How To Release Hands in Golf Swing (5 Methods)


Seeking that reliable golf swing that allows you to hit the ball at your target on a consistent basis?

Tired of the shot that you can’t explain that comes out of nowhere?

We have all been there, but by studying the golf swing and have some basic understanding there is hope that one day we will arrive at the consistency level that we all desire. 

Golf is truly a journey and I am here to help you on your journey to having fun and playing your best golf possible!

The golf swing has a lot of variables.  Among the greatest golfers of all time, there were different grips, setups, alignments and posture.  There isn’t one perfect way to set up and hit a ball.

The same is true for the release of the club in the downswing and through impact. 

The great part about living in today’s golf world is the access that we have to the best online instructors in the world.  No longer are we trapped by the local knowledge of the PGA teaching pro that we can afford a lesson with.

Maybe you are the person that has tried different releases with your hands or maybe you have never thought about it before.  I am here to help you no matter where you are in your game. 

I am there right along with yourlearning the game and processing this information.  We will dive into the different methods and talk about the pros and cons of each.

I have studied the best online golf instructors in depth and want to share that knowledge with you.  Below I will take you through the 5 different popular methods of releasing your hands in the golf swing.  

There are 5 Release Options Discussed Below.

How To Release Hands in Golf Swing?

There are five methods or approaches to releasing your hands through the golf swing:

  1. Directing the Momentum
  2. Throwing from the Top
  3. Turning and Rotating from the Top
  4. Throwing the Club Down the Fairway
  5. Forearm Rotation

As we dive into these five methods, if you are someone looking for improvement, it is worth learning more about these approaches and then seeing what works best for you. 

I would recommend assessing with the three fundamentals below:

  • Fundamental #1: The ability to strike the ground on the intended spot 100% of the time.  The best golfers in the world can do this 100% of the time.  While the high handicap golfer might not even do this 50% of the time.
  • Fundamental #2: The ability to control the start line and the curve of the ball.  Every golfer needs a stock shot that they can utilize a higher percentage of the time.  We prefer the stock draw shot for several different reasons.
  • Fundamental #3: Having enough distance to play the course.  This is directly correlated with swing speed.

Most people will tell you to focus on your setup, your grip, your stance, your alignment, but the reality is that there are three fundamentals in golf.

Here is your quick checklist.  Hit 20 balls trying the different methods and swing feels and use this quick checklist:

  • Ability to control the bottom of the swing in 20 attempts?
  • Ability to control the start line and curve of the ball in 20 attempts?
  • Ability to have enough distance to play the course, did you hit the ball shorter or further than your typical distance in your 20 attempts?

Release #1: Directing the Momentum

This is a method where you have a feel for what the club head is doing and your focus during the downswing is to direct the momentum of the club towards your target. 

This release pattern allows a smooth, effortless swing that simple has you utilize some gravity to direct the momentum of the club.  The right hand controls the release and it is more of a slapping motion with the right hand. 

The key here is the golfer has a task that he or she is trying to complete by relying on the hands to release the club the way they need to to hit the shot they need at that point. 

Many higher level athletes that have played a lot of baseball instinctively know how to match up the clubhead with the shot needed.  This allows the higher end athlete to react to the shot needed and stop focusing on hitting so many position in the downswing.

Mike Malaska promotes this approach as a former baseball player himself who often played the game much more naturally as a youngster before he got caught up in the web of teaching and screwed up his game from trying to get to a certain position and then rotate his forearms.

The Benefits of This Release

I think this release pattern is highly repeatable and easy to understand.  Mike Malaska is a high quality teacher that works to free us from the restrictions of trying to hit all of these positions and instead has a focus on being athletic, responding to the shot and relying on our hands. 

For those that do not have good hand eye coordination this swing might be difficult!  For those that like to think about where impact is, Mike Malaska encourages us to train the right hand to complete the task that it needs to in order to hit the shot required.

Mike Malaska Explains Training the Release:

Release #2: Throwing from the Top

One of the longest hitters of all time, Mike Austin, as a major proponent of this swing.  The more I dive into the different instructors I have also come across Mike Bender who is truly top notch. 

This swing promotes releasing or throwing from the top.  It once again takes away the body driving of the golfer trying to get into all of these different positions.

The golfer makes a quality backswing and has the thought of firing the hands at the ball.  This produces some impressive speed as so much of our speed can be found in your hands and arms.

Mike Bender is simply amazing and has helped many golfer reach their highest level.  I love the freedom of being able to fire from the top of the backswing. 

This swing has not only given me extra distance, but I feel I can control my start line at a high level!

The Benefits of This Release

Speed, speed and more speed.  When your hands and arms are taught to throw and fire from the top, the amount of speed you can produce is impressive.  It is important to keep your hands and arms loose and think about getting the most speed right at impact and beyond.

The golfer that enjoys using the body and setting up a shot through rotation may struggle, but the athletic golfer who has played different sports involving throwing items may truly excel!

You may ask what about the body?  The body will respond to the throw and rotate through the shot and be there right with you, but the swing thought is the throw and creating speed with your arms and hands

Here is Mike Bender Explaining the Release:

Release #3: Turning and Rotating from the Top

Another golf instructor that has taken the golf world by storm is George Gankas.  His release with the hands is much more about the rotation of the body, the squatting in the downswing and clearing out. 

The right arm comes into impact more bent and the releases fully after impact.  The rotation, the body, and the late release cause the speed in the swing. The hands are not as active in firing as they are in the first two releases discussed.

If you have followed any of Gankas’s students, you know that they all appear to have plenty of speed and hit some bombs with their drivers.

The release is definitely driven by the body vs the swing above where the arms and hands drive the downswing.  One is not necessarily right or wrong and I think it comes down to comfort level and what your body is able to do!

The Benefits of This Release

Many proponents of this swing will favor the rotation to create clubface stability and overall consistency.  This camp also utilizes the ground forces to maximize swing speed. 

The person who is not flexible might struggle to rotate enough to create the stability desired and the speed needed.

This swing relies on matchups and ensuring that your clubface and swing path makes sense and can produce the shape shot that you desire.

This swing take a high level to master, but once it’s mastered may provide the easiest maintenance due to the lack of face rotation and the stability provided. 

Here is Gankas Teaching the Release Pattern:

Release #4: Throwing the Club Down the Fairway

One of my favorite go to thoughts when everything seems to be getting confusing and I feel that I am manipulating the club or getting my body ahead in the swing is to think about the Shawn Clement approach of throwing the club down the fairway.

I simply pick a distance way off in the distance, identify my intermediate target and think about full turn and then throw or release the club down the fairway towards that target.

I no longer have to think about positions or firing this or firing that, but instead I focus on throwing and fully releasing the club towards the target.

Shawn Clement believes we should be Pinocchio without the strings.  Find your target, understand the task and get out of the way on the backswing and out of the way on the downswing.

Fire the club down the fairway!  The release becomes free and easy, almost natural!

The Benefits of This Release

Instead of relying on certain positions or moving your body in a certain direction, the focus is on the task and allowing the “gravity genius” system that your body already has to hit the shot that you give your mind. 

You find the target, give clear directions to your mind and body and swing down the target line throwing the club down the fairway. 

You no longer have to grind over certain positions or swing feels and instead focus on thoughts like “clipping the dandelion” or “using your grass whip” these real life like movements are used to create a repeatable swing and release.

Shawn Clement has been teaching this full turn and full release for several decades.  The golf world has caught on as many are seeking more and more distance.

Shawn Clement Explaining this Release:

Release #5: Forearm Rotation

I am not going to spend a lot of time on this release because I believe it is the weakest option and causes a high amount  of considerable inconsistencies in the swing as the face has very little stability through the impact zone.

This was an old school approach before we knew more about the ball flight laws and that to hit a lush draw your face should actually be open to the target line.

This forearm rotation has the club head open and then close utilizing the firearms to make this happen.

The Benefits of This Release

This swing, if timed up right, can create a lot of speed in the hands and forearms.  Golfers can find themselves in a stuck position and end up with some inconsistencies with their start lines.

What’s Next?

Go out and try these different options at the driving range. See what happens you perform your at your best level in connection with the three fundamentals in golf. Golf is a game of adjusting and adapting.

It is ok to try new things on our journey to shooting our best scores yet. Find your secret to golf as the release and impact are the two most important things in golf that the best players are able to do at a high level!

BONUS TIP: 

If you are seeking a way to improve your mechanics and add speed to your didn’t you ah e to check out SuperSpeed Golf.  This training system utilized the science of Overspeed training that involves swinging three different weighted speed clubs following a protocol that only takes 10-15 minutes, every other day. 

You can Goan 5-8% ins wing speed which for some could be 20-30 yards.  I currently use this system and have gone from 98-100 miles per hour with the driver to 104-108 miles per hour.  The giants are real and can be sustained!  Find your speed today using this system!

Use discount code Golfjourney365 to save money at the SuperSpeed site.

My Golf Improvement Secret

The ultimate game changer in my golf journey has been building a golf simulator in my garage.  I cannot play golf 365 days a year regardless of the rain, snow, too cold weather.  it also doesn’t matter what time of day it is.

I have access to over 100,000 courses in Pebble Beach, Augusta, St.  Andrews, and Whistling straits.  The features such as the auto rewind allow me to hit the shots that I need to practice that day whether it is the approach shot on number 11 at Augusta for the Tee shot on number 18 at Pebble Beach.

I have seen a 4 to 6 shot reduction in my average score, an increase in ball speed through SuperSpeed training and much better ball contact.

The fun and game improvement is well worth the 5-7 thousand dollars it will cost to make this possible. I went with the SkyTrak system that came in a package through Rain or Shine golf.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:
The golf simulator package has been a game changer!

Check out our recipe below for improving your game.  Starting hitting those irons pure, hit more fairways and of course gain some distance.  The recipe below will help you achieve all three:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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