Golf Tip by Chris de Keratry

Golf Tip by Chris de Keratry


, TX

P: (512) 388-2874
www.oakhillgolfrange.com

Chris de Keratry
Director of Golf & Instruction
Oak Hill Golf Range & Forest Creek Golf Club

RELEASE THE CLUB! How often have you heard that advice? Just what exactly does that mean? Does it mean to roll your hands over through impact? Does it mean Hit it like a tennis racket? Depending on who or where you hear the term, it could mean any number of things. Another confusing phrase you hear a lot is you are releasing the club too early.

Let's clarify what a Release is and who needs to work on it. First of all for all you slicers out there this is for you. When a golfer hits a fade, cut or slice (a ball that curves to the right for right handed golfers) the side of your hand is facing the target through impact. If you picture the back of your hand as the same as the clubface then this starts to make sense. Most players I know try to fix a slice simply by turning their hands into a stronger position (more to the right for right handers). Sometimes that is a good idea, especially if you have a very weak grip to begin with. However, suppose you have a nice neutral grip or strong grip and still slice. Strengthening your grip may put a band aid on the problem but not solve it. People tend to hit the ball with the side of their hand (I call it a karate chop) because their swing is to steep or too much toward the ground during the downswing. Fixing a steep swing is important, but that is another lesson altogether. I want you to learn how to get the back of your hand facing the target at impact. It is the most effective way to keep the club face from opening at impact and causing that weak shot to the right.

Let's start by hitting a few chips around the green. Grab your 8 iron and practice keeping your hand flat through impact. Try to finish your chip with the toe of the club facing towards the target but keep your left wrist flat the entire swing. These short shots will give you the feel you want to take to the range. Next, move onto making some half swings off a tee with a 7 iron. With each swing, feel that chipping sensation you had by using the back of your hand hit the ball. There is no possible way to hit the ball to the right if the back of your hand hits the ball. Next, start making bigger and bigger chips. If you hit it to the right again, go back to the smaller chip and keep practicing. You will eventually get the feel of releasing the club by rotating your left forearm on the downswing and smacking the ball with the back of your hand. Soon you stop hitting any weak shot period. The better you do it, the more solid you will hit your shots. For all you hookers out there, you have to learn how to properly release it too. However, I'll save that for another article!

The next time you have a chance to watch nearly all the top players in world in your favorite golf magazine or tournament on TV, check out their impact position and you will see a very flat wrist all the way past the ball as their forearm rotates over. That is "Releasing the Club".

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