Use these “Release Drills” to Improve Squaring the Clubface at Impact

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

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It is required to have the clubface square at impact to hit straight shots. Below are some drills to help you improve your release and timing that will improve your ball flight and solidness of impact.

Before we work on drills let’s look at the grip. The grip is a key to being able to square the clubface at impact. If you’re gripping the club too tight, you will not be able to rotate your forearms and hands, due to excessive pressure and tightness. If you grip is too weak in position, (for the right handed golfer this is the right hand too much on top of the grip), you will not be able to rotate the forearms or hands, due to the position of the hands on the grip. Start with a good grip which includes light grip pressure and has the grip in your fingers at the base of your palm. You should see two knuckles on the left hand and the tips of your fingers on your right hand when the club is positioned correctly in your hands. Lighten your grip pressure to the point that you feel the tension in your forearms and shoulders go away. Now you are ready to work on some “release drills”.

Drill #1, Hit 2 Tees:  Position a tee inside of the ball and outside of the ball. These tees should be positioned square with your clubface. The tees should be spread out just enough that you can hit one tee on the heel of the clubface and one on the toe. The goal is to hit the ball and each tee at the same time. If you are coming into impact with a closed clubface, you will hit the tee outside the ball with the toe of the clubface prior to hitting the inside tee. If you are making impact with the clubface open, you will contact the inside tee first. The tees create a good visual image of what you want at impact and gives you instant feed back. This is also a good practice swing drill without hitting any balls. Hit both tees together and the clubface is square.

Drill #2, Toe up, toe up:  To release the clubface or rotate the forearms and hands, you will need to have the proper backswing position as well. During the backswing you will take the club away from the ball with your shoulders and forearms rotating around your chest. If you do this without a club in your hand, watch your palms as they rotate around your body like the swinging door on the hinge. This is the proper rotation and position to allow you to rotate on the downswing. With the club in your hands, make this same hinge like rotation and watch the toe of the club. About half way back the toe of the club is facing up or towards the sky, bring the club down from here, continue turning and stop about halfway through after impact. Again, you will find the toe of the club facing up.  Take some practice swings with this half swing. Take the club back, stop and look at the toe, is it pointing up or over your target line with a closed or open clubface? After taking the club back and forth stopping at the top and finish, make some practice half swings and feel the club and your forearms rotate squaring the clubface. Next, hit some shots continuing with the half swing. Feel the club rotate, toe up, come down squaring by impact and rotating toe up at the finish. If you are doing this correctly and in the correct timing sequence, you will hit the ball with a square clubface. If the ball is going right, the club is open at impact; if the ball is going left, the clubface is closed at impact. 

These are two great drills for working on the proper rotation and release, thus squaring the clubface for impact. Use half swings to create the motion and feel you need. Practice with the half swing and use the half swing to get you back on track when you are off. Work on squaring the clubface and you will improve not only your direction but also improve your impact and increase distance.

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at