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Improve your release with these fascinating parent-child swing similarities from the PNC

December 19, 2023
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Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

A golf nerd’s version of the nature vs. nurture debate was on display last weekend at the PNC Championship, where legends played alongside their sons and daughters. Each year, NBC does a great job in producing a video segment highlighting the unique mannerisms that the pros share with their children.

Their golf swings often have very similar qualities, as well. That’s why we decided to pick out our favorite swing images from the week, to highlight the striking similarities between parent and child, and what we can learn for our own games.

Team Woods: Flight it low

It was a very windy weekend in Orlando, requiring players to flight shots low. Both Tiger and Charlie are demonstrating that here, as they have an abbreviated finish, which brings the flight down. Tiger says that when he tries to hit it low, he will simply finish low with his hands, arms and club.

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Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Team Stricker: Let the wood go

The distinguishing quality of Steve Stricker’s swing is his simple motion with very little wrist hinge and a full release of the club. He and daughter Izzy, who is committed to play college golf at Wisconsin, are demonstrating that full release here with a wood. Notice how their arms are near perfectly straight and the club shaft and left arm forms a straight line. There’s no hanging on.

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David Cannon/Getty Images

Team Lehman: Release without flipping

Tom Lehman and son Sean have different clubs here but get into a similar post-impact position. Notice how Sean’s right hand is coming off the club, and it is starting to roll over the left. This move can close the face too early. Tom has a slightly more efficient release, with the hands moving in sync with the body and no excessive flipping, which is something Tony Finau fixed in his swing to become more consistent.

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David Cannon/Getty Images

Team Woods: Release the right hand

Perhaps the most important fundamental in bunker play is to let the clubhead release past the hands, which Tiger and Charlie are doing here. Their right hands have moved past their left, allowing them to use the bounce of the club and not the leading edge, which digs into the sand. (David Leadbetter has more tips on how to perfect this bunker release, here.)

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Team Cink: Aggressive chest

Body rotation through impact is key to hitting crisp iron shots, especially in the wind when you’re trying to hit knockdown shots. Stewart and Regan Cink are continuing to rotate their chests into the finish. Notice how their sternums are facing the target and they have extended their chests upward, something that Best in State teacher Joe Plecker explains is indicative of proper body sequencing.

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Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Team Woods: Extend to the target

Extending your right arm through to the target in the follow-through is a great swing thought to try and mimic the positions of Tiger and Charlie here. They are fully releasing and extending their arms to generate as much speed as possible. They are allowing their right hands to move over their left, without rolling their forearms over, which would close the clubface. David Leadbetter says that a great way to feel this extension and release is to practice by literally throwing the club at the target in the follow-through.

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Ben Jared/PGA TOUR

Team Singh: Put up the umbrella

To get the clubhead to fling past the hands and use the bounce of the club on bunker shots, try to emulate this position of Vijay and Qass Singh, the 2022 winners of the PNC. Visualize the club as an umbrella and try to finish the swing with it straight up and down, as you would typically hold it.

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Mike Mulholland/Getty Images