How to Release the Golf Club


The proper release of the golf club during impact is often a misunderstood and poorly executed move during the swing. A common breakdown in the swing often occurs when golfers allow their wrists to break down in an effort to scoop the ball to create height and distance. That effort is called "flipping" and produces inconsistent and varying results. Another common flaw during the impact position occurs when golfers fail to release their wrists altogether, which is one culprit of the undesired slice. If you want to bring any consistency to your game at all (other than the undesirable kind), you must learn to release the club properly through the ball.

  • To develop a feel for what a proper release is and what it should feel like, take a short club and practice without a ball.

  • With a short iron and your normal grip on the club, swing the club by moving your arms (chest also) from hip high on the backswing to hip high on the forward swing while swinging at only about 25 percent speed. While swinging, do not force anything and allow your arms to work and turn naturally.

  • Make a backswing and stop once the hands reach hip high, The club shaft should be parallel to the ground. The wrist should be cocked and the toe of the club should be pointed straight up at the sky.

  • As you transition to and execute the downswing, create lag by maintaining the cocked wrist.

  • As your hands and arms approach where the ball would be positioned, the handle should be leading the clubhead with the lag still intact.

  • Just prior to impact, RELEASE the club by allowing the wrist to uncock and descend upon the ball. At the same time the right forearm should begin to roll over the left, thus squaring the clubface.

  • At impact, the wrist should be unloaded, but the clubhead should not be allowed to pass the hands (for a normal release). A flat left wrist at impact will not only encourage clean contact, but will prevent that from happening.

  • Contact should be made with a square clubface if the arms are moving naturally. As the forward swing continues, the forearms should continue to roll over and the wrist will begin to cock again. Finish the swing with the hands stopping at hip high. The club shaft should be parallel to your ground and the toe of the club should again be pointing straight up towards the sky.

Tips & Warnings

  • During the drill, pay attention to the club face's position at the end of the release drill. If the club face's toe is pointed in front of you, you didn't release the club enough (slices, pushes). If the club face's toe is pointing behind you, you over-released the club (snap hooks, hooks, pulls).
  • Try to make your forearms touch while rolling over into the finished position.
  • Practice, practice, practice until it feels natural.

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  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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