Eliminate the Shanks From Your Life Swing

Butch Harmon, who has instructed professional golfers from Fred Couples to Tiger Woods, tells the story of the club member who was having problems with the shanks. That is, a poorly played golf shot. He spent 20 minutes trying to get him to work his stance, his weight transfer, his wrists, his arms and shoulders, his chin. He tried everything but the man still shanked every shot.

He went into the pro shop and told his father the problem. Claude Harmon went out to the man, watched him swing one time, and told him to keep his clubface square. Five minutes later the guy was hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway.

Butch asked him how he knew what the problem was after one swing. Claude said, “I knew what he was doing before I stood up from behind my desk. . . . A shank is a shank. I knew the guy was hitting it with a shut clubface before I walked out here. The only question left was, what did I need to tell him to get him to stop?” 1

Jesus already knows what is causing the “shanks” in your life. He knows why your life “swing” is off.  And he knows the solution before you even know to ask for help. He knows because he corrected your problem on the cross. It is there he uttered these words: “ ‘It is finished!’ With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).

On the cross Jesus paid a debt that was owed by those (us) who were unable to pay it. He finished the work of satisfying both the holiness of God and the love of God. The fact that God is holy is foundational to Scripture. Holy means he is “above,” he is “higher than.” He is not just better. He is not just an improved version of us, but that he is “set apart.” Way apart.

“Holy” means something that is set apart from us. And this difference is manifested in the way he views sin. He sees it differently than we do. He can have nothing to do with sin. It has to be punished.

But God also loves. The fact that God is love is foundational to Scripture. So he put our sin on his Son and punished it there. In doing so, he took care of sin and he took care of you and me when we embrace him as savior.

And with the “shanks” eliminated, your swing should be full of new life.

1 The greatest father: Claude Harmon wisdom and lessons still show the way, Golf Digest, June, 2006 by Butch Harmon.