Golf Swing Characteristic #10: Early Release or Scooping

Tips From A PGA Pro 

Swing Characteristic #10: Early Release or Scooping      

Early Release or Scooping occurs on the downswing, as the player starts the downswing there is a premature release of the wrist angles, this results in a weak impact position with the left wrist being cupped at impact.  It adds loft to the face of the club and as a result we see a loss of power and consistency.  It is termed Casting or Early Release when the club head and left forearm are in a straight line prior to making contact with the ball, it is termed Scooping when the club head passes the hands through impact and the student is trying to lift the ball into the air. 

There are many causes to the Early Release or Scooping Swing Fault
At impact we should see the shaft leaning slightly toward the target, this helps to deloft the club and creates a more powerful impact position.  Causes of an early release and scooping are as follows:
  1. Lack of or limited contribution of the lower body in the downswing.  This causes the upper body to over work.
  2. Limitations in the wrists or wrist injury.
  3. Over the top swing path and open clubface.
  4. Body out of position so club has to release early to catch up.
  5. Reverse pivot and spine angle swing faults.
  6. Lack of coordination and understanding of proper impact position.
Here are some ideas to prevent Scooping or Early Release
Triceps – Diagonal Chop-This exercise helps develop strength in the triceps and better width and power in your swing.

Step-by-step instructions:

Stay in your golf posture with your back to the cable cross machine.  Reach up real high with your elbows in front of your body. Bring your elbows in front of your body and push straight down.  Keep your elbows together,  Flat left wrist and cupped right wrist for the right-handed golfer.

Forehand Topspin Drill

This is a great wrist re-education exercise for the left wrist. This will help teach you the proper release through impact in the golf swing.

Step-by-step instructions:

Grab a dumbbell in your lead hand and get into a good golf posture. Make a short backswing and short follow through back and forth making sure your lead wrist remains straight or slightly bowed (flexed) throughout the exercise.  Make sure you turn your body as well throughout the movement.

Early release cross hands drill-Maintaining the proper position of your wrists through the impact zone is crucial for generating power in your golf swing. This simple drill will help simulate the proper feeling in the impact zone.
Step-by-step instructions:

Take your setup position and hinge your right wrist back against itself creating as much angle as you can between the trail hand and your wrist. Then take your lead hand and place it on top of your trail hand so that the back of each hand is facing each other.  Now make some swings creating pressure between both hands. The lead hand will fell bowed and the trail hand will feel hinged this will help create the proper impact feel into impact.

Joe Musser

PGA Teaching Pro


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