Effortless Power from a Proper Right Arm Release
By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •
Have you wondered how tour pros look like they are swinging so slowly, yet hit the ball so far?
The secret is in the release.
Most golfers have no idea how to properly release the club. This could be costing you tons of effortless club head speed.
If you want to hit the ball farther than you ever imagined, you MUST watch this video, where I explain how to properly release the club from a biomechanics perspective.
You will see there is one very inefficient way to release the club (and it is a very popular way being taught today), and there is a very efficient way to release the club for effortless speed.
When you are ready to hit the ball farther than ever with the least effort and strain on your body, then read on...
It is critical to understand the basic premise of a body release and a release of the arms and hands.
You may think that a body release is more accurate because it takes timing out of the swing from the hands. Of course, this simply is not true.
If it were, every golfer on the PGA Tour would be ripping their bodies around like you see in Hunter Mahan's swing or what Tiger Woods mimics in his practice swings (fortunately, he is not actually doing this in his real swing, as you will see below).
In this video, you will see the simple and very obvious reason why releasing the arms and hands makes the most sense from a physics and biomechanics standpoint.
To get a better feel for how prevalent the RST release is on Tour, take a look at the release of these long bombers:
Now, it is YOUR turn to learn how to release the golf club like the pros, so let's watch the video and get started!
Checkpoints for Practice
- Release gives you a lot of speed with little effort, as well as squaring the face & turning it over
- If you try to move your body along with the club you end up losing speed because the body can't keep up
- Instead the body stop and stabilizes, allowing the arms to rotate into impact
- The palms rotate through the entire swing, not a sudden flip at impact
- Practice keeping your body still and rotating your arms through half shots - the right shoulder is a pivot point
Video Transcription: Right Arm Release
The release of the golf club is where the big payoff comes from. That helps us get a lot of speed with very little effort, and it helps us square the club face and get the club face turning over so we get a nice, flat, straight ball flight. It helps take spin off the ball and flattens out the trajectory.
But that release, a lot of golfers don't understand exactly what it's doing through impact, so I want to talk about that today. There are two basic ways, if you take it from a very big perspective, to release the golf club.
One way is that, once the club's at impact - from here the club's going to keep moving whether I want it to or not - there's a lot of speed, there's a lot of force at work here, so it's going to keep going. I need to allow that club to keep moving in one of two ways.
I either get here and I turn my body - the club's still moving, so I'm working along with the club - I'm not going to stop at impact; there's too much force there. If I turn my right shoulder, the club still moves.
But now you look at it from down the line, what's going to happen is that club face is still very open. It hasn't released this way. That costs me a lot of speed, because now my body and the club are moving at a more constant rate of speed.
In order for that club to move - in slow motion here - my shoulders have to turn as fast as I want the club to move. You can imagine your body can't turn that fast, nor would you want it to. It's not very efficient. It takes a tremendous amount of muscular effort to keep the body going, and it puts a lot of stress on your left hip, left knee, spine, and so on and so forth.
There's way too much stress on that. You can feel this for yourself. Just get into impact and then turn and don't release the golf club. Now you're going to feel that it's a lot of work to do that.
The opposite way is rotation. When we talk about the release of the golf club, I define it as rotation of the arms and hands and the club, not rotation of the body. In fact, I want the body to come to almost a dead stop so that the club can release, because it's going to move way faster than your body ever can, if you allow it to.
We're going to look at it. Here's the first one. You can feel this for yourself. I feel a lot of strain on my hip, my body. The club is moving at a very slow rate. No matter how fast I move, the club can't really move that fast.
Versus, I get my body to stop and I come down into impact, and I let my forearms rotate over. You can see how little my body has moved here, but the club has moved another three or four feet. That's the definition of efficiency.
Not only that, but now as I come down I can start to get a lot of speed without a lot of effort. That's what you see a lot of Tour pros do. They look so efficient you say, "God, they don't look like they're really working that hard."
It's because they have a very efficient release. From this position to this position their bodies have barely done anything. In fact, they've actually stopped to stabilize the body so that the arms can release and have some support from this big structure in order to get a lot of speed and control out of the swing, versus the body and all these angles moving and changing all the time.
That's what most golfers do; they try to rotate their body to hit the ball, when this is way more effective and way more efficient, as you can imagine. From here, where the club is three or four feet outside of the ball, to here, to here, my arms have barely done anything. My body has barely done anything.
All I've really done is rotate my arm into impact. Which one's more efficient? Taking every muscle I have in my body and shoving it through and delaying the release of the club - because if the body's turning, the club can't release - if the body stops, the club has to release.
You can either work with physics or you can work against it. It's your choice, but obviously one's way more efficient than the other.
As I'm coming through, my hands actually come in very soft. This is not like a forced flip rotation. I'm just stopping my body and allowing my arms to do this. You can see my right palm is facing the camera. I come into impact, they're now parallel to each other and perpendicular to the camera, and now they rotate and release on the other side.
That's mostly this motion. Kind of like a forehand in tennis or ping pong. This is way more efficient than this ever will be. It's basic physics and biomechanics 101. Obviously, one takes way more work.
What you're learning to do is get your arms to be rotating. It's not just a flip here at impact. They're gradually rotating throughout the entire swing. This is really, really important. We've talked about it. There's a video called "Squaring the Face Early," and I talk about how the face starts to square at the top of the downswing. You don't come into impact and then try and flip it.
That's what most higher handicaps do. They come in with the face really open and then they try and flip the face over really quick so the rate of rotation through impact is very, very fast, whereas a good player is squaring it early and that rotation is very gradual and constant.
It's not that you're trying to flip your hands over really fast. It's a gradual rotation throughout the entire downswing, is the best way I can describe it. When you do that, you're going to start practicing getting your arms to release, and the best way to do that is just to train it independently of everything else.
Don't worry about your backswing. Make short little swings. Preset yourself at impact, go back for a little, short swing, and then come through and rather than turning your body, try to keep the buttons on your shirt and your belt buckle facing your video camera. Just rotate your arms this way.
Both arms are rotating, so we talk about that Left Hand Release Drill, the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release. This is this left hand releasing, and the right arm releasing.
It's critical when you're doing this that the right shoulder acts as a pivot point. You don't want it moving. What you want is your right shoulder to stay in place, and my right arm to move across my body. In order for that to happen, it has to rotate. I'm just grabbing my arm and spinning it this way. You can see my right shoulder is very quiet.
That rotation is what's moving the club during this phase of the swing, so when you're doing your drills keep that right shoulder in position and move your right arm.
Now, your right shoulder is going to move a little bit. Don't just glue it there, because then you would start to flip it. It has to move a little, but it's going to feel like it's not moving to you at all, and you're just rotating the club back and through here.
You're going to start to feel how efficient your golf swing can be. In fact, just hitting these little, short shots, you're going to be able to get a lot of speed with a very, very short swing because you're finally going to understand what the release and all that speed comes from.
Your hands are going to be the fastest moving part of your body during the swing. You don't want your hands moving at the same rate as your body.
That's why we don't want this left arm glued to your chest as you come into impact. If your left arm is glued to your chest, then your chest has to rotate through impact with it, and again we've got that whole problem of your body now has to rotate at close to the same speed as your hands for the club to go anywhere.
Now, if I let my left arm move independently of my body, I've just got to release it. I put those two together, my arms can move way faster and with almost no muscular effort, relatively, compared to your body for sure.
Just go out and practice this rotation, releasing the club this way, and see how your impact will improve a ton. You'll feel like your body is really quiet, and you're going to start to be able to control those impact conditions, those impact alignments, and start getting a lot of speed with very little effort.