The proper release in the swing is key
One part of the golf swing that I feel most amateur golfers fail to master is the proper release of the hands and arms through the impact zone. If done properly, this part of the swing can add distance and reduce the number of off-center hits.
The impact zone can be described as the part of the forward swing from waist high, through impact and to waist high on the follow through. What is important here is that your hands turn over through the impact zone turning the club face from an open position through square at impact and to a closed position in the follow through. One way to see this properly and a good drill to practice goes as follows:
— From address, take the club back to waist high. In this position, the shaft should be parallel to the ground, the shaft should be pointing toward your target and the toe of the club should be pointed straight up in the air. If you notice that the face of the club is pointed at the ground, you have failed to open the face, and simply need to roll your wrists open and the face will be pointing away from you.– From here, softly let your arms fall toward the ball, and allow your hands and arms to swing through, turning your hands over so that the club face returns to square at impact. This is now when the club head will pass your hands and swing through to waist high on the follow through.
— Here at waist high on the follow though you should notice a mirror image of the back swing. The shaft of the club should be parallel to the ground and pointing toward your target, the clubface should be straight up and down with the toe pointing to the sky.This is what I call the “toe up to toe up” drill. What is most important through this drill and as you practice is that your hands must be soft, and your arms relaxed. Most golfers do not realize how tightly they grip the club.
If your hands and arms are tight, it is nearly impossible to time this release properly. It must be a soft release of the hands as the club “swings” through the impact zone. I feel that the best way to help your body remember this motion is a series of connected swings, back and forth. Softly feel your hands and arms swing, allowing your hands to turn over.
As you keep the swing moving, simply make the swing longer and longer until you have reached a full body turn and weight shift. Now you will be making a full swing and properly releasing the club through impact.Try this in your next driving range session, and I hope that you will see improved distance and consistency through out your game.
Ben Welsh is the head golf professional at the Eagle-Vail Golf Club. He can be reached at 949-5267.Vail, Colorado