When it comes to releasing the golf club, most golfers do it incorrectly and it’s just the sad nature of the game that because most golfers are right-handed, they play right-handed, they tend to overuse their right hand through the hitting area. The right arm’s job is to supply and support the left hand by helping it control the club, but also to support it and supply it with speed. In order to get speed, you’ve got to release it and that’s a very important concept to understand in the swing because most golfers through impact are holding on very tight with their right hand and pushing with the right shoulder and right hand and so at impact, their hand, their right hand’s very tight on the club and the left hand’s kind of being driven around a little bit and it’s very common for that to start to break down if they incorrectly flip that right wrist.
The reality is that your right hand through impact is done. In fact, I actually feel like I’m just barely holding on to the club with the right hand at all as a subjective reference for you. I want my golfers to feel the same, that they’re releasing that right hand. If you think about the throw the ball drill, we talk about going to the top and then firing that right arm. At some point when you’re throwing that ball, you’re releasing the golf ball, when you’re doing the throw the ball drill. You’ve got to feel the same way with the golf club. If you just try to do the throw the ball drill and hold on to it, obviously the ball’s never going to release, you’re never going to get any speed out of the ball. It defeats the purpose of the drill. Same thing’s true in the golf swing. If you try and bring the club down really quickly with your right arm but then hold onto it with your right arm, you’re kind of doing the equivalent of a check swing because you’re not letting the club release.
A good drill for that is just losing the right hand through impact. As you come down, try to get your hands to feel like you let go with the right hand and actually physically let go with your right hand. You can use it to apply speed but then let go of it and you’ll see that your left hand is now free to release with a lot of speed and you don’t have to put anything into it. You’re just freeing up the release. If you look down the line, what you want to see as you’re coming down, my right hand is coming off. You can use it to supply speed, but then let go of it so that the club can release and your body doesn’t have to keep turning. You can see if I keep my right hand on, the club can’t move as fast unless I physically try and throw it with my right hand. I need to throw it early and release it and now if I let go of it, the club can zip through impact with no problems.
If you look at some great ball strikers on the tour, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, two great examples, both of them, they’re trailing hands, especially with the driver, basically comes off the golf club. Vijay especially will come through and his hands are basically like this on the club. His right hand’s barely touching the club and Phil’s is no different. They’re doing the same thing in the real world where they’re letting that right hand come off to keep from impeding the release of the golf club. That’s what you want to feel. You don’t need to hold onto it all tight with your right hand. It’s just going to mess up a million things in swings and keep you turning your body through. It’s going to get you moving too hard with the right. It’s going to slow the club down. You want a fast zip release, not a hard controlled release with that right hand.
Let the right hand come off when you’re hitting balls if you struggle to get a proper snappy release at the bottom and you’ll be able to get a lot more speed with a lot less effort. Just hit balls, little half shots, just like always. Let the right hand come off. You can see as I go through this, I’m putting no effort into this at all and the club has got a ton of speed. If I did the same thing, now my body’s got to stay with the club, it’s going to rotate really hard if I’m holding onto it really tight. Practice releasing it and then as you go into your real swing and you start keeping your right hand back on, start practicing where it’s just kind of along for the ride through impact and let the club pull you up, and your hand should finish very soft and you should have a lot more speed with a lot less effort.
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