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.
-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