Illustrated Checklist & Tips

Use the golf tips below in order to improve your release and extension. This part of the golf swing is the one that occurs after impact with the ball and before your follow through.

While this swing sequence does occur after impact with the ball, promoting good form here will require a better form leading up to it and ultimately to a better swing and to better golf shots. It will also save you from quitting the golf swing.

Keep your Upper Body Tilted Forward

Your spine angle should be kept the same as impact during the releaseAfter impact with the ball your first instinct should not be to rise up as this is commonly referred to as the standing up swing error, or otherwise known as lifting your head up. Rather you should aim to keep your spine angle identical to the one set at impact with the ball.

This will protect you from rising your upper body too soon and ultimately from thin shots or slices. In order to help you train your upper body to stay down you can focus on your chest. Indeed, try to keep your chest aiming at where your ball was as your arms move past it. Fight the urge to raise your upper body which would be visible by your chest now pointing up and/or to the left.

Arms are Straight and Hands Extend Away from the Body

Arms should be extended during the releaseAfter the club makes contact with the ball your arms should remain completely straight. 

Pretend that the club is very heavy in your hands. In fact, it should feel so heavy that the club is essentially pulling your hands towards the target. In doing so it should extend your arms so that they are completely straight, which is why this swing phase is referred to as the extension phase.

Another mental picture to adopt is to imagine that you are throwing the club towards the target after impact. 

Hands Roll Over

Your hands should roll through the rotation of your forearms during the releaseDuring the downswing, the clubface is naturally open to the target. Then at impact the club should be square to the target (ideally). Finally, during the release the clubface should be closed to the target. This natural rotation of the clubface – through the hands – is also referred to as the hands rolling over.

Failure to completely rotate your hands is likely to produce an open clubface at impact. Indeed, if you don’t train your hands to fully roll then the risk is that you stop rotating your hands before impact, leaving your club open to the target and ultimately to shots that begin right of the target.

More on: Impact of clubface angle

You will notice this natural rolling of the hands by looking at which hand is leading the other. During the downswing, the top hand – the one at the top end of the grip – is ahead of the bottom hand, meaning that it is closer to the target. After impact, the rolling of the hands should proceed with your hands switching place. Indeed, your bottom hand should now be leading your top hand towards the target.

Hands Should Release Naturally – Not Too Lazy, Not Too Aggressively

Release of the hands during the follow throughFailure to allow your hands to release naturally will result in blocked shots that will send the ball right of the target. On the other end of the scale, releasing your hands too aggressively will result in counter-clockwise spin being applied to the ball and to a draw or hook spin.

Related Golf Tweak:

Related Swing Error:

Club Should Circle Around your Body

Swing path during the follow throughIn conjunction with a proper swing path that was set early in the takeaway your club should circle around your body and finish the inside-square-inside club path, which is ideal in most situations.

If you took your club back outside during the takeaway you will likely finish your swing inside. Conversely, if you took your club back inside during the takeaway you are likely to finish your swing outside. Focusing on the proper path at the follow through can be helpful in setting the correct path back earlier during the takeaway.

Related Golf Tweak:

Related Golf Swing Errors:

More on: Release Drills
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Golf Extension and Rotation – Video Tips

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