Lose the Right Hand - Release Drill

Learn how to release the club properly to more easily square the face and add clubhead speed.

  • The right hand's job is to provide speed and help control the club
  • By impact, the right hand's job is done, and over-using it can limit speed
  • Drill: Let the right hand come completely off the club at impact
  • As you move back to your regular swing, just have the left hand "along for the ride"

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William
It appears your left hand is flipping/cupping after impact. Should this happening?
April 3, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Ideally, the lead hand will be flat at impact and through the release. Some overly strong gripped players you may see a hint of hinging.
April 3, 2021
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stephen
So the actual release of the club is similar to snapping a whip . Is that correct.?
October 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Yes. Like cracking a whip. Take a look at Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball Video.
October 24, 2020
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Bob
Question: what does it mean to apply speed with the right hand? Is extending the right arm at impact how this speed should occur? I understand releasing the right hand so as not to encumber the release, I just don't understand how the right hand adds speed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks1
August 21, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. The trail arm is a passive conduit of power. The speed is being transferred through the arms from the body. You aren't trying to push the club through with the trail hand.
August 21, 2020
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Bob
Ok, so there is nothing conscious being done to add speed, it's just that the right arm is moving away from the body that produces the speed. I don't need to do anything but keep the right arm and wrist soft. Is that right....thanks Craig!
August 21, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Yes. Some advanced players can play around with a little bit of push in their swing from trail leg, hand, etc. But, the trail arm mainly is the conduit of transferring the power from the body through the arm because of it's connection to the core.
August 21, 2020
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Bob
Ok got it....thanks for that great explanation Craig! I'm always looking for that next 1-2 mph, and this video and your comments is what I needed to take it to the next level. Thanks again!
August 21, 2020
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Barry
Having a difficult time releasing the club. Holding on too long with lots of cuts. In the dead drill, Chuck says the swing is done at post up when the hands are in front of the trail thigh. From there just let it go. Considering it's a split second from the trail thigh to impact, do you recommend STARTING to lose the trail hand in front of the trail thigh? Thanks for the great content, Barry
February 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. Technically, you can start to lose the trail hand at any point to make sure the lead does the releasing. However, I would check for shoulder spin and also use the Fix Your Release Video for some key pointers on making sure the face is allowed to square up.
February 28, 2020
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michael
I've been using this drill and am starting to notice a lot of me shots are starting left and continuing further left. What could be the causes and fixes for this? Thanks, Michael
August 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. I would check to make sure your shoulders are square (Moving the Fulcrum Video), not flipping (Flip vs Release), and the release is gradual/tension free (Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 2 of 6).
August 30, 2019
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Gary
Question - can one play losing the right hand after impact and maintain speed and distance?
November 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. You will see pros like Vijay and Mickelson lose the trail hand after impact. Ball is already gone. I don't see any reason why not.
November 13, 2018
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Gary
Craig thank you for the quick reply - question - how tight should one hold the club with either hand from setup to impact ? Should one hold the right hand looser to prevent the push of the right arm ? and /or should both hands be equal in tightness? I am looking for a comparable - some say like holding a small bird - is that a good analogy?
November 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. The typical tour pro starts with a 2 at setup and ends with an 8 impact (1-10 Scale with 1 being the lightest). But, that can be a little subjective if your 8 is really a 20. Both arms have a role in the swing. You want to be a little more on the lighter side with the most pressure being in the last three lead fingers. Think about if you were swinging an egg in your hands. Enough to hold onto it, but not crush it or actually throw it. Very light trail hand is perfectly acceptable.
November 14, 2018
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John
Craig, I tried to comment on the 5 min to the perfect release but my phone somehow didn’t let me My question is about swing path during the release Are we supposed to be swinging out to 0clock if the ball was at 12 ?
July 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. What's 0 O'clock? You will feel that the release goes towards the target as your body is moving away from it.
July 6, 2018
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John
1 o’clock
July 6, 2018
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John
I just wanted to be clear on swing path is there any videos you suggest?
July 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release, 9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking (Impact Video), and Side Bend in the Golf Downswing should help. The club will be traveling on and arc/circle. But, the sensation will be more of one going directly towards the target.
July 8, 2018
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William
Hi, 2 separate questions that may be related but please answer both if you can. 1. is it possible to grip the club too lightly and if so what are the consequences and how do you tell? 2. Also, in trying to have soft hands at the top in order to create lag, do you think of having the same hands and arm pace and tempo throughout the transistion? I know there will be natural or automaticly more hands and arm and club head speed on the down swing due to gravity amongst other factors. But is your feeling the same tempo or pace with hands and arms throughout the transistion, , or are you consciously trying to increase or speed up your hands and arms from the top? It seems to me when I play the best my hands and arms are almost lazy from the top, and not in any hurry, kind of like I don't even care. But I wonder if this comes under the heading of, "what you feel isn't real"?Thx very much.
January 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. It is rare, but yes you can grip too lightly. The club will have the tendency to slip in the fingers and you won't have enough pressure in the lead last 3 fingers to help control the face at impact. The club head speed needs to be in the club and not the force or speeding up the hands/arms. It may feel somewhat similar or blended even though though the arms//hands are traveling different distances. You are not trying to speed up the hands in the transition. Not being in a hurry in the transition and allowing the lead side pull to bring everything down is good.
January 7, 2018
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don
This really brought out the problem that I have too much right hand. Not sure why as I am left handed. I do the drill ok when I just use my left hand. Once I put my right hand back on the club I loose lag and flow of the swing seems awkward. Als0 get break down of my follow through. How do I keep the right hand from overpowering my swing at impact? Don
November 27, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. I wish there was a quick way to delete the trail hand dominance. Takes a lot of lead arm only practice and patience adding the trail arm. Take a look at the 5 Step Series. Once, you get to Step 5 - Add the Trail Arm. It slowly introduces the hand back into the swing.
November 27, 2017
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Ashar
Hi Losing right hand during my swing has reduced my speed a lot. While playing my game has reversed. Though i got a good feeling of effortless swing on the range but it was otherwise on the course. My right hand usually off the club at finish. Is it ok. In my completed reviews i have been recommended this video.
August 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ashar. It will take some time to adjust. You want the swing feeling effortless. You have new power sources now other than brute force. Don't forget to add the body component. Take a look at You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs Video.
August 15, 2016
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Stan
Sometimes when I am making full swings I try to keep my hands and arms relaxed to get that snap through the impact area. I find that my trail hand is pushing through the impact area while my lead hand is pulling. It isn't a hard push but it seems like it is trying to do a flip through impact. When you go through the impact area will the trail hand push some to add speed to the hit like in the throw the ball drill or should it just follow the lead arm like a trailer being pulled by a car? I find that in a full swing I really have to be aware of what my trail hand is doing so it don't screw up my pass through the impact area. My goal is to get this golf swing right no matter what it takes.
July 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stan. Only a little push when the swing is mastered. For right now I like the trailer and car analogy for the trail hand. Less trail hand will always be better.
July 26, 2016
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evan
This is a fantastic drill to really get the feeling of how the left hand releases, for some reason all of my purest shots are when I loose the right hand, I'm having difficulties replicating the pure strike when I leave my right hand on the club.
May 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evan. Great. If you like this drill expand further with the Vijay Release Drill or Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 4 of 6.
May 4, 2016
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Jerry
I release the irons good and get good impact but with my driver I can't get it to rotate and u slice the ball if I rotate my hands from the top of back swing I can get it to square up but I have to rotate so hard from top that I don't alwas get it square and it pulled the ball to the right I recorded myself and I can see me not rotating and see my club face open at Impact how can I get my drive to rotate easy like my irons
February 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jerry. Two things: Make sure you have a smooth transition. It sounds like you are racing the arms down too quickly from the top. Take a look at How to Swing from the Ground Up. Then, adjust the setup to make it easier. Driver Setup Adjustments Video and Driver Launch Angle Video.
February 22, 2016
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Joel
Are there any adjustments that you need to make to this technique with the lighter clubs i.e. Driver, hybrid where the momentum isn't as strong?
February 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joel. Not necessarily. You aren't relying on push of the trail hand (regardless of club) to manufacture all the momentum for swing speed.
February 17, 2016
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Paul
I had a review from Steve and had a follow up question. On the downswing , I need to stop push my ride side and start pulling from my left. He had mentioned that increasing your weight on the left foot will help me with rotation and lag (which I really want). The problem is I can't really feel it since the your doing this transfer while swinging fast. Is there a "cheat" or a mental trigger I can use to make sure weight is properly transferred?
September 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Take a look at the RST Tempo Drill or How to Swing from the Ground Up. These will help you feel a good plant/shift.
September 24, 2015
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Paul
Thanks Craig, I have one unrelated question . When I hit a proper shot , it has great loft and I get it there but I do sacrifice some distance. How do I hit shots with lower height, so I can add 10-15 yards of distance. I am talking about mid irons and the driver.
September 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. With the Driver you will want to adjust the setup. Change the angle of attack by not placing the ball up as far and better tee height. With the irons you need to work on more bow. Take a look at the Knuckles Down Video.
September 25, 2015
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Michael
This is my problem exactly my right hand is way to active. I played a round the other day where my only swing thought was to feel like the left was doing all the work. And it helped but I have that tendency to where he right hand just clamps down. Are there any other drills I could incorporate along with Chuck mentioned in the video?
June 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. The Vijay Release Drill in the Advanced Downswing and Proper Muscle Activation in the Introduction Section can help with over active trail side.
June 8, 2015
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Lee
Should the video practice points say "just have the right hand "along for the ride" instead of the last point saying just have the left hand "along for the ride"?
June 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Good catch. Yes.
June 2, 2015
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Mikko-Pekka
It still isn't fixed... I had to read it a couple of times to realize the error.
February 13, 2019
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Brian
Why did I lose all my favorite videos?
May 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. I apologize for the error. Please contact Customer Support with the Contact Us Link at the bottom of the page and they will get you back going again.
May 16, 2015
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George
When I hit balls during this drill, the ball always goes well left of my target, an issue I deal with in a full swing with both hands on the club. I've been told that it is my right hand action that causes this, but it happens with left arm only swings as well. Is this normal? I'm almost 100% sure my alignment is correct. Is it possible I am rotating my left wrist too early?
April 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Patterson. Your right hand action does like to cause the left ball. However, if using the lead arm is causing the ball to go left, check a few things out. 1) Are you flipping the arm? Rotating the lead arm too much in conjunction with the lead wrist. Elbow flipping before impact. 2) Cupping the lead wrist though the shot. 3) Awareness for impact is off. In the 5 Mins to the Perfect Release. Impact is the first item discussed. Very important to know what it feels like to have forward shaft lean and a square face. Try calming down the rotation in the wrist a bit. Feel hitting it with a square face, bowed wrist, and shaft lean. It should straight out.
April 29, 2015
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George
Thanks Craig, I think it is a combination of awareness for impact being off and too aggressively rotating. I'll get to work
April 30, 2015
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Anthony
In working on this drill and other drills like it I have the strong sensation of an increase in grip pressure in my left hand through impact and into the follow through. I don't think this is what I want so I am trying to fix it. Do you have any suggestions? Is it a confidence thing or am I doing something wrong? I'm not sure if I'm subconsciously trying to control it or pulling with the wrong muscles.
September 12, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Studies have shown that even with the best players in the world. Grip pressure increases a lot on the downswing. Unless you have a "death grip", an increase isn't such a bad thing.
September 12, 2014
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John
I have always had a mental picture at impact of my right hand hinged back so that the hands are in front of the ball at impact and the shaft is leaning forward. The right hand release seems to be the opposite of this. How do I aggressively release the right hand but still keep the right hand hinged and the shaft leaning forward at impact? Thanks John Jewell
August 3, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. This video is trying to help the over active right hand users. The slight hinge at impact with the right is ok. Most people over do the use of the right hand. Leading to flipping the right hand (pushing). Take a look at the Forward Shaft Lean Right Arm Video in the Downswing Advanced Section. Clay will discuss your position.
August 3, 2014
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Kevin
Chuck says, of the right arm and hand: " You have throw it early and release it. Is the start of that early release at, where you would still have full lag and your hands are opposite your right thigh?
July 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The throwing motion is geared towards people that have too much lag and need to get rid of it early. The release happens towards impact. The club will start squaring from the top of the backswing down. Use the LADD Video (Downswing Section) and the Squaring the Club Face Early (Advanced Downswing Section) to understand how the lead arm will help square the face.
July 29, 2014
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Kevin
If we don't want to be turning through with our body at impact, yet let the club snap through, when is it that our left oblique stops pulling during the downswing?
July 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The left oblique will decelerate into impact. However, there will still be minimal engagement to aid through the follow through. Take a look at the Acceleration Profile Video in the Downswing Advanced Section for some info.
July 28, 2014
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matt
I tend to get the right hand over used and lose power and lag...should I feel like the right hand is passive through the swing and pull more with the left? Will I lose some right hand power that way? How should I gradually add back the power if so?
July 24, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matt. If you tend to over use the right hand. Train the left side first. Get the proper pulling motion. Adding back speed with the right is much simpler. For right now, feel that the right side is very passive. Once the left is trained well. Use the Throw the Ball Drill in this section to get rid of lag and the Right Hand Release Drill in the Advanced Downswing Section for added speed.
July 24, 2014
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Mark
Is a proper release accomplished by using the right shoulder as an essentially non-spinning pivot point as discussed in the throw the ball drill. Is it best to practice letting go with the right hand as shown in this video in addition to using the right shoulder as a pivot point.
July 12, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Mark. The key is to not keep driving the right shoulder and pushing with the right hand through impact. You are correct that both will work well together. Maintain the pivot point and let it go.
July 12, 2014
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Kevin
For a standard full RTS leverage swing, let's say a six iron, and let's say they're a scratch golfer also. Are they thinking about what their hands are doing, or do they try to keep the hands quiet and out of the swing?
June 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Kevin. I can't speak personally for everyone else. Nevertheless, I am a scratch and pretty much have the full RST motion down. I tend to only think about my left hand on the downswing. It's not all the time. But, I like to flight and shot shape the ball. When it's a stock shot. Usually just tempo and keeping a good pace. Hands stay actively passive.
June 29, 2014
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Kevin
Thank You. The reason I keep mentioning The Leverage RST swing as opposed to the RST body swing is because both are acceptable within RST teaching. Re: Chuck's, How "Much Shoulder Elevation" video. i'm not sure if there are any differences in how the hands work in the two different styles of swings coming into impact and through?
June 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The hands will work the same. One is just elevated to keep the hands more in front of the body to maximize club head speed. On the way down there will tend to be less need to shallow out the plane as in the RST Leverage swing. But, coming into the ball there is still a need to release the club the same for ultimate potential.
July 1, 2014
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rick
When I do this drill my divot goes in to out, or to the right of my target. Is this correct?
June 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Rick. You might be slightly under plane. Make sure your releasing and not pulling the left arm away from the body.
June 27, 2014
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Kevin
at the 2:50 min. mark of the video Chuck says, by holding on with the right hand it's going to mess things up, like turning your body through. Don't you want to turn through with your body?
June 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Kevin. Yes, you want to turn your body through. Chuck is saying continuing pulling the body too hard through the shot. Imagine cracking a whip. If the golf club is the whip and the body never slows down, the whip (club) won't crack. We don't want the body ripped too far open at impact.
June 25, 2014
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Kevin
confusing. i guess this is more of a Davis Love type swing ( Leverage) where you slam on the brakes with the body, as opposed to the Tiger Swing, where it is more of a body/ core through impact swing
June 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Tiger's "old model" body decelerates coming into impact. It might not look like it, but he releases the heck out of it. The current "Tiger Model" he pulls more with the body which isn't as efficient. Leading to his current on course non success.
June 23, 2014
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Todd
i pull hook a lot of shots, my shoulders seem to fee like there making my whole upper body turn left all most like im tilted towards the target on top of or in front of my lower body ...........will this help / the letting go of the right hand drill?? sounds like my shoulder stay with the swing to long at impact, at least thats the feeling..... thanks for your help
June 18, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Todd, take a look at the Stop Coming Over the Top Video in this section. Make sure the shoulders don't rip open too fast causing you to steepen the plane with the right shoulder and arm. Also, take a look at the 5 Mins to Perfect Downswing in this section to understand what the shoulders do leading into impact.
June 18, 2014
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Adrian
Hi, from the top of the swing (12oclock), does the right wrist remain cocked all the way prior to release? Or is there a moment it gets hinged on the downswing?
June 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
For a right handed player. The left wrist will start un-cocking (ulnar deviation) into the release. The right wrist may increase in angle on the way down, and will straighten during the release.
June 6, 2014
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Adrian
Hi Craig, I find that when my left wrist gets bowed at the start or on the way down of the downswing, my right wrist will get change from a cocked to a hinged position. Is this the increase in angle u mentioned or am I doing it wrongly? Tks
June 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adrian. I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner. It disappeared from my board. You don't want it hinging too much. But, it will be a blend of more wrist cocking and hinging.
July 2, 2014
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feng
when I practice this drill and hit balls, I got a lot of pull hook with low trajectory. The same thing happens when I hit balls with left hand only. Is this common with this drill or I'm doing something wrong? Thanks!
June 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
You are probably trying to flip or manipulate the club face too much. Check out the 5 Mins to Perfect Release in the Downswing Section. Work from impact. Make sure your allowing the club to release, not overly flipping the left hand through impact.
June 5, 2014
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feng
Thanks, Craig. I think you are right as I still cannot get the same feel of release when hitting balls compared to doing the drill w/o a ball. Will watch the video and keep working on it.
June 6, 2014
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gerard
should the right hand throughout the swing be passive and not applying any pressure?
April 20, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Passive is a good way to think of that hand through the movement so that its focus adding thrust from the right arm. Any added tension in the right hand can cause early casting, flipping, path issues etc.
April 21, 2014

Lose the Right Hand Release drill is an awesome golf swing drill to help you learn the feeling of a proper release of the golf club. It will add tremendous speed to your swing with literally zero effort - all you have to do is let go! Not only does it add more speed, but it helps square the club face for you as well!

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