Drills for the Release and Extension of the Golf Swing
The golf swing sequence situated between impact with the ball and the follow through is what is called the release and the extension. During that phase the hands ‘roll over’ as they and the arms switch sides; where the left hand and arm was ahead of the right during the downswing the right hand and arm moves to the front at this stage while the club moves back up.
Use the drills below to make sure your hands are active as they should be during this crucial part of the golf swing.
Proper Arm Rotation Drill
One of the main causes of a golf slice or a push is the under rotation of the hands and arms near the impact position. Indeed, failing to rotate your hands properly at impact will result in an open face, which will either send the ball curving to the right (slice) or shooting straight right (push).
Use this drill to train your right arm to quit being lazy and roll aggressively over the left during this most crucial swing sequence.
- Hold the club as you normally would but slide your right hand down until it holds the club just below the grip, on the shaft of the club.
- Take a backswing from this position while making sure to keep your left arm straight, again as you normally would.
- Continue your mock golf swing and as you move towards and past what would have been the impact position make sure to keep both arms straight.
- Notice how the right arm needs to travel so very quickly in order to not only keep up to the left arm but over take it so that it is the one in front after impact.
- Perform several of these swings and after each one move your right hand up the shaft until it finally touches your left hand in a baseball grip. Swing normally but focus on rolling your hands.
Get the Right Arm Rotation for a Straight Shot
Failing to get this timing of arm rotation right will result in either a closed face or an open face (more on clubface angle). As we’ve seen further up an open face will result in a slice or a push but a too aggressive rotation can result in a closed face, resulting here in a hook or a pull.
Practice this drill whenever you are unsure how to rotate your arms properly or are in need of a quick timing check or adjustment.
Proper Hand Rotation Drill
This hand rotation drill complements the arm rotation one that we covered previously (see above). It works in a similar way in that it trains your hands and wrists to be active as you move through the impact position onto the rotation and extension part of the golf swing.
Use this drill to make sure your hands are setting you up for a straight shot at the target.
- Grip your golf club as you normally would but hold it in front of your chest with your arms parallel to the ground.
- Make a few mock swings at that height much like you would with a baseball bat.
- Try to take note of how your clubface is positioned as it moves directly in front of you, in what would be the impact point with the ball. Ideally, the clubface should be perpendicular to the ground.
- If the heel of the club is ahead of the toe this means your hands are lazy – not rolling enough – and are probably leaving you with an open clubface at impact.
- If this is the case for you then you will want to roll your hands aggressively so that the clubface is not only pointing at the sky but that the toe is ahead of the heel (in what would be in the impact position, in front of you).
- Make these flowing baseball-style swings back and forth and as you do gradually tilt your upper body forward until you are in a golf swing position. Try to roll your hands properly with live golf balls.
Helpful in Fixing a Slice or a Push
Leaving your hands open at impact gives you no pathways to a straight-to-the-target ball flight.
Indeed, if the clubface is open but square to the club path (outside-in) then you will hit a straight shot but one that will go directly to the left of the target. If the clubface is open to the club path then the ball will rotate clockwise and will spin right.
If those shots are your usual misses then you should benefit from aggressively rolling over your hands as prescribed in this drill.