2017: The year in shanks, chunks and yips

Ricky Barnes
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Even the best players in the world hit the occasional shank. Here are 12 times we saw some particularly ugly shots in 2017.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: PGA Tour

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 | 10:13 a.m.

Shanks, man.

They're the worst. And they happen to the best of us. For the lucky few, it can be a one-shot deal. For others, it's much worse. Hell, they can even be contagious, as in you only have to see a person shank a ball and then you've got a lousy case of the shanks yourself.

Chunked chips and other yippy shots? Those happen too.

RELATED: Where the "shank" came from | Shanks, chunks and yips from 2016

There were no shortage of those nasty types of shots in golf in 2017.

This is no doubt bad karma for us, but for your enjoyment, here are a number of occasions from 2017 where the world's best players did something the rest of us can truly relate to.

12. Jhonattan Vegas at the Tour Championship. The RBC Canadian Open winner two years running hit an iron shot so bad at East Lake, he actually knocked a spectator off his chair in fear.

11. Rod Pampling at the PGA Championship. In a mad dash to beat the dark at Quail Hollow, Pampling put a Happy Gilmore swing on his tee shot at the ninth -- his final hole of the day -- and hit a low screamer way left.

10. Justin Thomas at the Memorial. Thomas, the Player of the Year in 2017, was no stranger to the occasional forgettable shot either. Check out this one from the middle of the 15th fairway at Muirfield Village.

9. Danny Willett at the Masters. The Englishman who won the 2016 Masters, didn't have much to enjoy during his title defense this time around. Willett made a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole in Round 2 that included a shank. In his defense, it was a horrible spot with an incredibly awkward stance.

8. Ricky Barnes at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Check out this doozy with a 7-iron on the tee box of a par 3. The only thing better than watching a pro hit a shank? When protracer picks it up like it did on this shot.

7. Henrik Stenson at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. It was ugly, but Stenson managed to bounce right back. If only we could all be so lucky... or talented.

6. Phil Mickelson at the Dell Technologies Championship. Lefty is a short-game wizard. But sometimes, there's that odd shot that just gets away from him. Like this greenside bunker shot at TPC Boston. Oops.

5. Ian Poulter at the Players Championship. Poults is no stranger to shanks, but it is quite remarkable how he's able to block out that moment and bounce right back -- like he did here at TPC Sawgrass.

4. Poulter at the Dubai Desert Classic. This one was nasty, but Poulter certainly took it in stride.

3. Byeong-Hun An at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges. This one is special. It's the whiff followed by a chunk -- a true golf unicorn.

2. Justin Thomas at the Hero World Challenge. With his ball resting against a rock, Thomas tried to hit it left-handed and with the backside of his iron's face. It didn't turn out the way he envisioned.

1. Matthew Southgate in the DAP Championship, part of the Web.com Tour Finals. This one is painful to watch and just downright unlucky. Southgate hit what looked to be a good putt from short range, only to have a leaf smoke it off line. How does that even happen?! To make matters worse, Southgate wasn't aware of the rule that would have allowed him to return the ball to its original spot and -- without penalty -- replay the stroke. Instead, he suffered a brutal four-stroke penalty -- two for playing from the wrong spot and two more for signing an incorrect card.

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.