How to Master the Swing Release in Golf

For many golfers, the swing release is among the more difficult components of a strong golf swing. It is the moment when your clubface makes contact with the ball, determining the flight and the spin of the ball.

Your swing release is  important to maintaining consistency in your swing and playing a strong game.  Yet, many amateur golfers make the mistake of rolling their wrists through impact, which can cause casting and flipping.

So, what can you do to make sure you’ve got a great swing release? Let’s take a look at the different methods you can use.

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Your Grip Determines What Method You Should Use

The first thing that you should know is that grip plays a huge role in determining what method for swing release may work best for you. An instructor or skilled golfer friend can check your grip to determine what your natural grip tendencies are, which will help you understand which method is best to pair with your grip.

Grip pressure plays an important role in your swing release – you want to make sure that your grip pressure is relaxed. This will help you hinge the club when you release.

Prepare Your Setup

The other important aspect you should focus on when it comes to swing release is your setup. This sets up the foundation you need in order to play in a consistent manner.

The key to consistency is to have a square stance. Your feet should be placed so that your toes are parallel to the target line. Your shoulders, hips, and feet should be square to the target.

As a golfer,  if you tend to hit draws or fades, you can align your position slightly to the right or the left, respectively.

It can be helpful to record your setup stance to get an idea of how you currently position yourself and where you might need to self-correct.

Three Methods for Correct Golf Swing Release

Now that you know the basics around grip and setup, it’s time to talk methods for swing release. The three primary methods are:

  • Push release method
  • Crossover release method
  • Slap hinge release method

Resource: Step by Step Practice Routines (Drop 10 Strokes from Score)

The Slap Hinge Release Method

The slap hinge release method is an easier one and can be useful for beginners or players who are not able to generate a lot of clubhead speed. It’s a good fit for players that have a neutral or strong grip. Here are some key notes for the slap hinge release method:

  • At impact, your hands should be flat with your wrists leading.
  • After impact, your left wrist should release upward and your right hand should release underneath.
  • This allows your wrists to loosen at impact. The result is that the clubhead goes into a vertical plane and the loft adjusts at impact, producing higher flight.

An important caveat to the slap hinge release that you should note is that  it requires perfect timing at impact. This can be difficult to consistently reproduce.

The Crossover Release Method

This method is better suited to more skilled players and is appropriate for golfers with neutral or weak grips. Here are some key notes for the crossover release method:

  • The crossover release is defined by your right hand meeting the golf ball and then making its way over your eft hand.
  • Your wrists should rotate when the club makes impact, resulting in the club going onto a horizontal plane.
  • At the start of the downswing, the clubhead will be open and close during impact. The result will be a draw.

Similar to the slap hinge release, the crossover release’s weakness is the way that its’  performance is based on timing – and being consistent with timing is difficult even for experts If you move too quickly during the transition you can end up causing many misses.

The Push Release Method

The push release method holds an advantage over the slap hinge release and the crossover release in that it is not as dependent on your timing. It’s best suited to players with a stronger grip. However, if you’re a beginner golfer or struggling with swing speed, the push release may not be the right option for you. Here are some key notes for the push release method:

  • Your wrists do not move with the push release method. Your loft also does not change throughout impact.
  • Your clubface should be slightly open at impact as your hands reach square up the face.
  • This technique causes the most consistent flight and largest distance. It also causes a lot more power as a result of the lag effect.

For experienced golfers, the push release is by far the most efficient release method. With this method, you do not have to be so focused on consistent timing.

Golf Training Aids We Recommend:

The Release Golf Club Drill

Now that you’re familiar with the different methods, it’s time to practice. This drill will help you become comfortable with releasing the club consistently. It’s especially useful to practice movements in slow motion so that your body becomes comfortable with them and can easily do them at normal speed  on the course.

This is a useful drill for practicing push release.

  1. Tape an alignment stick to an iron. The alignment club should extend to your armpit.
  2. Place another alignment stick or club at your feet and another stick or club at the ball so that they are parallel to the target.
  3. As you begin your backswing, your club should be aligned directly above of the stick or club at your feet. Note this to ensure you are in the correct position.
  4. On your way up on your backswing, your club should be facing skyward and end of the club should be facing the ground. Note this to ensure you are in the correct position.
  5. After you note this position, begin to unwind your body from your hips so that the hips are followed by the shoulders, arms, and hands. This will bring you to a square position, with no wrist movement. Your elbows should also not bend.

The swing release can be intimidating to beginner golfers because it is a challenging skill to master. The key to developing a great swing release is knowing your grip, focusing on your stance, and opting for the methods that best suit you as a player.

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Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

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Work hard,

Nick Foy, Instructor

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