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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Hitting straight shots requires having the clubface square at impact. Below are some swing drills to help you release the club and improve your ball flight and solidness of impact.

Let’s start with a good grip which includes light grip pressure and the club positioned in the base of your palm and fingers. 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 to the 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. These two tees create a good visual image of what you want the clubface to look like at impact and give you instant feedback. Do this drill without the ball and work on hitting both tees together and the clubface is square.

Drill #2, Toe Up, Toe Up: To release the clubface you will need to have the proper backswing position. Begin the backswing taking the club away from the ball with your shoulders and forearms rotating around your chest. Now do this without a club in your hand, watch the rotation of your palms as they swing around your body, this resembles the way a door swings on its hinge. This is the proper rotation of your arms and hands as you swing the club back. Put the club back in your hands and make this same hinge like rotation and watch the toe of the club. About half way back, waist high, the toe of the club is facing up or towards the sky,  bring the club down from here, continue turning and stop about half way 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.  Work on your timing until you can rotate and square the clubface on a regular basis.

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. 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