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Drills to "Release the Driver"?


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I haven't found this exact question so I'll just ask it here.  I really struggle to get the club turned over and released with my driver or longer irons.  My theory is that with the shorter clubs I swing more steeply and gravity makes the release move intuitive.  With my driver I get to a post-impact position where the butt of the shaft is pointing down and my left hand (I'm a righty) is still on top.  If I consciously think about it I can make a nice smooth practice swing, but put a ball there and it turns into a low snap hook or way off the center.  Based on trackman numbers, my swing path is consistently about 2° in to out, and I'm getting around 93-94 mph clubhead speed, but my face is consistently 4-5 degrees open.

Any drills to help with this?  Like I said, I'm able to do it without a ball teed up, or at least it feels like I am, but put a ball there and I over-correct into a low snap hook.  That part could be mostly mental, it usually takes me a while to translate a drill or feel into an actual swing improvement even if I completely get it during the drill.

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  • iacas changed the title to Drills to "Release the Driver"?
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The ball flight laws are going to be your friend here…

30 minutes ago, barooo said:

Based on trackman numbers, my swing path is consistently about 2° in to out, and I'm getting around 93-94 mph clubhead speed, but my face is consistently 4-5 degrees open.

Open to the path or the target line? Either way they're still too far open, but one is worse than the other.

You could look at:

  • Grip strength (move your hands to the right)
  • Grip position (in the fingers, not the palm)
  • How much you arch your left wrist during the downswing (a little goes a long way)
  • Where your radius/ulna are pointing at impact.

The last two I demonstrate here (and how some students do it badly at the very end):

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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(edited)
On 6/23/2022 at 5:47 PM, iacas said:

The ball flight laws are going to be your friend here…

Open to the path or the target line? Either way they're still too far open, but one is worse than the other.

 

I'm not sure, I didn't think to ask, I just was looking at the trackman display while doing a driver demo, it was saying 4-5° open for the club face and generally 1 or 2 open for the swing path, I'm not sure if there's a default setting or it can report either measurement.  But like you said, either way it's obvious why it's slicing hard 🙂

 

Thanks for the videos, I'll take a look.  I've also booked a lesson for Thursday with a new instructor, fingers crossed he is a good fit.  I feel like grooving the feeling of turning over and releasing the longer clubs is the next big improvement in my swing, if I can square it up I ought to be able to get my drive to carry 235+.  I also leak a lot of putting and chipping strokes, but I accept that given how infrequently I get to play or practice around real greens.

Edited by barooo
Forgot a sentence.
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48 minutes ago, barooo said:

I also leak a lot of putting and chipping strokes, but I accept that given how infrequently I get to play or practice around real greens.

The good news is you're focusing on the right things.  Getting a full swing in order is the key to lower scores long-term.  You don't want to completely neglect short shots, but unless they're a glaring weakness, it isn't an issue.  You also might be better at these than you think, and if not, it's something you can fix in a few hours to get to "competent" (relative to your handicap) at these skills.  

I say this in your thread asking about a full swing issue to reassure you that you're practicing the right thing.  If you have a big tournament coming up, sure, you want to focus on short game for a few days leading up to it, but if your goal is to be a better golfer by the end of summer, the full swing is the thing.

Check out this thread if you want reassurance (from an expert, not from me) that you're prioritizing your practice correctly. 

 

-- Michael | My swing! 

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Update.  I had my first lesson with the new instructor today.

The good news, my fundamentals are mostly okay, may need to tweak grip a bit, my left hand is stronger than my right instead of parallel, but reasonable, decent posture at address maybe leaning a little too far in front of my toes, takeaway starts out almost ideal, and I'm finishing in reasonable balance even if with an exaggerated closed clubface.  Also I'm getting a full shoulder turn plus a few degrees and plenty of rotation.

The bad is that I'm way exaggerating the rolling wrists so I'm opening the club up far too much too early in the backswing then having to do a bunch of movement to get it back square.  That feeling of turning it over that I've been practicing is leading to exaggerating the rolling both ways leading to hooks.  I couldn't even slice the driver today when I tried, everything was a low 200 yard hook, instead of a high hard slice. 

Also, while I have good shoulder rotation I have a tendency to try and get about 20% more at the top leading to bending my elbows and wrapping the club around my body, and sliding a bit to the outside of my right foot at the top of the backswing.  This means I have to fix a bunch of things on the downswing.  I don't need "more", the level of mobility I have and the amount of rotation I'm doing is plenty, so I need to work on shortening it a bit and not wrapping myself up at the top.

Main takeaways, work on keeping the clubface more square in the backswing instead of trying to open then close, and shorten up my backswing so my arms are straight and my weight is still on the inside of my foot, then make sure I get my weight onto my left foot early; most of the bad stuff is happening very late in the backswing making me have to do a bunch of stuff to fix it.

I kinda wish I'd waited a week; I'm playing a fairly expensive round Saturday morning and I feel all messed up 🙂

 

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39 minutes ago, barooo said:

The good news, my fundamentals are mostly okay, may need to tweak grip a bit, my left hand is stronger than my right instead of parallel, but reasonable, decent posture at address maybe leaning a little too far in front of my toes, takeaway starts out almost ideal, and I'm finishing in reasonable balance even if with an exaggerated closed clubface.  Also I'm getting a full shoulder turn plus a few degrees and plenty of rotation.

The bad is that I'm way exaggerating the rolling wrists so I'm opening the club up far too much too early in the backswing then having to do a bunch of movement to get it back square.  That feeling of turning it over that I've been practicing is leading to exaggerating the rolling both ways leading to hooks.  I couldn't even slice the driver today when I tried, everything was a low 200 yard hook, instead of a high hard slice. 

Also, while I have good shoulder rotation I have a tendency to try and get about 20% more at the top leading to bending my elbows and wrapping the club around my body, and sliding a bit to the outside of my right foot at the top of the backswing.  This means I have to fix a bunch of things on the downswing.  I don't need "more", the level of mobility I have and the amount of rotation I'm doing is plenty, so I need to work on shortening it a bit and not wrapping myself up at the top.

So in one lesson:

  • Grip needs tweaked
  • Too far out on your toes
  • Exaggerated closed clubface
  • Rolling wrists early in the backswing
  • Exaggerating rolling in the downswing leading to hooks
  • Bending the elbows wraps the club around you
  • Sliding to the outside of your right foot

Is that all?

😛

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | 5SK.com | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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All that sounds like me. Ugh. Awful. 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

So in one lesson:

  • Grip needs tweaked
  • Too far out on your toes
  • Exaggerated closed clubface
  • Rolling wrists early in the backswing
  • Exaggerating rolling in the downswing leading to hooks
  • Bending the elbows wraps the club around you
  • Sliding to the outside of your right foot

Is that all?

😛

I know, I know...

This was a full unedited rundown of the whole lesson and analysis of my swing.  Most of these were also sort of dismissed as not great but also not terrible.  Grip was more of a "maybe it can be tweaked a little, but it's fine for now", same with being over my toes.  And most of the other faults other than overly rolling my wrists and opening the club are after I'd hit full rotation and tried to get a little extra, so if I shorten my backswing most of that stays out of play.  I'm 45 and don't play a ton so I don't expect perfection, just repeatable and reasonably sound as a goal.

Like I said, mostly positive with some things to work on, most importantly trying to keep the clubface square in the backswing and not trying for 125% of a swing, so I can get my weight shifted forcefully before impact.  A lot of these things are also old tendencies I've worked on in past lessons so maybe the rust in my game brought some of them back out.  I wonder if maybe not mentioning most of the other stuff would have been better and less overwhelming, but I left feeling pretty good, but a little mixed up since I never really managed to completely integrate things into a full swing, but the hook I was hitting plays better than a slice for sure.

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I'm gonna go ahead and say that the feel of "rolling the wrists" is gonna be a death move. That takes an insane amount of timing and increases the rate of closure to an extreme amount

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Colin P.

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45 minutes ago, colin007 said:

I'm gonna go ahead and say that the feel of "rolling the wrists" is gonna be a death move. That takes an insane amount of timing and increases the rate of closure to an extreme amount

Yep. For the most part release happens when you sequence things correctly. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/5/2022 at 3:39 PM, saevel25 said:

Yep. For the most part release happens when you sequence things correctly. 

Agreed.  I think my major regression happened over the winter.  I'd been focusing on some weight shift / rotation drills, and I think whatever I was doing made me start rotating my wrists in the backswing.  Post-lesson practice feels like this is something I fixed long ago then regressed.  But 100%, previously the release "just happened" and suddenly I found myself struggling to make it happen and fixed it the worst way possible.  Sadly I've badly strained my right extensor tendon (top of the foot) and am sidelined for a few weeks, just when I'd started to correct this.

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