In a recent tennis match during the U.S.Open one of the players let go of his racket when serving, it flew across the net and the player lost the point.
Discussing the incident in the commentary box afterwards Annabel Croft pointed out that releasing the racket, or 'throwing the racket head at the ball', when serving was a drill used by the Williams sisters when practising their serve. Apparently they used a stack of rackets and threw them at the target after the ball, which ensured the correct release.
We can use a similar concept in golf when 'releasing the driver club' on a full shot. When you make a good swing and the club slips out of your hands it should fly into the distance on line with the target.
With a golfer who slices the ball or hits the ball with an out-to-in swingpath, the club would fly to the left of target. Conversely, a golfer who draws the ball would tend to 'throw' or release the club to the right – reflecting an inside approach into impact.
While I'm not advocating throwing your clubs when practising, imagining the club (or a stick) being released into the distance after the ball, certainly encourages a straighter, more natural release at impact.
John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour, having after spending time in China, where he was instrumental in building a driving range for underprivileged children in Fuzhou. He won the 2005 Jamega Tour Order of Merit last week had his best Seniors Tour finish (15th) in the Benhavis Masters in Spain. For further information visit John's website at www.johnhoskisongolf.com.