What is the release in golf?

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Neil Plimmer shares his knowledge on the release and explains how important the sequence of movements through impact is.

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Neil Plimmer asks what is the release in golf and shares his knowledge, explaining how important the sequence of movements through impact is.

What is the release in golf?

The release is a term often used in golfing parlance, but I find that it often gives people completely the wrong impression – it certainly doesn’t mean letting go of the club!

Instead, what it refers to is the flow of the arms and body through the ball. You should not be thinking of the release as a position, but as the natural result of a successful sequence of moves.

My point is that if you were throwing a ball you would not be thinking about the exact moment of letting go.

It is essential that the club drives through impact in the correct way. You should ensure that this is not a manufactured position, but a motion with flow and rhythm, allowing the club to work with the arms and body for the best possible results.


Find the sequence

So instead of working on ‘the release’ itself, I like my pupils to focus on the sequence of movements through impact.

Notice from these photos how my arms are always working with the rotation of my body. This is the sequence that will deliver both power and control as efficiently as possible.

Crucially, you should not be trying to hit ‘at’ the ball. Get the sequence right and the club will breeze through the ball, accelerating as it goes.

Having made a full turn at the top of the backswing, begin the turn back through the ball with your weight moving in the direction of the turn. If your arms can work with your body here, you will master the release.


Timing keys

Undoubtedly, what you are releasing through impact is the angles previously created in your wrists and your right elbow.

But as I’ve already stressed these angles should be released naturally through impact. It is essential this doesn’t happen too early.

Many players kill their power potential by ‘casting’ the club – that is, releasing too early. This could also force your weight onto your back foot through the ball, ruining the sequencing we’ve talked about.

Work on maintaining the angles for longer in the through-swing and move the club and your body through the ball to a balanced finish position.

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Clubhead and hands

As we have already said, the club should work in sequence with the body. If you try to steer the ball towards the target or you ‘cast’ the club. it will be out of control through impact.

This could lead to inconsistent strikes, direction and distance. I also see some players ‘flicking’ their wrists as they move through impact with the clubhead overtaking their hands.

This could, again, lead to an inconsistent shot pattern. Move the club, hands and body in sequence and you will begin to develop improved distance and accuracy through the creation of lag in the golf swing.

Work on these pointers and you'll become a far better ball striker immediately.