Golf Instruction: When & How to Release
The release in the golf swing is important because this movement generates up to seven times more clubhead speed than usual if it is executed correctly.
The release of cocked wrists upon impact with the ball is a natural motion that results from a proper setup, address, backswing and downswing. To obtain the feeling of your arms rotating and your wrists unhinging for the release, use a drill to practice.
Cock your wrists to 90 degrees at the top of the backswing. Your body now will be in a coiled position, ready to generate power on the downswing. Your knees and hips will be moving into the downswing as your arms come to parallel with the ground.
Straighten your right arm during the downswing and allow your arms, hands and clubface to rotate, bringing you back to the address position as you strike the ball. Hold your wrists in a cocked position until impact.
Accelerate the clubhead through the ball with maximum speed at the moment of impact. This clubhead speed will generate the power during the downswing.
Unhinge the right wrist as late as possible into impact for the greatest swing speed, resulting in greater distance on the shot. Tension in the arms and hands will prevent this late release. This movement should occur naturally without manipulating the clubhead with the hands.
Allow your right arm to cross over your left after impact. Hit through the ball as your wrists release for a strong follow-through.
Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.