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Develop a Stable Style Release

The Impact Zone:


The impact zone used to analyze the release type has a starting point called the preimpact point and an ending point called the post-impact point. The pre-impact point is located mid way between maximum impact and the clubshaft being parallel to the ground in the downswing. The post-impact point is located mid way between maximum impact and the clubshaft being parallel to the ground in the followthrough.

The Impact Interval:


The impact interval is defined as the interval between when the clubface first contacts the golf ball and when the golf ball leaves the clubface. Maximum compression is when the force between the ball and clubface is at its maximum (near the center of the impact interval). Near maximum compression is where the horizontal and vertical orientations should be measured. The impact interval is approximately 0.0004 of a second (approximately 0.7 inches) in duration. During this interval, orientations can change by several degrees. This is dependent on several factors such as club head speed and rates of closure. The stability of the golfers release style during the impact interval can increase or decrease the amount of draw/hook or fade/slice spin on the golf ball. During the impact interval, a golfers angle of attack (AA) orientation, clubface (CF) orientation and true club path (CP) orientation can be slightly changing and can effect ball flight. A golfer with a more stable release (a non cross-over style or flip style release) can minimize these orientation changes during the impact interval.

The Release:
The release is how you square the clubface through the impact zone and through the impact interval. To study the release you have to look at pre-impact, impact, and post-impact positions.

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You look at things like Position of the arms Position of the hands and wrists Position of the clubface Position of the body The swing arc

Flip Style Release:


At maximum impact, the flip release has the following attributes: Dorsi flexion (extension, bending, cupping) in the left wrist Flexion (bowing, arching) in the right wrist

The flip release can cause the following ball-flights: Fat shots the clubhead reaches the bottom of the swing arc prior to maximum impact. Thin shots you get tired of the fat shot and pull up and thin the ball. Skull shots you pull up way too soon and skull the ball. Far left and far right shots the flip releases creates a fast rotation of the clubface angle thought impact interval. If not timed correctly (too early or too late), you will get far left or far right ball-flights.

To compensate for the fat shot, a flipper will often move their upper body toward the target. Also, they often compensate by extending their right arm and shoulder past impact.

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In addition to the above, the flip release adds loft to the club (and spin to the ball) and you will hit the ball shorter. The flip release has little to no left forearm supination and no left or right wrist ulnar deviation. The flip release typically has the club passing the left forearm at the post impact point. Not having the correct amount of lateral bend in the downswing can cause the body to stall and lead to a flip release. Lateral bend (lateral flexion, side bending) is the bending of the thoracic and lumbar spine in the downswing. The picture below shows Louis Oosthuizen using a flip release.

Cross-Over (or Roll) Style Release:


The rear forearm crosses (or rolls) over the lead forearm in the impact zone and the impact interval. The clubhead is delivered from open to closed by the forearm roll. The clubhead is perpendicular to the swing arc in the impact zone for a very short period of time. The upper body is approximately parallel to the target line at impact. The arms are extended and in front and far away from the body at impact. The swing arc is upright to neutral.

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The process of squaring the clubface to the swing arc happens in a very short period of time. You need great timing to perform this release consistently. Your misses can be severe and in all directions.

A Stable Style Release:


At maximum impact, the stable release has the following attributes: Ulnar deviation (uncocked wrist, moving the thumb away from the forearm) in both the left and right wrist Supination of the left forearm (rotating the left forearm counter-clockwise in a direction that would turn the palm up) Pronation of the right forearm (rotating the right forearm counter-clockwise in a direction that would turn the right palm down)

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The stable release type has the clubface square to the swing arc at the beginning of the impact zone and remains steady through to the end of the impact zone. With the stable release, the body provides the rotational force through the impact zone to keep the clubface square. The left wrist position at the pre-impact position, impact position, and post-impact position vary (some golfers have cupped, some flat, and some bowed). Regardless of left wrist position, the golfer is able to hold the clubface square to the arc through the impact zone. Ulnar deviation is then used (in both wrists) to impede anymore forearm rotation or rolling over through the impact zone. Golfers that use a flat left wrist have supinated their left forearm about one-half as much as those with a bowed left wrist. These golfers release their lag earlier to get the clubface square at the pre-impact position. Golfers that use a cupped left wrist have a stronger grip that requires very little wrist rotation (left wrist supination) to square the clubface at the pre impact point. The picture below shows Matt Kuchar using a cupped left wrist with his stable release.

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Very little forward (toward the target) slide is key to getting into the correct impact position. Also key is getting good lateral bend. During the transition move or during the downswing, if you slide too far forward, your body will stall and you will get a flip style release. Study the position of Dustin Johnson at impact. Note that the left hip has moved up and back (very little forward slide). Also note that the right shoulder is down and pulled back as close to the butt as possible (helping to produce good lateral bend).

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Grip Strength and Release Styles:


1. 2. 3. 4. Stable Roll-Over Flip Roll-Over / Flip combination

Golfers with a weak/neutral grip tend to have release types 2, 3, or 4. It is rare to see a golfer with a neutral/strong grip have release types 3 and 4.

Stable Release: The left shoulder at impact stays internally rotated.

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The clubface is squared with the following forearm/wrist/hand movements: 1. 2. 3. 4. Left forearm supination (LFS) Left wrist palmar flexion (bowing) (LRF) and ulnar deviation Right forearm pronation (RFP) Right wrist extension (cupping) (RRE) and ulnar deviation

A strong/extremely strong grip requires less clubface rotation to square the clubface at impact. These golfers never get near the end of the range-of-movement available with LFS, LRF, RFP, RRE, and ulnar deviation so they do not need to rollover or flip to square the clubface at impact.

Roll-Over, Flip, and Roll-Over / Flip Combination Release: A weak/neutral grip that requires a lot more clubface rotation to square the clubface at impact will get near or reach the end of the range-of-movement available with a LFS, LRF, RFP, RRE, and ulnar deviation. Golfers with the weak/neutral grip will often use external rotation of the left shoulder to help square the clubface at impact. A weak/neutral grip golfer will tend to use one of these movements to square the clubface at impact (note the change in wrist movements): 1. LFS, LWE with RFP,RRF 2. LFS, RFP with external rotation of the left shoulder 3. LWE, RWF with external rotation of the left shoulder All of the above are more difficult to consistently repeat compared to what a golfer with a stable release (neutral/strong grip) does to square the clubface at impact.

Clubface Rate of Closure:


The clubface rate of closure is the rate (in degrees per second) at which the clubface orientation rotates through the impact zone (approximately 18 inches prior to and after impact). A slower rate of closure keeps the clubface orientation square to the swing arc longer and will produce a more consistent, reliable, and repeatable contact with the ball. A roll-over style release will increase the rate of closure.

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Key to a slow rate of closure is being able to get the clubface into the correct position early in the downswing and use the bodys pivot to move the clubface along the swing arc. The diagram below shows the clubface square to the clubhead arc through the immediate impact zone (approximately 6-inches prior to and after impact). The diagram depicts a slow clubface rate of closure.

The diagram below depicts a roll-over style release (with a fast clubface rate of closure).

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