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Ah, the release. What is the release in the golf swing? Most amateurs have no clue what the release really is or what it feels like. So let's first think about what a release means. I want you to think about what that actual word means. What does it mean to release something? Well, it means to let go. That's exactly what I want you to think about in the golf swing. No, I don't want you to actually go out and start releasing the club and throwing it down the fairway. Although sometimes that can be effective as well. But the idea is that the release, what it's really all about is it's the payoff of the swing. You've worked to build up this energy, to create leverage in the swing. You create angles, which are potential energy. You've created torque. All of these things need to be let go at some point, so we can release all of that stored up, pent up energy directly into the back of the ball.
And that's what I'm going to talk about today is how do you release the club properly? The release is something that has to be timed correctly, but it's not something that you deliberately try and time. I know it sounds a little contradictory, but bear with me for just a moment. It'll all make sense. In a second, the release, it really happens super late in the swing. Now for most amateurs that happens very early in the swing. You've probably gone to the top and perhaps you've seen yourself look like this and you just start throwing them. The club away. This is casting, the club or club had throw away and that's releasing all that sort of energy way too soon. So by the time the club comes down to the ball, it's actually decelerating. There's nothing left. You have no energy stored up left. So you've released it too soon.
We need to time that release to get it just right at the bottom. So we need to understand how this process works. Well, what do we really have to release in the swing? Well, let's start with the body. That's the simplest stuff. That's moving the least amount. So what is the body doing? It impact? Well, it's actually slowing down the body's decelerating at impact. We can easily measure this with 3d motion capture and all sorts of tools that we have nowadays. So there's no question that the body's decelerating rapidly as the club begins to approach the ball. So there's really not a lot the body's doing in terms of helping release the club to add more speed per se. So what else do we have left? Well, our arms and hands are the only thing that are still kind of moving fast at this point, as we come in late into the swing, but even the hands begin to decelerate at impact.
So what we really have to understand is that if the arms and hands and body and everything are slowing down while the club is speeding up, how does that work? Well, only thing that you really have left is the angle in your wrist. Your lead wrist is going to be cocking up and down and your trail wrist is cocking and hinging at an angle. So as you put these two things together, you've got something to release. It's kind of like swinging a hammer and hitting a nail. The idea he is the same. If I have this angle to release, I can put some speed into the ball with a very small swing and you can see my body is barely moving at all, but there's another component to the release. That's perhaps even more important and even more understood than the release of the risks is the rotation of those risks, the rotation of your forms.
And that's where the real magic happens. A lot of golfers have been misled into the belief that you don't rotate your arms cause that leads to inconsistency. But here's the simple truth about it. All the two approach rotate their forms. Even Zach Johnson, who I think is kind of considered the prototypical body guy. Who's really rotating his body through the hitting area very aggressively, but even Zach, Johnson's rotating his wrists over. In fact, as I've talked about many times before Al the pros rotate the risks, you have to do that, or you're leaving a ton of speed on the table. Now the catch is it's how you do it. But first let's take a look at some of these pros to show just how much road rotation is happening through the hitting area.
All right, let's take a look at two extreme examples. I say extreme. They're really not, obviously was you look at their swings up close. They're pretty similar, but like most tour pros, they all do the same things through the hitting area. And Zack Johnson on the left tends to do it a little bit less. And Luke Donald on the right tends to do it a little bit more. So she's seen both of these together. It'd be really helpful to understand this release concept. So first let's just focus in on Zach's release because undoubtedly, he's one of the guys who's holding it off as much as anybody, but even Zach is rotating the club over. You can see his right-hand. Now, if you were standing in front of him, you could shake hands with him, his hand, his palms, not facing the sky as if he was trying to hold off the release.
He's clearly letting that club head rotate over and you can see the toe of the club turning over the club's already pointing over here off behind him. That's rotation. That's the release. Now, if we look over on the right and we look at Luke Donald, he just does this a little bit more. And what you'll notice with him, most tour pros tend to fall somewhere in between these two, but Luke has a lot of rotation very early in that latter part of the release. You can see how much the clubs turned over already at this point and how much you can see how much of his left glove that you can see in Zack's. You can see just a little bit certainly indicating rotation, but not nearly to the same degree that Luke Donald does. And then what you see in the release as we get to the final part of the swing, look how much more strain is put on Zach's body.
Obviously put yourself in this position and feel what it feels like. You're not gonna want to hang out here very long and Luke's in a completely different position. He's almost bordering on what I would almost call a pro flip here, but it's a lot of rotation, but like I said, most tour pros fall somewhere in the middle. So let's take a look at a couple other pro examples. Look at John Rahm. He's one of my favorite swings on tour right now. It's such a simple, compact move. It's so great and represents the accident movement so well, but let's just focus on his release here. Watch notice the logo on his glove is pointing straight at you right now. As you're looking at the screen from the face on view and watch how much rotation now, it's already rotated 90 degrees from just a milliseconds before impact.
You can see the logo on the glove at an impact. It's already turned 90 degrees pointing down the target, and now watch just how aggressively he releases that club. That's amazing watches right on. If you look at it from down the line, we can see one of those checkpoints. I just gave you where I'm going to give you where you can see the club is actually towed slightly in that's how much rotation is happening from slightly towed up or slightly towed in halfway down square and released. That's how you release the club like a tour pro. Yeah, you may be thinking yourself in a wait a second. I've got a really strong grip. I can't release the club like that. I'm going to hook the snot out of it, right? Hook it right off the planet. Well, let's take a look at somebody else on the tour has a really strong grip.
Bubba Watson. Now, of course, I flipped him around to ride here since that's what most people play golf as these days. And as you'll see, as he comes down, even with that massively strong grip, look at how much rotation is happening during the release. Look at that. It's all rotation. That's all that's allowing the club to keep moving independently of his body. As I mentioned, your body's slowing down at this point in the swing, the only thing that's happening is your forms are rotating and the wrists are uncorking and unhinging, you can see his body's moving very little, but there's no question. Look at the amount of rotation. Look at his watch. It's pointing down at the ground and now it's pointing straight at you. That is rotation. You may be wondering, well, does it change from a driver to an iron? Absolutely not.
A release is a release. It's the same. So now let's take a look at me here on the left and from down the line. So we can have a different perspective and Rory McIlroy on the right with the driver. I'm hitting a seven iron here. He's obviously hitting a driver. So you'll see, as we come down into impact, the release is the same as we come down. My toe, the toe of my club about halfway down is towed up, maybe slightly towed in, I did hit a little bit of a draw here, which is why I was aiming a little bit right at that flag. And you'll see, as I come down into impact, as we right as the club is working through the turf, it's rotating over right away. Look at how much I've released the club. And you can see now it's towed up or perhaps slightly towed in on the other side of the ball.
If we look at Rory over here on the right, you're going to see the same thing. Watch how much his hands turnover. And now you can see those knuckles underneath his glove here. His glove showing up gloved hand, showing up underneath, look at how much his right-hand is turnover from his Palm facing down the target to his Palm facing directly back behind him. And notice how he's throwing the club. His body has stayed back. His body has posted up and he's just releasing the club effortlessly and freely. And of course, no discussion of the release is complete without looking at LT gray himself, because he releases the club as well as anybody ever who has played the game. So watch just his lead hand right now, watch his left hand because very easy to see how much rotation is happening. This is so amazing watching him to zoom
In on his hands here.
Watch how those knuckles rotate over. Look at how much release there in that swing. That's where the speed is. That's where the power is. Yes, of course. He's still posting up on his lead leg is using his whole body for power, but watch how much those hands turn over, watch his right hand, release the club through the hitting area and look at the toe of the club. Look at how much rotation even happens, right after impact that club is looking down the target and now looking at the camera that fast, that's how you release the golf club.
Now that you can clearly see that all the pros rotate their forms over to release that club. And it is a critical part of the release. Let's start showing you how to use it because in the next video, I'm going to show you the Axiom compression drill, where you start taking these components that you've learned how to move your body correctly, and the release to start compressing the ball better than you ever have in your life before. So let's first get a feel for what this release is to do this really simple. I want you to do is hold a club up by your fingertips. Doesn't matter which hand you do it. It's not the point of the exercise. And all I want to do is hold the club up like this at about parallel to the ground and drop it. And I want you to feel what's happening in your hands.
So don't try to influence it. Just drop. It. You'll feel that there's an initial acceleration and as the club bottoms out, it actually pulls on your hands, which we'll talk about in a moment about parametric acceleration. And then as it begins to accelerate back up the arch, it begins to slow down. You can feel this very clearly just by this simple pendulum motion. That is very similar to what you want to feel in the golf swing. When you're actually releasing the club, hitting a ball, the same passive action of letting that club release and letting the physics do the work for you and letting your forms rotate over is how you start compressing the ball consistently, without trying to time a flip with your hands, because that won't work. So how do we feel this in the swing as a whole? It's one thing to just drop a club and be like, okay, I feel that, that makes sense.
And as I mentioned, parametric, acceleration would be taking the same exercise and then pulling the butt of the club up. And that will cause the club to release even faster. But beyond that, we don't really need to understand that stuff right now. We'll talk more about that in advanced sections. But what we really do need to understand is how do we release that club in the actual context of the swing. As I mentioned, a lot of people have been led to believe that you should rotate your chest through. But the problem with that is you can do that for sure, but not only does it tend to slow the club down because now the club, if you're not letting your forms turnover, how fast can the club move? Well, it can only move as fast as you rotate your body. So if you want that feeling and you want to rotate your chest as hard as you can, that's fine. But that puts a ton of unnecessary stress on your spine. And it tends to actually delay the release of the club because you're just dragging it through or pushing it through with your trail arm, instead of just doing this, which one do you think you can do faster, this
Then, which one's going to last longer on your body. You certainly don't want to be ripping your chest through that, like that all the time. It just takes a ton of work and it costs you free speed. This, let me look at how small of a swing I can make and how fast I can get the club to go that speed. And that's what the release looks like and feels like in your swing. So how can we start getting a feel for this? Well, at first, all I want you to do is take your club with both hands and just start swinging back and forth. Don't worry so much about the body movement. We'll introduce that back in just a moment, but I want you to get the feeling of your hands, letting rotation happen and letting your wrists unhinge and uncork. Go back to the feeling of the pendulum drill, where you're just dropping the club and feeling how the weight of the club and gravity and inertia pulls that club through.
That's what I want you to feel. So at first, this isn't going to go very fast. I'm just letting my arms swing back and forth and get the feel of the rotation. You want to check that as you're doing this, if you're rotating and releasing it properly, that clubs should be towed up or even slightly towed in what you don't want to see is this. If you can hold a glass of wine on your club face, you're holding that release off. It's costing you a ton of power, and it's going to tend to lead to shots going to the right if you're a right-handed golfer. So we don't want to see this. That's a lot of body rotation. We want to let those forums turn over, just like all the tour pros do. So what you want to get a feel for is the club rotating back, getting towed up and towed up on the way through, from down the line, you can see the clubs going to get towed up here.
Don't worry too much about positions at this point. Just let it swing back and rotate through, get the feeling of doing this. And as you start getting comfortable with your arms swinging and releasing, start adding your merry-go-round action back in there, get that foot going. So now you start to get a little rhythm and feel to it. So now I'm feeling my pressure shift and I'm feeling a release so simple, so fluid and very effortless. That's what I want you to feel at first, because in the next video, I'm going to show you how to put it all together, to start compressing the ball and start feeling effortless power in your swing, perhaps for the first time.
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-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK