Lead Hand Power Release Drill

Learn the power release move from RST Founder Chuck Quinton and add power to your swing and learn to master the soft draw.


Perhaps the shank is the only more frustrating shot in the world than the slice or the cut when you wanted to hit it straight or even a draw and the reason is, for most golfers, they don't get the club face squared up, right? It's not rocket science. It's very simple. If the club face is open when you hit the ball, assuming you hit it in the center of the face and the path is reasonable, the ball is going to go right. But what is causing you to hit it right in your swing mechanics?

                Now, obviously, there is a lot of things that can go on with the right side pushing and so on and so forth, but today what I want to do is give you a drill how to learn how to feel it correctly rather than saying oh, here's the 50 things that can cause it because there are a million different variables in the swing that can cause you to slice it or not be able to square up the face. Today's drill is all about how to do it right.

                And we're going to start with working with each hand individually. What I want you to do is grab a short iron. I have a six iron here. You can use seven, eight, nine. It doesn't matter. And what I want you to do is take your opposite hand. So assuming you're a right handed golfer, forget about your left hand for a change, for a minute. Take your right hand.

                What I want you to do is take your hand halfway back and fully set your wrist. So your hands are going to be pocket high, maybe a little bit further back. It doesn't really matter. And I want you to come down and release it with your right hand so that on this side, when your hand is about pocket high, the club face is fully released.

                Now, of course, this is a right handed club. So it's going to be a little bit different than seeing the club face truly being square, but I want you to release it so the logo on the back of your club is starting to point toward the ground. That's a little bit too much. This is your right hand so it doesn't really matter. What I want you to feel is your hand and arm being pretty dead but I want you to feel how the unhinging and re-hinging of the wrist is what's really helping you release the golf club because I'm not having you turn. I'm not having you shift your weight. I'm not having you do any of that stuff.

                Your arm is dead. You[re just using it enough to move your arm back here but from here it's all letting that wrist angle release. It's the only thing you're doing. You're going from 90 degrees wrist set to nothing and then re-hinging on the other side without trying to pull your hand. The reason this is important is for two things.

                One, most people when they do it with the correct hand, the left hand, they're trying to either push from the right side, which holds the club face open or they're trying to do what they feel is the right thing, trying to get their hands ahead of the ball and they hold off the release too soon and by the time their hands, yes, they're out in front of the ball but the club face is wide open. The only way you're going to hit the ball straight there is to have an insanely strong grip or flip your hands.

                When you do it with your dominant hand, which is probably stronger, it's a lot easier to feel this hinging and unhinging on both sides of the ball. That's what you're really trying to feel because with your dominant hand you'll pick this up pretty easy, getting the club face to be open, square, closed. Open, square, closed. Without trying to pull your hands. So my hands are just really getting moved by gravity and the momentum of the club.

                Now, now that you've done it with your dominant hand, you've got a good feeling for it. Take your left hand and do the same thing. Now, as you do this you should never, ever take a divot like that.  If you take a divot like that and you're using your left hand only, you're probably taking your left thumb and pushing against the shaft. If you struggle with that, take your left hand off for a second, swing your hand back here, fully hinge your wrist, let it unhinge, and re-hinge on the other side.

                So now I'm trying to get the same feeling of the club releasing and pulling me, pulling my hand into this position. My hand's really just falling to here. If there was no other momentum my hand would stop, but because the club head is still moving it pulls my hand. Where people make the mistake is trying to get their hand so far ahead of the ball or trying to hit it hard with the right side and the club face and the hands end up out here. There is no chance for me to square that club face. It's looking at the camera.

                So how would I get it squared up? I have to do something really crazy. We want the club to release naturally. Remember, it's called a release for a reason. So no, I'm not telling you to take your hand and try and flip it over. That's not going to be passive at all. I want you to feel how, as you have this huge angle in here, and you just drop it and let it go, that the club naturally wants to release, square up, rotate over on the other side. The release is really a passive release and rotary swing. You're not trying to do something with your hands but oftentimes it helps to have drills to train them how to do the right thing, especially if you've been doing the wrong thing for many, many years like so many of us have.

                So, hinge, unhinge, and release. Now, another good little trick is you start moving into hitting balls with this. If you still are holding the club face open, you're holding it too tight or your pulling your arm instead of just letting your arms release, start thinking about getting that club to release by the time your hand hits your right pocket. Now, for so many of you who struggle with casting the club for your whole career and I see you in a lesson after watching some of the lag videos and you look like this halfway down, this is going to feel strange because you've worked so hard to get this lag, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and you can definitely have too much lag that makes it very difficult to square the face back up.

                So if this is you, we want to get rid of this. So we've got to start feeling like by the time our hands are here that we're really trying to let the club head release rather than really trying to move our hands forward. That's lateral acceleration, linear acceleration. That's very inefficient. We want to use this lever that you've built up in your backswing and downswing, this lag angle and let it go. We've got to release it.

                So if you feel like from back here your hands are done and you're no longer trying to move them forward. You're just trying to release the club face and your body slams on the brakes, that's where speed really becomes efficient because now all you're doing is your body slams on the brakes and you're just letting this club release, just like you are when you're doing this drill. Very simple but you can see the club still moving pretty quick for such a short swing, not using my body.

                When you get lost with this, put it back in your dominant hand and make swings the other way and start re-grooving the feeling of letting the club release back here to help the club face square back up. Let it rotate, let your wrist unhinge and uncaught to get that club face squared back up. When you go to hit balls, start out really small. If you really want to challenge yourself, start off left handed only and just make little swings and release. Nice little shallow divots is what you want to see every time, left hand only. Release. Same divot, same spot.

                I'm not trying to hit that spot. I'm just letting the club release, letting my arm stay nice and relaxed. As we start adding more speed, you can add a little bit of turn and start adding more and then eventually put your hands on just like the same thing you'd go through in the RSD 5 step stuff. Everything is stackable with Rotary Swing. So you can stack other drills on top of this.

                So if you're struggling with getting that club face squared back up, you're not seeing this nice little tight baby draw, you're probably not releasing it well and this drill will help you a ton.  

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Barry
Hi Craig, I was a 14 handicap but was not getting any better. Found your program and have progressed through the first 5 steps of the dread drill over 3 weeks and have been diligent in my drills and my new swing ( without hitting the ball) looks great. I’ve hit a wall with the left handed release drill. I’m hitting everything off the hozzle. When my I put my right hand on , it supports my ability to rotate my left forearm and square the club but I want to stay honest to the program and not skip a key drill. I’m stuck. I need some help with the left hand only release drill. I have been uber right hand dominant for years …. What could be causing this ? Hinging towards the ball instead of rolling the wrists , too weak a grip , too much forearm tension ? I’m committed to putting in the hours, but was wondering what has helped your students the most with this problem. Releasing the club has always been a challenge for me ( especially chipping) Thanks. Barry.
June 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. It sounds like tension and maybe so push into the ball with the trail hip. Work on Play the Best Golf of Your Life Video 2 of 6 to help with tension. And, work on the progressions with the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release. If you aren't getting the results lead hand only. You are more than likely too tense to let the club release and/or driving the body into the ball with push.
June 8, 2020
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Barry
Thanks Craig. I will work on reducing the tension in the left forearm when I get back to the drills. That is probably it, as it happens when I stand on left foot only , taking the push out of the equation.
June 8, 2020
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Barry
Just had an ‘aha’ moment. I saw Chuck was giving his wrist a little push at waist high to create some momentum in the drill. I tried that, then introduced a ball and wrists released perfectly , hit 10 clean in a row. Then I stopped assisting with the push , and I immediately took a big divot behind the ball and/or shanked the ball . I removed my left thumb and the problem disappeared. 2 questions : When I re-introduce the left thumb, what stops the problem from re-occurring ? Do I need to change my grip, i.e. the position of my left thumb so I’m not pushing the club down anymore in the impact zone ? Would a stronger or weaker grip help someone with this left thumb issue? Thanks.
June 10, 2020
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Michael (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Barry It takes time to get the left thumb to stop pushing. Start without hitting a ball and slowly let your thumb back on the club and focus letting it be passive. Once you can do that re-introduce the ball again. We don't want to compensate by changing grip.
June 11, 2020
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Barry
Got it , thanks Michael.
June 11, 2020
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Todd
Guys, I understand the concept here, but is there more to squaring the face? What "feels" like it works for me (and ball flight seems to prove)is that adding light firmness to my left wrist before the downswing helps close the face. (in video I'm mostly flat at top but still having trouble closing face completely leading to soft pushes). I've heard other instructors talk about this (reference extreme example Dustin Johnson), but can't say I recall anywhere RST discusses rolling/setting of left wrist etc. Are there videos on this or does RST not advocate this?
June 3, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Todd. Sounds like that little bit of firmness is allowing you to square up a little sooner. Take a look at Square the Face Early and Trace the Plane Line.
June 3, 2020
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Todd
Thats it Craig! Not sure how I missed that before, but thanks!
June 3, 2020
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Jeff
if i focus on a natural release my knuckles do not automatically go turn down. I don't see in consistency with this video and the knuckles down or fix your release. i asked before about the sequence? again these videos seem to contridict themselves. One says to actively turn your knuckles another says you shouldn't be doing anything with your hands. With loose grip and natural release my impact position is flat, but there is no natural rotation after impact that would allow me to see my knuckles.
April 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. The release will be passive. Some players have held on to the club for so long they have to train themselves to start allowing the release to happen. The knuckles are a guide to help understand what the hand/wrist should be doing. Controlling how much you bow, or turn down can alter the characteristics of flight. You are simply trying to allow the lead wrist to flatten into impact and the face to rotate over. Don't over think this. This drill and the others you mentioned are to get out of the way and to start letting the club release. It will come more natural for others that are used to face rotation. Like myself. I had to actively train the release motion when I first started rotary, but now that I have that movement pattern I don't think about it at all. Getting the club to toe up, or slightly toed down is all you need at the 3 O Clock position on the follow through. You should see you fingernails and/or slight bit of first knuckles.
April 30, 2020
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Shawn
Ive been doing swing reviews with Chris and he had encouraged working on release as he felt I had good body movements. As ive worked on left hand only i have found down the line, I will see one of two things. One, the ball will start left and continue to draw left even though swing plane shoulder alignment and body movements look good to me or as I come to impact the club face will open directly after impact, some time pretty drastically and then close shortly and quickly after almost recovering to toe up at 9’o clock, even though once again body wise and plane wise, things look pretty good. Could this be a grip issue? A release issue? Possibly cupping issue? Ive been at a lost. Any help is appreciated. Thanks
January 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shawn. Sounds like a flip versus release. Take a look at the Flip vs Release Video and Moving the Fulcrum Video. You are getting a toe strike and trying to save it by vigorously rotating it through. Also, check out Chris's Video Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 2 of 6. The release is passive allowing the club to rotate and not flipping the lead wrist through.
January 30, 2020
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Joost
When switching from trail hand to lead hand in the drill, I feel a significant decrease in strength, control, and speed (which is not surprising, being right-handed). Is that difference trainable? Or is my left side brain just too dominant? I find it quite frustrating, and even started making lefty swings, to see if I could become a switch hitter
January 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joost. That is completely normal. Remember, our lead hand is going to be the control hand. You don't need to train speed with it. Only proper pulling and releasing techniques. It will improve the more you do it, but don't worry that it doesn't feel powerful/fast.
January 25, 2020
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Kevin
How do I work on getting extension with my arms and releasing the club. Based on my video tonight it looks like it is exciting too high out of my left shoulder but I’m not sure
September 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You can see that the trail side took over. Club isn't fully released and really bound up. Work on the release and gradually and some trail hand in the proper side bend position. Take a look at Side Bend in the Downswing.
September 25, 2019
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Kevin
Thanks Craig that video shows how my right shoulder drove through. What helps stall the shoulders at impact though? Is it the post up move or does a good release in effect stall them?
September 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Post up will stall the hips, and proper release to keep chest from spinning.
September 25, 2019
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Nick
Thanks Craig, I now understand what to do. I hadn’t realised it was still possible to flip with only the left hand on the club but that’s clearly what I’ve been doing. How long do think it will take to break a 50 year bad habit? (No need to answer).
August 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. 3000-5000 reps to instill that movement pattern. You got this!
August 31, 2019
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Nick
Thanks Craig but the trail hand can’t be the culprit because it isn’t on the club in this drill. Neither is my left thumb, because I’ve taken that off as well. I suspect I’ve had a flip/scoop release forever. So could you confirm that with any of the left arm only drills, the flat/bowed wrist at impact rotates to vertical before re-cocking?
August 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. Gotcha. Yes, you should get to the 3 O'Clock Position before any re-hinging. Go to timestamp 4:45 in Stop Slicing and Start Releasing the Golf Club Video. Chuck will show a good visual from both angles. DTL and UTL.
August 30, 2019
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Nick
Sorry, tried unsuccessfully to send photo. My question below refers to doing the power release drill, left hand only. When my left hand is passing my left thigh, there is a scoop angle of 138 degrees between my left arm and the clubshaft. I’m presuming they should still be in a straight line at this stage?
August 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. Without seeing the photo it will be tough to diagnose. It sounds like a quick re-hinge. You need to check overly strong grip, trail hand usage (too much), and flat/bowed at impact (Knuckles Down Drill).
August 29, 2019
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Nick
Just after impact and my left wrist has already collapsed. Is this because I have scooped, rather than rotated?
August 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. Sounds like the trail hand is taking over. Try doing the Vijay Release Drill Video.
August 29, 2019
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William (Certified RST Instructor)
is there anyone on here who has struggled with a late release and not being able to attain that feeling of really releasing the club on time, and overcome it. If so what was the feeling or thought that helped you start releasing properly? THanks
August 19, 2019
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Mikko-Pekka
Hello William. I have found that 5 min. to perfect release works best. I think all the details are covered there. Hope that helps.
August 20, 2019
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James
I looks he is hinging the wrist on both sides. Is the hinge suppose to happen in the real swing. If so I have been training my left wrist to maintain flat during and after impact. ?? So the hinge is not a flip???
August 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Chuck is allowing for some natural hinge for demonstration purposes to keep some momentum going back and forth. Nevertheless, the lead wrist will be flat/bowed until the 3 O'Clock position and from there it can start to naturally re-hinge.
August 12, 2019
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Tim
I used to release with the body instead of the hands. I worked on releasing with the hands over the winter and actually shot my lowest round ever my first round after not playing since end of October. Anyway, because my wrists and forearms are now much more active I’m starting to get some tightness/soreness in the wrists and forearms. Any stretches or exercises you guys might recommend to help. I’m pretty sure my extensors are the issue. Thanks.
May 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tim. We don't have any on the site. I apologize. I would look for stretches online similar to what a pitcher would use.
May 17, 2019
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Anthony
I couldn't help but notice that Chuck's left wrist is repeatedly cupped over the right thigh. I realize this is a drill, but in the actual swing, should the left wrist be cupped at this point?
May 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. To have that amount of lag shown the lead wrist will more than likely be cupped. But, you don't need nor want that much lag. The goal would be for the lead wrist to be flat there.
May 1, 2019
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Robert
How about earlier in the downswing? Could or should the lead wrist be cupped closer to the top of this backswing and then get flat by the right thigh? the instinct of my lead hand is to cup a bit to generate lag at the top of the backswing. from other videos, I think i understand the lead wrist should only be cupped at initial setup and after impact. otherwise, flat or bowed throughout the backswing & downswing, right? presuming that is true, then one only wants a much lag as be generated with a flat lead wrist, right? resist any temptation to increase lag by cupping, right?
June 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Yes, you would want to resist having excessive lag by adding cupping. Unless your whole goal would be massive distance, or long drive contests. You need to have a balance of lag/leverage with control. No point in having a lot of power if you can't control the ball flight. Or, you would have to start making lots of compensations to make up for the overly cupped position. A very strong grip. Ideally, slightly cupped and gradually working to flat at the top. Then, flattening more on the way down with a little bit of lag increase to control impact and still have power.
June 5, 2019
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roger
HI, How does this all fit in with the 'impact position' of the left wrist ie. slightly bowed. Is this a by product of a good release? If so why do we even talk about it? Thanks.
February 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roger. The goal is to have a flat lead wrist at impact, or even a slight bow. Yes, it is a byproduct of a proper swing and release. However, some players have ingrained cupping/flipping at impact so much. They need a little manual boost to help get over the hump. For example: Fix Your Release Video.
February 24, 2019
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Mike
When I release, I am hooking the ball pretty severely Am I releasing too soon?
October 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. Sounds like a flip, or you are opening your shoulders too soon. Take a look at Flip vs. Release.
October 23, 2018
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Anders
Hi, one question. When i am releasing the club, do i rotate my lead wrist and my trail arm/wrist does basically nothing?
May 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anders. 99% of players over use the trail wrist during the release phase. You need to master the lead/control side first. Once, you have that down the trail wrist will help with power transfer. But, most players don't need to train that part of the kinematic sequence. We do have videos that focus on it, but the lead needs to be mastered.
May 25, 2018
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Lyndon
ok...so I been flipping for sooo many years when I thought I was releasing..lol....wrong!! . I'm close to 3 weeks into trying to develop a new swing based on RST instructional videos. I noticed that sometimes I still flip vs the correct way of releasing. I believe I was trying to release the club to late in my swing which caused me to flip it sometimes. Should my left hand have a strong, weak or neutral grip to help naturally to release the club? I'm getting better with breaking this flipping and starting to release but I guess its just going to take some time. This video may have opened my eyes on when to release vs release so late in the down swing. I will be working on that today.
May 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lyndon. We prefer slightly stronger than neutral. That is the ideal location for release and being able to control ball flight. It takes time to train proper lead hand usage. Have patients and start small.
May 7, 2018
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Brian
Hi Craig Apologies accidentally deleted your post but got the message. Many thanks for your help. Brian
April 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. No problem. Keep us updated if you need more help.
April 13, 2018
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Ronald
Read a bit about other who have various pain, shoulders, back, hip, knee, foot, neck etc.. But mine seems to be in the hands ..... I have very short stubby fingers, cadet-medium gloves and quite a bit of the old Arthritis. Bad enough that the torque on the joints, even with a light grip, seems to make the release uncomfortable. Are there any helps to deal with this condition? Types of gloves, grips styles both in the materials shapes and sizes, and in the types......interlocking seems to create the most pain, 10 finger the least, so I mostly overlap since it seems to balance pain with flex. I do try some mild squeeze ball to help strengthen. But I’d still say that feeling during the release is uncomfortable. Have you addressed this in others?
April 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronald. Overlap is fine to use. When dealing with advanced arthritis the main thing is less pressure and torque. Do you feel it more when uncocking the wrists, or rotation?
April 13, 2018
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Ronald
I’m well aware of the grip pressure issues, in my case the ability to keep even relaxed pressure can result in pain in the fingers. Both the wrist cock at the top of the back swing and the turning over the arms in the release seem to be the trouble spots. It seems that the lighter the pressure the more the torque impacts the nerves, luckily the death grip is impossible since squeezing that tight is even worse. I have read about some regroup options...Lamkin Arthritic Grip, Golf Pride CP2, Jumbo Max. But most of these are larger and with my very short fingers having a larger grip size is going to make a large gap when I wrap my hands around the club....I suspect that might make a proper release more difficult. On one of your other video’s you did talk about proper grip size....but perhaps in my case, just having more comfort and confidence in the grip will still be a plus. Anyway I was curious about your experience with instruction and club fitting for people of this condition.
April 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronald. A larger grip will help with the issue. But, as you mentioned it will tend to slow down the release. As long as you still release though the hands do move gradually through the hitting area. Not a massive speed up at the end. I would try somewhat larger grips. For me its on a case by case basis. When I see a player in-person. Much easier to gauge the adjustments. I would rather less pain an slight gap versus a lot of pain.
April 13, 2018
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Thomas
When coming into impact, does the left arm "stall" in order to release the club? I think I am pulling way too much with my left hand during 9-to-3 drills as the club finishes way past 3 o'clock and is open.
March 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Take a look at the Left Hand Release Drill Video. Sounds like you are pulling way too much. You don't keep pulling through the release. You have to slam on the brakes at impact to allow the forearms to rotate over.
March 24, 2018
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Paul
Hello Craig: Please can you specify what you mean with "slam on the brakes at impact"? Whick part of the body has to stop: shoulders, hips? (in order to allow the forearms to rotate over) Is there a video where we can get this idea? THANKS!!
September 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. The hips, shoulders, arms, then hands. The body must stall for the club to rotate over. The body must slam on the brakes to allow for proper release. Take a look at Arms vs Body Release and You Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball.
September 4, 2019
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Mark
I have been doing all of the RST drills up to this point, and really feel a change in my swing. And, when doing this drill I can stack and add my right hand without the ball and it really works well - lots of speed, releasing the clubhead etc. But, when I add a ball and try to hit some shots, for some reason I cannot hit it flush? I know it is mainly in my head, but it seems I quickly revert to pushing with the right hand and losing the loose rhythm of release that I feel when the ball is not there. Suggestions?
February 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Try the 2 ball drill when working on your release in the (Perfect Practice Make Perfect) Video. Don't force the release. Let the ball get in the way.
February 2, 2018
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Mark
I think I am finally able to get a better impact and wrist release, however, after yesterday's good round striking the ball, my left wrist (ulnar side) acted up considerable after my round and I had to ice down. Is there something in the swing that could be contributing to this? I use a strong grip and have thought about going neutral at least for the irons. I hate to give up my new found draw on the driver shots.
February 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Check to make sure you aren't pushing with your lead thumb (Golf Left Thumb) Video. Also, you could just be gripping it too tightly (Fix Your Release) Video. If you would like to use a grip slightly stronger than neutral you should easily be able to hit your draw.
February 2, 2018
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bradford
What drills can you add with this left arm drill that would give you more power or how to swing harder without coming out of you spin.
January 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bradford. If you have the lead hand under control and moving properly. I would work on the Impact Bag Drill with both arms in the How Swing Speed Affects Compression Video.
January 24, 2018
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Mark
One thing I'm noticing in my swing is that I'm right hand dominant (like many golfers). I tried today taking my right thumb slightly off the club and immediately saw better results. Could I hit balls like this in competition? Any disadvantage to not having that right thumb on the club? Many thanks, Mark
January 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Most players over use the trail hand. I don't see any issue with taking the thumb of to prevent push at this stage.
January 7, 2018
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don
Not sure what is meant by let the body "slam on the breaks" at the release. Should we conciously try to do this? Don
November 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. When you post up in the downswing the hips will clear and the body will start to decelerate to allow the club to release. Like cracking a whip. You can see that in the Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball Video and You Hit the Ball with Your Legs Video.
November 15, 2017
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Mark
Guys, I love all the videos and swing analysis so far, but I have actually injured my left wrist trying some of the one-handed drills on the site (jarring my left wrist from hitting the club on the ground). Whilst I understand you are advocating lead side focus, I do feel some of the one-handed drills are asking for trouble, as you have much less control and stability than with two hands on the club.
November 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The lead hand is your control hand. You have to attain stability and control of swinging with the lead arm. The trail hand does help with support. But, you shouldn't have any issue doing one hand lead only movements. Sorry to hear about your wrist. Try the 2 Finger Release Drill and watch Flip vs Release. Make sure you are trying to allow for a gradual release, not a quick snap.
November 13, 2017
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Gary
I seem to be hitting lots (not all) of thin shots. Without the ball I'm hitting the mat with a good release.
September 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. There may be a couple of different factors why it is thin. Tough to tell without a visual. Take a look at Fix Your Release. Make sure you forgetting about the ball with a good turndown of the knuckles.
September 1, 2017
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Robert
I took this drill to the course and for the first 8 holes it worked beautifully-- I couldn't believe the ball went so far, with so little effort. However on the back nine, I started hooking every shot. Is there an explanation why I was able to properly release the club ( on the front nine ), and then lost it? Bob
August 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. More than likely you started flipping it, or manually speeding it up too much (the hand). The rotation should be gradual. The more comfortable you became with the motion. You probably started overly gassing it. (Flip vs. Release Video).
August 4, 2017
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bradford
I like this drill, is there another drill that goes a long with this as the next step to help the left arm.
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bradford. The Left Hand Release Drill is a great compliment to this video.
August 4, 2017
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Andrew
The drill seems to promote a flip. Shouldn't the arm and club be straight and parallel to the ground after release?
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. The drill above is to start allowing or understanding you have to let the club rotate and release. Yes, you want the position you described. This is merely a drill to start trusting rotation.
August 3, 2017
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Andrew
OK that makes sense,,thanks!
August 4, 2017
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Colin
I know that my main problem with the release is forcing rather than letting it go. I know the effortless feeling but it's my instinct to try and 'hit' the ball because I'm using my left arm for most of the downswing and don't really 'get' how or when to increase power with the right arm in the downswing. So, now I'm fighting a hook and when I try to reintroduce the right arm, a big slice. I've watched the 'throw the ball' video' but I don't truly feel a throwing motion in the swing and think that the only way the right arm can function without causing problems is after weight shift and before release. This adds an almost impossible element of timing. I'm really talking about a driver swing - I don't pull my irons so much and I have confidence in my Hybrid which I'm hitting about as far as my driver with little effort. I don't seem to be able to get that effortless power with the driver and the hook is so destructive.
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Colin. The vast majority of players do not need to train any release with their trail hand. It is often so much over used that even when adding it back after working on lead hand only players still use it too much. Let the trail arm motion happen naturally. Allow for the power to come from the legs and the release of the lead hand (You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs and Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball). Both issues you described above sound like a lack of proper lead release, or over use of trail hand. I would suggest a swing review of your driver. Show the two different swings to your instructor. Let the instructor guide you through what is happening in your swing when you feel over use of the lead and when you try to add back the trail hand.
August 3, 2017
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Colin
Thanks for your prompt considered reply.
August 3, 2017
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Bob
First of all....these videos are going to help my game immensely...am just getting started and am looking forward to progressing during the next few months....BUT.....need to let you know that I have a problem that might affect some of the drills.....I suffer from plantar fasciitis.....worst pain I've felt in all 75 years of my life....and it affects everything.....shifting weight is a major problem and sometimes just assuming a stance is difficult......will try to progress slowly and learn the drills as suggested.....any suggestions for the foot problem????? THANKS
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Sorry to hear about your Plantar Fasciitis. Sadly, rest in one of the best medicines initially for your issues. I would shy away from anything that causes pain or discomfort right now. You will be somewhat limited until you feel a little better.
August 3, 2017
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Bob
Too late...had spine surgery in February and am still on the mend from that ordeal,,,BUT...I am still going to the golf course when I can ...have had the foot problem for about five years and fortunately my threshhold of pain allows me to get around the course...right now, my golf swing is pretty much "flat-footed"...but I still manage to shoot in the high 70's or low 80's....I am really straight and chip and put really well...so, REST is not on my list of options....will figure it out someway and get on with the drills...thanks for the prompt reply
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Is it your lead or trail foot? Are you able to balance on your lead foot? Let's say like an impact position? Terrible about your injuries. Chuck and myself know plenty about that.
August 3, 2017
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Bob
On a 0-10 scale, the pain in the left foot is about a 2....the pain on the right foot is normally around a 6, but after a few swings and a few holes, the pain goes up to around 8....the hip shift at address is gonna help a lot...(I'm right handed).....also 75 years old in a few weeks, and 6'" and about 210#...broken neck in 2004....discomfort till last fall then became painful so arranged the surgery....not as flexible as I want to be,,,BUT...just glancing thru the videos, I KNOW they are gonna help me a lot....your program is gonna give me two lthings....consistency and some of my length back...will deal with the foot problem....walked around Augusta in 2012...thought I'd died and gone to Heaven....haven't been able to practice because of all the physical ailments, but now I'll be able to practice quality moves instead of grooving a shitty (old Navy term) swing....thanks again for the answer
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Sounds like you have a decent tolerance for pain. If you can reach a point to solely place the weight on the lead side and practice a few impact release swing (5 Minutes to a Perfect Release and Perfecting Your Impact 1 of 4). You will be well on your way to creating a more efficient move and owning the move above. Also, welcome to the broken neck site. Chuck broke his as well (non-golf related) a few years ago.
August 4, 2017
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Steve
Great video just been working on this at range. I read the comment from David below about practicing with out thumb and what a difference that makes - I could really feel the difference in the grip by just holding the club with the last three fingers of left hand. Bring on saturday`s medal!
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Steve.
August 3, 2017
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Tom
A bit jarring to hear the recommendation that my hands should release when at my right thigh when a recurrent theme of my video reviews is that I should get them over to my left thigh before releasing my lag. Certainly I have the overactive right side problem, but how can I reconcile these different ideas?
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. The club will start to rotate as you enter the trail thigh to release the stored energy. However, in your swing you give up far too much angle too early. Therefore, you are having to exaggerate at the moment to maintain your angle longer. If you notice from the video Chuck talks about having excessive lag or holding the hands too far ahead before the strike. You are on the proper path. No worries.
August 3, 2017
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Rhaar18134
On a full swing, is the rehinging of the club an active or passive move with the wrists? Does the right hand participate in that move?Freddy Couples appears to make an active move with the last 3 fingers of his left hand to pull the handle of club up thru the hitting zone. Thanks.
August 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rhaar18134. The re-hinging on a full swing will be a passive move. The trail hand should follow freely into the release and into the follow through. If you continually pull the club too much through the hitting area the club won't release and you will tend to overuse the body to push the club through (Arms vs. Body Release and You Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball). Nevertheless, Freddy definitely releases the club versus too much continued pull through the hitting area.
August 3, 2017
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David
This may not be the right video but how do I keep my head behind the ball at impact? Pros actually have their head going away from the target. How is this possible. What do I look for in my swing.
July 31, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The head staying behind the ball is a byproduct of proper body motions and release. I would start on smaller shots and then work your way to a full move. Start with the Perfecting Your Golf Impact Series Part 1 of 4. The head moving away from the target is a hard aspect to teach. Players are trying to create maximum extension through the ball. If you are successful at posting up (You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs) and releasing (5 Minutes to a Perfect Release) this can start to occur with a driver. But, it is a unnecessary move to try and train.
July 31, 2017
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David
Ok. I will go back to those videos. As far as my left thumb, how do I keep it from pressing against the shaft. Is it truly holding the club with the back three fingers on my left hand? How do I train to get rid of using and pressing with my left thumb.
August 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Takes a lot of practice. But, you hit the nail on the head. Your key focus is the last 3 lead fingers. The better they are in control you will be able to lessen the tension with the lead thumb. Practice taking it of (thumb) and slowly adding it back to your practice moves.
August 1, 2017
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David
Ok. I will. But if and when I add it back in, I'm guessing that it just lays on the club. Also, do you use a long or short thumb? Is there any advantage or disadvantage to long or short
August 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Yes. It does provide some support, but it has to shy away from pushing on the club. Take a look at the Golf Grip Tips Video for visual information on the grip. Also, The Golf Grip Video. You will tend to be in the short thumb placement. If your thumb is in the long position it will hurt the ability to have control over the club at the top because it will make it harder to pinch together the "v" between thumb and index finger.
August 1, 2017

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