This is a great drill for generating speed in the golf swing and for hitting the ball much straighter, avoiding a slice golf shot (that is left to right for right handed golfers, and right to left for left handed golfers).
The word 'release' sometimes causes confusion among golfers. They know they have to release the club, but they are not sure how or when to do it or what the term means.
To release the golf club means to let the golf club overtake the hands through the impact area. This has two benefits. It creates more speed as the club is travelling faster than the golfer, and helps to hit the ball straighter as this means that the club face is turning, or closing, through the impact area. It is termed the release as it feels like there is a loss of control or a letting go of the golf club through impact, at the point when we feel that we need to hold on or control the golf club the most.
At some point, we all have experienced the ecstasy of hitting a good shot that sailed through the air, went a long way and yet felt completely effortless. At those times, the club head will have released correctly and it's momentum upon overtaking the hands will have produced the speed involved instead of the golfer trying to push it through with the arms as hard as possible. Ideally, we want to square the club face through impact by rotating the right forearm (for right-handed golfers) over the left one. The result is a huge amount of speed and a club face that points at the target, known as square on, at the moment of contact.
After impact, the arms stay nice and straight letting the forearms cross over each other. If a glove is worn, the gloved hand should be underneath the bare hand. A pushing or scooping action will result in the arms breaking down and the gloved hand will be on top of the bare hand. The swing here will look and feel forced and jerky instead of smooth and flowing.
To practice this drill, use a tour stick to help get the feeling of the club head releasing through the impact area. Hold the tour stick with as normal a grip as possible and set up in a good golf posture, but be aware that we are not trying to contact the floor so make sure that the swing is approximately six to eight inches higher than the floor. One of the biggest problems that will prevent golfers from letting the club release is gripping the club too tightly. With tight grip pressure, the forearms cannot rotate during the swing as the extra grip pressure will tighten the wrists and stop them moving. The tour stick helps to feel less grip pressure as it is incredibly light and thin, in which case, make sure to hold it securely, yet loosely. Taking the tour stick, swing back so that the hands are shoulder high and then swing through to a full finish. Aim to hear a ‘whooshing’ sound of the stick through the air as the rotation of the forearms whip the stick through the impact area. Stop at the finish and check that the hands are crossed over and that the gloved hand is underneath the bare hand.
On each progressive swing, relax the fingers a little more and really accelerate the hands through the ball, each time trying to get the whooshing sound a little louder. After a few repetitions, pick up a normal golf club and by taking a few swings and then shots, work at that relaxed rolling motion through the ball with the hands. With practice, the golf ball should fly straighter and further with less effort.