Golf Swing Release
You may have heard the term release used and wondered exactly what is being talked about. How to release the club is actually one of the most misunderstood concepts in the golf swing. Let’s see if we can help you find the right way to release the club to improve your accuracy and distance.
What Is The Release In The Golf Swing?
What does release mean in everyday usage – it means to let go. So that should give you a clue as to how an effective release should work. You need to throw the clubhead at and past the golf ball without trying to steer it. Essentially you need to give up control to gain maximum speed.
If you get too hung up on the ball as your focus then you probably won’t make a quality release.
The release is an important part of the golf swing and can be a difficult part to master. The release is the proper timing of the transfer of power from your body through your arms and wrists into the shaft and clubhead at the right time.
It’s not something that you really want to force more something that should be the result of your earlier good work.
To quote David Leadbetter “What you should do in the through-swing is release the club. That means the clubhead should move past your body and toward the target as the ball is struck.”
It’s all about learning to swing the club rather than steer the club.
Making a proper release will lead to better-quality shots both in terms of distance and direction. If you try to steer the club when you make a swing then this will cause you to lose speed and therefore distance. You may also find that trying to control the club too much may actually cost you accuracy.
It is important that you allow your body to move naturally through this process and not force your arms or wrists into any unnatural positions. Releasing through the ball allows for a smoother transition from backswing to follow-through, helping you hit farther and straighter shots.
It is an essential part of mastering your golf game and should be practiced regularly until you feel comfortable with it.
How Do You Release The Golf Club Without Flipping It?
Releasing the golf club without flipping it is important if you want to play your potential. Flipping the club usually means that the left wrist has broken down as the right hand becomes overactive through the hitting area.
You don’t want the left wrist to start folding until well after impact. If your right-hand does become too active through the ball then you’ll likely add additional loft at impact which will result in less compression of the golf ball.
Allowing the weight of the club head to be led by the rotation of your body is one way of helping you avoid the dreaded flip. Try to keep your grip pressure as light as possible without the club twisting in your hands as too much tension is likely to inhibit the correct moves.
You’ll often see players with a poor release make a chicken wing swing as well.
There are a couple of drills that can help you get a feel for where you need to be just post-impact.
Golf Release Drills
An exercise that can help you get a feel for good release is actually a pretty simple one. Place a tee in the ground 2 to 3 feet in front of the ball. As you make your swing you should feel that the club bisects your arms at around the time it is pointed at the tee. This means you haven’t allowed your wrist to break down and get flippy.
Try swinging back to where your left arm is parallel to the ground and then swing through in slow motion to where the club is pointing at the tee making sure your left wrist has not flexed.
Another option is to use the L-to-L drill. This is where you swing back so your left arm is parallel and it makes an L shape with the club. You then need to swing through and make the same L-shape with your right arm. In order to do this you need to get the clubhead moving faster than your hands or body.
A third option is to take the club and lift it out in front of you while standing straight up with the toe pointed up. Turn your body to face the target with the toe of the club still pointed up. Now turn your head to look at where the ball would have been and push your right shoulder down to give you the feeling of where the club needs to be post-impact.
If you find it more comfortable with the face of the club pointing more to the sky when you try this drill then that would suggest you have the clubface open at impact and are likely to be slicing the ball.
Common Release Problems
Probably the biggest issue that amateurs have with the release is letting the club go too early in the downswing which is usually known as casting. Basically when you release the club too early in the downswing then you’re letting go of all that power at the wrong time. Even someone making a full swing will struggle to hit the ball a long way if they are casting.
Another swing fault that can cause problems with your release is not storing enough power in the first place. Golfers that have too rigid a backswing with no wrist hinge will struggle to release the club as they have nothing to release.
What Happens If You Don’t Release The Golf Club?
Players that don’t release the club correctly are usually adding too much loft at impact which will cause them to lose distance due to a lack of compression. Another problem can occur if you try to “retain the lag”. If you don’t allow the club to release properly then you are going to have an open clubface at impact which will lead to a slice ball flight.
Golf Swing Release: Summary
learning an effective way to accelerate the club will improve your ball striking and increase your distance.