I was asked the other day from a blog reader 'it seems to me that the golfers for the 70's and earlier were more likely to use the CP release whereas today's golfers are more likely to use the CF Release. Why do you think that is?'
First let's give a brief overview of the CP Release vs. the CF Release.
The CP Release has the upper arms 'packed into' the body past impact. It's called 'CP' which stands for centripetal force. The CF release has the upper arms off the body past impact. The CF stands for centrifugal force.
Here's a pic of John Erickson (www.advancedballstriking.com) demonstrating the CP Release (left) and the CF Release (right)
Here's Hogan and Knudson, both users of the CP Release.
Here's a slow mo video of Ricky Fowler, a classic 'CF Release' golf swing.
Now, do I think the modern player CF's more these days than players of the past?
Yeah, probably. I'd like to get a little more solid facts on this, but I guess so. When I think of modern day CP Releases, I think of Hunter Mahan, Matteoo Manassero and a few others, but that's about it. But, if I go into the past there's Snead, Hogan, Charlie Sifford, Knudson, etc.
The main premise behind why I think this is the case is due to the modern equipment, particularly the driver.
LONGER, LIGHTER CLUBS
I can CP release the heavier and shorter clubs, like a 9-iron, much more easier than I can with a 3-iron. And today's drivers are about 45 to 46" in length where the standard persimmon driver was 43.5" in length and much heavier. It's just very difficult for most golfers, including myself, to CP Release a modern day titanium driver.
THE SKY BALL FACTOR
I played some persimmon woods as a junior golfer and currently own a set of Cleveland RC85 persimmon woods.
One thing you'll notice right away is that the likelihood of hitting a sky ball increases DRAMATICALLY with persimmon. With the titanium driver...I can't remember the last time I skied a driver.
What we know is that the more inside-to-out the path, the more likely it will shallow out or make for an upward attack angle. I think that the modern players hit more up on the driver simply because the modern driver takes the sky ball factor out of play and thus ingrains more CF Release actions.
THE SNAP HOOK FACTOR
Another factor is the snap hook. With the persimmon, the golfer is much more likely to hit a snap hook. Particularly if they just miss off the toe.
We do know that inside-to-out swings usually result in more mis-hits off the toe. So with the modern driver, where you can hit a shot well off the toe and still be down the middle of the fairway, that IMO is more likely to encourage a CF release.
Furthermore, when you look at Hogan...I think it's obvious that he worked on 'holding on for dear life' with his swing for awhile. In fact, Trevino recently stated that he learned to 'hold on for dear life' after watching a Hogan clinic and the rest was history . That 'holding on' is really an angled hinge...part of the CP Release...and I think these guys figured out the 'swinging left' and CP release stuf as they went along, both in hopes to rid themselves of the hook.