Many students who attend the Ben Sutton Golf School are there because they don’t release the club properly and therefore hit pulls or slices. The easiest way to see if you release the club properly is to check the position of your hands and arms at the 3:00 position (for right hand golfers). At this point in the swing your weight should be over the outside of your forward foot and your hips slightly open to well open depending on your flexibility. Both arms should be fully extended and the handle of the club well away from your body in front of the buckle of your belt.
Starting at the 4:00 position the fingers of the glove hand (left hand for right hand golfers) should be seen lined up under the top hand. At the 3:00 position the glove hand should be under the top hand meaning the forearms fully rotated.
One of the keys to understanding release is to realize the club swings on an arc. Notice the arc of the shaft when you sole the club. Because an angle of approximately 45 degrees is formed the club can only go in a straight line for a short period then must swing to the inside on the way back and return to the inside path sometime just after impact. If we just swing the arms without rotating the body then the upper part of the left arm separates from the body (accordion arms) and we subsequently lose power and hit a high, weak shot (most often a slice). If we keep the arms connected but don’t rotate the body then we end up flipping the wrists and hitting low pull shots. This is why ‘release’ can only happen with the rotation of the trunk and hips in conjunction with the rotation of the forearms.
Practice by hitting wedges from 8:00 to 4:00 then increasing the length of the swings from 9:00 to 3:00 (reverse numbers for left hand golfers). Concentrate on rotating the hips and upper trunk while rotating the forearms. At the 4:00 position check your hands to see if the left fingers line up under the top hand. The arms should be fully extended in front of the buckle of your belt, which should be aimed at your target. At the 3:00 position both arms should be straight and fully extended and the glove hand directly under the top hand. The toe of the club should be pointed slightly left, not up and down. This means the club is swinging on the correct plane and path in a fully released position.