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Hit And Hold Vs Swing And Let Go

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In all short game shots, there are two schools of thought, for the most part, on how to properly release the clubhead and create impact. One is what I call the “Hit and Hold” method whereby when viewed from the face-on angle, the player keeps a very firm left wrist so that the hands remain vertically over or ahead of the club head. This is a useful method for someone who collapses the angle of their leading wrist before impact and thereby scoops the ball. Players with this fault will occasionally hit shots very heavy behind the ball but most of their misses will result in low, thin shots with the ball racing across the green.

The second method is where, again viewed from the face-on angle, the player does allow the clubhead to pass ahead of the hands after impact. I call this “Swing and Let Go” and it is a useful method for those that have gone too far with the “Hit and Hold” method which can induce the dreaded “chili-dipped” shot or low skidding shots with unpredictable backspin. First let me say this, both methods can be technically correct and effective. If your shots from 60 yards and in are performing exactly the way you want them to, then whatever you’re doing is right for you and you shouldn’t change a thing. If you are struggling though, I believe this method can be effectively by anyone.

I prefer the “Swing and Let Go” method because it so closely resembles my full swing. While I do want my hands ahead of the clubhead leading into impact, as we all do, I prefer to let the clubhead pass ahead of my hands right after impact, while my hands continue to swing around me. By allowing the clubhead to pass ahead of my hands, it lets me keep my hands and arms more relaxed and free of tension, a key for feel and touch. It also encourages having my hands and clubhead to be more vertically in line with one another. This allows the sole of the club to slide along the ground instead of the leading edge digging in. This is key because it creates a more consistent trajectory and spin rate even if I catch it a little thin or a little heavy. This is like knowing the distance of each of your irons with a full swing, it allows you to pick shots correctly so you can be more aggressive and get the ball closer to the hole. There are some cyclical benefits here too as having consistent trajectory and spin also helps your feel and touch in gauging distance.

As I said, both methods can be very effective, it’s up to you to see which one works best for you.

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