wrist mechanics online course featured image

Wrist Action: The Secret Ingredient for Consistent Golf Swing!

Typically $95, FREE Today!

Free Drills to Unlock Tour Level Wrist Action
Unlock Tour-Level Wrist Action
All Posts / Articles / Golf Swing Basics /

How to Release the Golf Club Correctly (A Practical Guide)

How many times have you played a round of golf and heard the following statements… “I never released it.”, “My hands were late”, “I released it too early”.

The release is an area of the game where amateur golfers struggle. The concept is hard to wrap your mind around. The good news is that once you get the feeling and the concept of the release down, it’s much easier to repeat it.

We will show you how to release the golf club correctly, the key to finding the right release position, and how you can practice working on how to release the golf club.

Key Takeaways

If you don’t have time to read our entire guide on how to release the golf club correctly, here are the key points you should take away with you.

  • Releasing the golf club is not rolling the hands over; it is maintaining proper wrist angle through impact and then allowing your body to rotate.
  • The timing of the release in golf is considered paramount, but with proper wrist angles from the top of the backswing to impact, the timing of the release will not be an issue.
  • Proper release of the golf club will encourage a square face at impact, more penetrating ball flight, and increased distance.
  • Drills for practicing the release should be mostly centered around feel to understand and narrow down the concept.

What is Releasing the Golf Club?

As you swing a golf club back, the clubface opens; when you swing through impact, the clubface squares up, and as you move past the ball, the clubface closes. This is the release of the club; it’s the opening and closing of the clubface at the proper time to hit a straight golf shot.

The release is a difficult concept to think about consciously; it has to be more of a feeling to master it.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

How to Release the Golf Club Correctly

Releasing the golf club will feel slightly different depending on your swing and physical characteristics. However, there is a specific process to follow if you want to release the golf club correctly.


Make sure that your setup includes a neutral grip, stable base of support, and weight evenly distributed among your feet. Although there is no perfect grip position for a proper release, when your grip is too weak or strong, it makes the process harder.

While setting up to hit, also make sure that your grip pressure is not overly tight. A tighter grip can restrict some of the natural wrist movement needed to release the club properly.

Top of the Backswing

The position at the top of your backswing will play into how much work you must do to release the golf club through impact.

When at the top of your backswing, you want to ensure your lead wrist is not overly extended. Many amateur golfers get to the top of their backswing and have added extension from their setup position. From this potion at the top, the traditional release pattern is not possible.

Instead, work on getting to a flatter lead wrist position, which will help result in a club that is on plane and considerably easier to release.

In this video from Athletic Motion Golf, you can learn how to get the club into the correct position at the top of the backswing. A proper takeaway and better awareness of how the club rotates around your body will get you there.

Approaching the Golf Ball

Now that your club is in the correct position at the top of the swing, we have to look at what happens when you approach the ball.

As Alistair Davies describes in the video below, the concept of release and that extension in the lead wrist in many golfers’ minds happens before the golf ball. This is not the case.

To release the club properly, you still need to have the left wrist in a flexed or flat position through impact. Without this wrist position, the angle of attack is incorrect, and the clubface angle is also usually open.

As your hands move into the golf ball, you should be decreasing extension and flattening the lead wrist.


At impact, the lead wrist is flat or slightly flexed. We like to think of impact as the midpoint in the release motion.

After you have made contact with the golf ball, the lead wrist starts to move from the point of flexion to extension. This happens as the trail arm passes over the lead arm.

For golfers who struggle with an improper position at the top of the backswing, the impact position is not conducive to this trailing arm folding over the lead arm.

The key piece of advice to walk away from here is that the lead wrist stay flexed through impact and then move to extend after impact.

correct and incorrect lead wrist position at impact

After Impact

After impact, your lead wrist continues to move to the point of extension, and the trail wrist moves into flexion. This continues all the way through until the club stops moving and you are fully facing your target.

While wearing your HackMotion, take some swings where you go from halfway back to halfway through. You should notice your wrist going from a slightly extended or flexed position to flexed to extended again after contact with the ball.

World Class Golf shows in this video below the way that all professionals get to this released position.

The Feel of the Proper Release in Golf

Now that you have the basic steps and positions to be able to feel the proper release of the golf club, we have to talk about feel and sequence.

We talk about and feel the release in our hands and wrists, but there are other motions in the golf swing that happen simultaneously. The sequence of this is:

  • Body
  • Arms
  • Wrists
  • Clubhead

Alistair Davies (watch the video above) explains this by saying your body will turn towards the golf ball, and your arms are going to follow and start making their way to impact. The wrists then come through, and they directly control the clubhead.

The work that amateur golfers need to do in order to release a golf club happens in their hands and arms. However, if your body is not moving and rotating through the golf ball, you will struggle with the timing and consistency of the release.

Tips for a Better Release

Here are a few of the most important tips you can use to quickly improve your release position and consistency.

  • Golfers with better extension and rotation through impact tend to have more success with the release.
  • A downward strike is key to a better release; if you are leaving weight back and trying to flip under the ball, you will not release the club correctly.
  • At the point of contact, the lead wrist and the lead arm will feel as though they are straightened.
  • Don’t let the golf club get ahead of the lead arm until after impact.
  • Practice the release at a slower speed before you start to use it for the full swing; the feel takes a bit of time to get down when you are moving the club at a faster speed.
  • Don’t slow the swing down or decelerate through impact, as it won’t help you release the club.
  • Keep grip pressure to a minimum to avoid restricting your wrists.
  • Use video and data analysis to get a better idea as to where you need the most help.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Drills to Work On Releasing the Golf Club

Now that you have seen and understood what it takes to release the golf club, you must understand what this feels like. Let’s take a look at some of the best drills to release the golf club correctly.

HackMotion Wrist Sensor

The HackMotion wrist sensor gives you all the information you need to determine if your wrists are in the correct position throughout the golf swing. Most importantly, for a release, you can look for the pattern of lead wrist extension and flexion from just before impact to after impact.

printscreen with swing data from HackMotion app

There is no perfect wrist angle, but you will want to look for a pattern that is close to square or flexion at impact and moves to extension shortly after.

The key drill here would be to wear your HackMotion sensor and take slow swings while looking at the life feed on your wrist angles. You can see how these are updating and changing as you swing.

too much extension at impact - printscreen from hackmotion app

Many golfers, even better players, are shocked to see how much extension they still have in their lead wrist as they get into the impact position.

Halfway to Halfway

Another great drill is to hit shots where you swing halfway back to halfway through. The drill is shown in this video from World Class Golf as he discusses why most amateur players are missing this skill in their golf game.

Pre Set Drill

The pre-set drill is from Chris Ryan Golf, and it’s a great drill to incorporate into your warmup.

For this drill, you will need to remember two things.

The first is to keep the golf club head as far away from you as possible at impact, which helps to promote extras and a flatter wrist position. The second thing to remember is that the golf club head cannot pass the lead arm until after you have made contact with the ball.

In this drill, you may not even get to the point of letting the clubhead pass the lead arm. Instead, stop the club a little short, take these half shots, and feel like you hold the club in this position. You will create some muscle memory and some consistency and then be able to use it on the course.

One thing that is worth pointing out is that Chris Rayn mentions that if you can’t release the club properly on a 20 or 30-yard shot, how do you expect to do it on a 260-yard drive? This concept should inspire you to get out to the range, work on the area that matters most, impact, and release!

Final Thoughts

At this point, you can see why, yet again, wrist action in the golf swing is so important. Learning to release the golf club correctly truly starts with an understanding of what this release is and how it happens as you swing.

Once you have that motion down, you need to work on feel. Practicing the feel is much easier to do when you have real-time data and feedback from HackMotion.

Was this article helpful to you? Help us improve!

Your feedback shapes the future of our articles. Help us deliver the best content for you.

Great to hear! But what could we add to make it even better? Share any suggestions to make this post top-notch.

We're sorry to hear that. Could you share what was missing or off?

Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.