If you’re a golfer, you’ve had this happen to you. The dreaded “S” word. The shanks! Tin Cup almost made it look humorous. But when it’s happening to you, there isn’t a more helpless feeling… well other than the yips but that’s another story.

So this isn’t about how you get them, how you cure them, or how you help someone that has them. (Geez, sounds more like a terrible disease) This is about where the name came from. Who was it that decided a miss-hit golf shot should be called a “shank”?

Now I don’t know who it was, but I have a theory. On our recent trip to Scotland I was standing in front of the urinal in the Men’s Locker Room at Royal Troon… and I noticed the manufacturer of the plumbing fixture was Armitage Shanks. And I got to thinking… is it possible the term Shank came from the very fixture I was… ummmm… watering. And it’s been bothering me ever since. Is it possible that at some point in the distant past, some guy was standing here… went out to the first tee… saw a guy hit a shot off the hozzle… and said this guys game was in the “Shanks”? Meaning of course his game was in the toilet. And from that point forward to the present day… an absolutely horrible golf shot off the hozzle became know as a Shank.

Of course, if anyone else has another idea, I’d love to hear it.