Sunday, August 9, 2009

CP vs. CF Release With The Driver

A couple of days ago a poster over at David Orr's forum asked about the driver and using a CP (aka 'Centripetal) Release with the big stick.

For those who don't know, CP (Centripetal) and CF (Centrifigul) Releases are MORAD terms for the type of releases a golfer can utilize in the golf swing. From my experience, most golfers use one of these releases throughout their golf swing. The pic above (credit David Orr at shows a CP and CF release. As you can see, the Snead pic shows his hands going 'left' and the Bobby Clampett pic shows his hands going out to the right a little bit.

So with this, we once again get into the dynamics of 'swinging left' and 'swinging right.' My belief is that we need to go with what Trackman studies and research tell us.

Per Trackman's latest newsletter (, with a DRIVER(irons react differently), the degrees of the Angle of Attack and the degrees of the clubpath should match, if you want to hit a straight shot.

So, let's say we want to hit a straight shot with a driver and let's say that the clubface angle is 0.0* to the target at clubface/golfball seperation AND you have hit the ball squarely on the sweespot. If my Angle of Attack is 2.5* downward, then I have to swing to the left by 2.5* in order to hit it straight.

On the flip side, if you hit a driver with 3* upward Angle of Attack, then in order to hit it straight you need to swing the club 3* out to the right.

Here's the problem with some CP Releases (releasing the hands to the left) and the driver. We know that in order to optimize DISTANCE with the driver, the golfer needs to hit the ball with an upward angle of attack. However, as Trackman notes, if you hit the ball with an upward angle of attack, you need to swing out to the right.

So that's one big problem with the CP release and the driver, it's tough to optimize the driver distance and hit it straight with this type of release.

So how did Snead hit it so far with a CP release?

He simply aimed very far to the right at address.

And of course, there's the diagram of the feet alignment at address that Hogan talked about in his great book, '5 Lessons.'

Of course, you still have to hit with an upward angle of attack, usually done by teeing it up a little higher and playing the ball a little further up in your stance.

Now, if you were to hit up on the driver with a CP release (swing left), but were not aimed out to the right, you would hit a left to right shot. Why? Because when your Angle of Attack is upward, that moves the true path moves out to the right. When you swing left of the true path, you are 'cutting across' the path and that imparts a left-to-right spin. My guess is that Hogan, not known for a high ball flight or major distance off the tee in his latter years and he played a fade, probably swung a little left of the true path even though he was aimed right with the driver. The result was a little lower, driving flight that faded a tad. And he could certainly live with that.

With somebody who uses a CF release, they probably don't need to aim right or not aim much to the right with the driver and the longer irons. Then with the mid-to-shorter irons, they probably need to aim way left in order to hit straight, quality shots.

If there's one thing to take from Hogan's '5 Lessons' (and in reality, there's many great things about the book), it's understanding the diagram of his setup and learning from Trackman as to why that diagram works.



Greg Brown said...

Good explanation.

Off topic a bit the Hogan diagram for years was counter to everything I had been taught so I did not use it. Now that I understand that the low point never changes in your swing based on TGM, it is below your left shoulder for all clubs its easy to accept that I just change the width of my feet on the shots. Much more consistent. Jack and Hogan were right on that one.

VJ said...

Thanks for 'planation Rich...I finally get it. You are really good at tieing all this stuff together that I just happen to be reading. Thanks again.


Rich H. said...

Thanks for the kind words, guys. I used to pretty much have a square stance and move the ball throughout my stance as well. I also had a very CF release back then, so that's why I was able to get away with it. Now I follow Hogan's diagram except with the driver, where I move the ball further forward just so I can optimize distance.