to hit the second ball you will do everything right instinctively to avoid the shank and hit the first ball more with the center of your clubface.