I’ve received many questions and e-mails regarding drills to help release the club more effectively. To all those readers, listen up!
The release refers to the un-cocking and rotation of the wrists through the impact zone. This motion happens quickly and has a profound effect on the spin imparted on your golf ball. Often the timing of the wrists can turn a perfect swing into a drastic hook or slice in an instant. If you suffer from extremely inconsistent ball flights, but your swing is pretty sound, this could be your problem. Furthermore, if you tend to block the ball, a poor release could also be the culprit. The following drills are of great help in showing you how to properly release the club through impact.
L to L Drill
This is one of my favorites. The proper positioning of the wrists and club right before the wrists begin to release in the downswing looks very much like a “L”, whereas on the follow-through… after the wrists have fully released, this position is a reverse “L” as shown in the images below. This is where your wrists should be as well, with your wrists fully cocked and the club pointing to the sky.
Setup with a club the next time you’re out at the range… no balls. Swing at about fifty percent your normal speed, but when you reach the first “L” position in the downswing, stop… check it’s positioning. Afterwards, swing through, fully releasing and rotating your wrists so that when your arms reach the next position, they have completed their turn and the club is again pointing at the sky (creating the reverse “L”). Repeat this drill, checking the positions each time and slowly start speeding the motion up. Once you’re comfortable with the positioning, don’t stop and you should feel the difference in the power you can create and the positioning of the face coming into impact.
Dumping the Bucket Drill
This is more of a visual drill that is used during your backswing and follow-through, as opposed to your downswing and follow-through compared to the “L” drill. Imagine that you’re standing at address carrying a bucket of water in your arms. As you swing the bucket to start your backswing, feels as though you would toss the water from the bucket behind you. This move ensures you’re wrists are rotating on the backswing.
On the downswing things becomes particularly tricky, as you want to keep the water in the bucket on the downswing, but throw it from the bucket straight ahead of you after impact. So on the downswing, keep your wrists cocked for as long as possible, before releasing and rotating them quickly and forcibly through to your follow-through. Feel free to try this drill for real as well, as long as you don’t mind getting a little wet.
Thumbs Up Drill
This simple drill is very effective at getting your wrists through the wrist positions of the release. When you arms are parallel to the ground on the backswing and downswing… both your thumbs should be pointing skyward… likewise on the follow-through. This insures your wrists are cocked and properly releasing from this position through the ball.
Be sure to give these drills a try and use the benefits of a proper release to straighten your shots and gain those extra yards!