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Stop Slicing and Start Releasing the Golf Club
In this video, I’ll show you how to release your club to stop slicing and get better compression and explosive distance. You’ll find out: 1) Why a "body release" requires way too much effort and may cause you to slice your shots, and 2) How “throwing your club” encourages an efficient and powerful release.
- In Release - Letting Go of Energy From Body Out to Club
- Releasing Energy Mostly From Right Arm
- Clubface Will Rotate Independent of Body
- Releasing w/ Body is More Effort and Slower
- Left Arm Rotates Through Impact/ Squaring at Impact
- Right Arm Adds Speed as If Throwing
How to Stop Slicing in Golf
Is there anything more frustrating than setting up to your tee shot on the first hole at your favorite golf course and slicing one out of bounds? I mean, everyone is watching, the starter is wondering why you're playing from the back tees, and just to show him you "belong" back there, you put a little extra juice into it, and voila`, you hit a giant slice and lose a golf ball on your first shot of the day.
We've all been there and we've all done it, but why do golfers slice? And more importantly, how do you fix a slice?
The first thing is to understand the common causes of a golf slice. The first and most typical cause is over use of the right side of the body. You see, the muscles that you have loaded up at the top of your golf backswing on the right side are ones that are in a powerful position to steepen the angle of the shaft which is the first step to coming over the top in golf.
So, the right side has steepened the angle of the shaft, the next step in slicing is rotate the shoulders aggressively, again, using the right side to "push" during the downswing. This makes the now steepened golf shaft swing on and "over the top" golf swing plane and a slice or a horrendus pull are now inevitable.
To stop slicing and start properly releasing the golf club, we need to first shallow out our golf swing plane. As you can see in the video in the link above, this can be easily done by simply removing the right hand from the golf club completely, which is how you need to start learning what a proper swing plane feels like if you've been swinging over the top. This move will completely transform your swing plane and make it nearly impossible to hit the over the top pull slice golf shot.
As a side benefit, it will dramatically increase your lag as well! A win win for your golf swing!
So we now have a shallowed out swing plane that makes slicing much more difficult, we now need to simply release the golf club and that's what this golf instruction video is all about! So, watch it now to stop slicing forever!
All right, this video is for all you slicers out there and all of you looking to pick up more clubhead speed, and you're really tired of conflicting advice that you hear on the golf channel, and golf magazines and those types Of things about how to release the golf club. I'm gonna show you exactly what a proper release looks like, what it's gonna do for your swing, and I'm gonna show you a couple examples of PGA tour players who do it right, and then a couple who do it differently, and show you what kind of difficulties they're gonna run into.
The first thing that you need to understand in a release is it's called a golf swing release for a reason. Think about what that means, that word release. Really what we're saying is to let go. When you release something, it has a chance to accelerate freely, independent of the object that's propelling it, right? Simple understanding of that. In this case, when we were talking about the release, a lot of times what we're talking about is the release of the right hand. That's a big part of what I'm gonna focus on here, because most golfers try to get the club to move fast by moving their body very quickly and holding onto the club very tightly, and they don't release it properly, they do what we call a body release.
What that looks like, is when you take your arms and kinda loomed your ribcage here and turn your body through. What's gonna happen, is your body and the club are going to move at a relatively constant pace together. You can see that the butt of the, or the club head and my chest are moving together. The only way that this club is gonna move very fast is for my body to move really fast. Of course that's a lot of work. Not only that, but your body just simply can't move that fast, so you really cap or put a limit on how fast you can move the golf club.
By the same token, I can slow my body down and do what's a proper release, what we consider a proper release, an RST, that is rotation of that club and letting it release independent of the body. What we mean by that? Earlier you saw my chest, my buttons on my shirt and the club head moving together. Now watch the buttons on my shirt, and when I rotate my forearms over, notice that my buttons on my shirt are moving really slow, so it's very on my body. But the club head is moving very fast. One's really efficient, one's really inefficient, it's your call.
You can put a ton of stress on your body, or you can take it easy on your body and let the club move fast and let it work as a tool, the way it was designed to do it. The way it was designed to do it is to rotate. This is a very important piece, and people ask me a lot of times, how I came up with the name rotary swing and why I called it that. Apart from the body rotating, the club is also rotating throughout the swing in a good golf swing. What I mean by that is the club is designed to rotate around the shaft. Otherwise they'd put the shaft in the middle, like a face [inaudible 00:02:49] putter, where you see the putter shaft in the middle, that's designed for more or less straight back and straight through puttering stroke, we don't want the face rotating along.
In a golf swing, I've never seen a single club with the shaft in the center of the face, it's around the heel. When you put this club on an inclined axis, or inclined plain like you have here, guess what this toe wants to do as it works around the body, it wants to turn over. This is exactly how this club was designed to work. With a lot of golf instructors out there, they are teaching a body release, which is what I was showing you earlier. They're taking the club face and they're holding it square throughout the swing and not allowing it to rotate.
They think that that's more consistent. It can be in certain ways, and thinking about it, but again, it goes back to efficiency. You saw how slow the club was moving in relationship to my chest. My chest has to be moving really fast for that club to move really fast. And it's also going to predispose me to a typical ball flight. Most golfers who swing like this, unless they have a very very strong grip and come way from the inside, will kinda predispose themselves to hitting a cut. Nothing wrong with that shot whatsoever, but in an ideal world, we want to be able to get a lot of clubhead speed with very little body effort. And in doing so we also want to be able to hit the ball both directions. You want to be able to cut it when you want to, you want to be able to draw when you want to, but you hit it straight.
When you let your golf club release properly, that opens up all possibilities, because you're now allowing the club to work the way it was designed to work and you're able to get a proper release of the club face and allow it to shut through impact and not worry about your body moving really fast and when you try to hit a draw, you're trying to manipulate this club face the last second. All I'm doing is just altering how fast I'm gonna release the club face when I want to hit a draw. Let's look a little bit more closely at the release of the club. When I'm talking about that, there's a few ways that I typically have my students work on it in the lessons. The first one is I want to really focus on what this left hand is doing. I'm showing you a down the line view, so you can see the toe as it releases here. I'm gonna pull it away from you a little bit so you can see it.
But the club face is about toed up here at this point. When I'm doing that, and I can do it face on, so you can see a little bit different angle. My left hand is allowing to release and turn over. This is covered in great detail in the five minutes to perfect release video. You need to focus on that, if you struggle with releasing the club properly and getting into a proper impact position, that video covers everything you need to do in a very progressive manner. Once you have that down, now what you want to do is you want to add the right hand to that, and this goes back to us talking about it earlier, and releasing it. Now what I'm gonna do, is I want to speed this up. Now I'm gonna use my right hand to get a little more zip out of it. Now you can see the club is speeding up a little bit more because I'm throwing it, hence the throw the ball drill video. With that right hand, and I'm releasing my right hand. What do I mean by that?
Well, take a look at VJ and Phil Mickelson and Freddie Couples and watch their trailing hand, what it does through the hitting area a lot of time, is it actually comes off, Ernie Els even does this, to where the hand looks like this. The right hand, the trailing hand is literally releasing the club. That's allowing it to speed up independent of you. What I want you to focus on in this drills, I want you to think about releasing the club. I want you to take that term more literally with your trailing hand, think about allowing the club as if you were gonna throw with the right hand. Don't want you to throw it, but I want you to envision that. I'm gonna show you a video of Tiger in a second, where you can really encapsulate and vision what he's really doing with the club when he's really releasing the club. He's almost, you can imagine letting go, like you were gonna throw the club.
What that's gonna look like, you can actually do that in the drills, we do that in the five minutes perfect release video. But I want you to just try and think about throwing the club at the ball, like the throw the ball drill. Allowing your hands to turn over, but do this while keeping your hands on, so now I'm envisioning that I'm just throwing my hands, throwing the club and releasing it, covering the things that I've covered in these two videos I mentioned earlier. But I want to start getting to the point where I hold onto the club and keep this right shoulder back as I release it, you can see my right hand is very soft on the club, to the point where I could let go. Now all of a sudden what happens is the club can release and turn over properly very very quickly.
If you struggle with slicing the golf ball, a lot of times what golfers are doing when they slice, is that they're trying to release the club with their body by turning their body through the hitting area, instead of just letting go. Let the club go, let the club work the way it was designed to work and let the club release. Again, from down the line, I'm just thinking about throwing the club at the ball. If I exaggerate, I actually can let go, and you can see the club face turns over and releases [inaudible 00:07:36] very quickly. I just want to get to the point where I let go of the club and I'm throwing the club at the ball.
You can see I get a lot of speed with minimal effort. That's what I want you to focus on. If you're slicing, imagine that you're throwing the club, releasing the club head at the ball and letting it rotate through the hitting area, and you'll stop slicing, start to get the club to release and rotate properly through the hitting area. Now let's a couple of looks at a couple of tour players, and look at their swings, how they release the club.
On the video on the left, we got a great angle, very unique angle of Tiger. What I want you to really focus on here, is particularly his right hand, his right form. As he comes into impact, imagine that he is releasing the club. It's almost like you forgot that he had a golf club in his hand, which is great, because you can't see the golf club. It's like he's throwing something down at the ground. You can see that his right hand is going to turn over his left, and now his knuckles on his left hand are like point down the ground. His right hand is turning over the left. You can see how he's got all this great extension, as if you would throw an object, his arms have extended and formed a straight line with the right arm, and he's rotated the right arm over the left. That's got the club face releasing through the hitting area.
If we look at VJ here, we can see where he takes it to the extreme and his right hand actually will come off the club. There, you can see how his right wrist is actually in flexion there, because he's actually released it to the extreme and now his club face is pointing down at the ground. Both of these club face, it's hard to see here, Tiger's is blurred, but are pointing left or even down. To contrast that, take a look at this golfer. This golfer is what we consider a body spinner, he's taking his upper body, his shoulders and trying to open them and fire them really hard at the target. He's releasing his body rather than releasing at the club, and then what we'll see in the next frame, rather than having this extension at the width that you see, where Tiger's arms are out of way from his body, the right arm's rotating over the left.
When we look at this golfer, the next frame, notice that in about the same position, his club face is still wide open, and his hands have already disappeared behind his hips. What's unique about this is that this golfer on the right is not hitting it nearly as far as the golfer on the left or nearly as well, and is working twice as hard to do it, because he's not releasing the golf club. He's actually slowing the release of the club down, slowing the actual club head speed down by holding off the release and trying to turn the body through, while expending 10 times more effort to do so.
You don't want to have this filling where you're holding the club face off and keeping the club face constant with your chest. You want to have this feeling of Tiger and VJ where they're rotating the club face, releasing it through the hitting area. If you struggle with slicing, then you need to start working on getting this visual into your head where you're using that throw the ball drill, and combine that with the five minutes to perfect release, and you will start to get tons more distance, great compression on the ball and start getting the ball to turn right to left, instead of, and giving it that nasty old slice.