By Shawn McConnon

December 6, 2023


Introduction

Welcome to our guide on mastering the short game, featuring Dan Grieve's 3 Releases. As one of golf's best short game instructors, Dan breaks down the complexities of the short game into three distinct releases, each tailored for different scenarios. This is one of the best instructional tips I've seen on the short game.

Dan Grieve's 3 Releases Transcript

0:02

right hi everyone so I get lots of

0:03

questions about what are the three

0:05

releas is what are the difference is so

0:06

this video really is just going to run

0:08

through key differences so you can

0:10

really understand the short game own it

0:12

and start to understand what shot to

0:14

play where which is what it's all about

0:16

so we're going to start with release one

0:17

kind of the most basic green side chip I

0:20

call it the Chip And Run it's a

0:21

lowlighted shot which will land and run

0:23

out it will run out more if you use less

0:25

Loft less if you use more Loft assuming

0:27

a good strike of course so when talk

0:30

about three releases what I'm actually

0:32

talking about is how the club swings

0:35

through the ball okay so how it releases

0:38

or swings this way and what we're what

0:41

we're trying to imagine here is a laser

0:43

coming out the top of the grip there and

0:44

as it swings through just past impact

0:48

where is that pointing now if it's

0:49

pointing somewhere near that lead hip

0:52

That's What I Call release one that

0:54

means we're going to be using the front

0:56

section of the bounce just to bruise the

0:58

grass behind it and nip the ball okay

1:01

which is that front section okay which

1:03

encourages then slight Shar Lan and that

1:06

little nip which flights the ball down

1:08

okay so that's release one so here I've

1:10

got a 56° so it's a sand wedge ideal for

1:14

this front pin because it's downhill and

1:16

it's fairly short obviously there's

1:18

other options here you could use your

1:19

putter or whatever for the benefit of

1:21

this video we're talking about how to

1:23

release it and how to actually chip

1:25

rather than putt so we're going to set

1:28

up with a ball just back of Center

1:29

little bit of a forward lean don't go

1:31

crazy it's going to take too much of the

1:32

bounce off and we're going to try and

1:34

get the shoulders as level as possible

1:37

and the three releases have different

1:39

wrist positions so for release one which

1:41

is the lowest flighting shot we're going

1:43

to get the wrist in the highest position

1:44

so you can see how the angle there is

1:47

fairly flat on my lead wrist okay which

1:49

is going to discourage wrist action okay

1:53

there'll be some because you're going to

1:54

grip it lightly but we don't want to be

1:56

getting too excessively in with the

1:58

wrist hinge when you set the hands lower

2:00

that encourages more wrist okay so we

2:02

get the hands nice and high borders back

2:04

to Center shoulders as level as you can

2:06

make them and really don't feel like

2:07

you're going to get too risky going back

2:09

but really concentrate on where impact

2:12

is and you see how the butt of the grip

2:14

there is very much close to that front

2:15

hip okay my chest my hands and the club

2:18

head are all working together I'm not

2:20

driving the hands with no rotation that

2:23

would be release zero you can see the

2:24

balls come off much hotter hasn't

2:26

released at all and if I was just

2:28

flipping with my wrist

2:30

only okay that would be a big scoop see

2:32

I hit way behind the wall there release

2:35

way outside the back foot the back back

2:36

hip there so you can call it almost a

2:38

release four if you like so release one

2:42

let's get this right this time got the

2:43

sound word you'll see a little bit of

2:45

check and you'll see it just gently run

2:47

out towards the hole and in there we go

2:49

you can see how the but of grip is

2:51

pointing here okay very simple drill you

2:53

can all do to get the feeling of this

2:54

one is grip it down by the feral which

2:57

is this black part on the club here on

2:59

the on the front hip take it back and

3:02

then rotate to the finish and this just

3:05

gives you a great feeling for how your

3:07

rotation works and how that release

3:09

point is there which is on this front

3:11

hip okay now obviously I can do release

3:14

one with pretty much every Club in the

3:15

bag that was a 56 ideal for the front

3:18

pin if I'm going out towards the back

3:20

pin there then a 56 probably isn't the

3:23

right Club because it will check up too

3:25

much so here would be the

3:27

example I've used it can you see it's

3:30

checking I played that absolutely

3:31

perfectly but you can see how the ball

3:33

struggled to run out so rather than

3:35

struggle with The Sand Wedge go to

3:38

something like an

3:39

eight don't change anything in the setup

3:44

but you'll see how the ball will have

3:45

less spin with the

3:47

eight and it will have more speed so you

3:50

can see how that Ball's running out a

3:51

lot easier and getting down there

3:53

towards the pin so it's just a simple

3:55

change in in Loft change the spin on the

3:58

ball the release is exactly the same on

4:01

that front hip so that's release one now

4:03

it's second two release

4:07

two right so release two so this

4:10

situation we've got here where we're off

4:13

the green but we have to carry around

4:16

about 60% of Fringe to then hit a down

4:19

slope and and filter it down to the hole

4:21

so if I was to stick to the release one

4:25

technique which we remember is a lower

4:27

flighted shot which tends to then kick

4:29

on a little bit if I just have that one

4:32

technique I've played that really nicely

4:34

but you can see how that Ball's just

4:36

running on past the hole I couldn't have

4:38

played that any better so if I want to

4:41

start now getting a little bit more

4:42

softness in Flight a little bit more

4:44

Spin and control for this sort of shot

4:45

where it's quick and downhill I need to

4:48

use more of the middle section of the

4:50

bounce which is released to what I call

4:52

a soft Landing shot so this release

4:56

point is where the but of the grip

4:57

starts to point back towards the belt

5:00

buckle area just past impacts so we're

5:03

using more of the sole more of the

5:05

bounce here to work through this way um

5:08

I'm not going to go into all the detail

5:10

of this shot this is this this video

5:12

really is just about just trying to get

5:13

some real good Basics across to it I've

5:15

got the book there there's loads of

5:16

detail in there and look through the

5:17

other videos but um just so we're clear

5:20

on this shot we do need a reasonable lie

5:23

doesn't need to be amazing but we need

5:26

to make sure we have some grass under

5:29

the ball

5:30

okay if we if it was sitting down here

5:32

for example and we look at the shot and

5:35

my mind is saying I'd love to play the

5:36

soft Landing shot but actually if I try

5:39

to play it from this

5:41

lie it's not supposed to be that easy

5:43

but you can see that's moved on a little

5:45

bit but even from that lie it's not easy

5:48

I happen to play it quite well but if I

5:50

was not quite so perfect there it would

5:52

land it' be very difficult to get that

5:54

club under the ball okay so you need a

5:57

reasonable lie to attempt this shot and

5:59

that means the leading that sits more

6:01

under the ball so ball forward flare the

6:05

foot out a little bit more tiny bit

6:07

further away we're to the second wrist

6:08

position really light grip pressure

6:10

that's the key if you can just take one

6:12

thing from this video just take lighter

6:14

grip pressure and then the club starts

6:15

to swing itself got to make sure you go

6:18

back on a good plane and try and get

6:20

that club in a tot position so it

6:21

protects the LOF and the bounce will not

6:23

getting too too close there and the key

6:25

here really is not rushing just trying

6:27

to let the bounce slide under the ball

6:29

keep your chest moving and then what

6:30

we'll see here is is a softer

6:32

shot and you'll see have a lot more spin

6:35

you can see how it holds that slope more

6:39

okay very quick down there let's see if

6:41

we can soften that up a little bit more

6:44

this is a

6:45

56° by the way there you got a little

6:49

bit more spin there

6:51

look nice and close so this is a 56 I'm

6:54

a big fan of using 54 56 maybe 58 for

6:57

this shot you can can use a 60 the

7:00

problem with using a

7:02

60 is you got to be so good with the

7:05

speed it's so easy for that ball to ride

7:07

up the grues that much loft um and then

7:10

it's very hard to control it I'll give

7:11

it a

7:12

go

7:15

but like I was a bit quick on that

7:17

because I knew it's quite a week loss so

7:20

I know your sort of your your logical

7:23

mind might be saying well I use the most

7:24

lofted Club but actually you're going to

7:26

get more success probably with your

7:27

second most lofted Club for for this

7:29

release so hopefully that helps you

7:32

understand the release Point that's the

7:33

most important thing really about this

7:35

video is to get the understanding of

7:36

where the club releases okay little bit

7:38

of cupping in the lead wrist but grip

7:40

back towards the belt buckle we keep

7:42

turning nicely connected The Arc here as

7:45

well it's fairly narrow it's not as wide

7:47

as the release one but really just work

7:49

on where that but grip's pointing keep

7:51

your chest supporting the release as

7:53

well and just be relaxed let the club

7:55

swing let it flow we don't want any

7:58

pulling and grabbing for this shot

8:00

so release three this is the fun release

8:02

this is the lob shot okay it's um

8:05

slightly more dangerous if you haven't

8:06

practiced it enough if it goes wrong

8:08

okay so you don't need this shot in your

8:10

game but you need to appreciate this is

8:12

a a release and it is a release you can

8:13

use when you want to hit the ball high

8:16

either out the sand okay or when you

8:19

want you've got very little green to

8:20

work with and you want to need need to

8:22

play that sort of lob shot the caveat

8:24

here is you do need to have a

8:26

lie that is okay you need you wouldn't

8:29

play this off hard pan right I'll show

8:30

you that in a second but the LI here is

8:33

okay there is some grass under ball it's

8:35

not amazing a bit of a Sandy kind of

8:37

piece of land here but we can get the

8:39

club under the ball so we're looking to

8:40

use this section of the bounce now okay

8:42

the trailing section so the release

8:44

Point here is towards the back hiip

8:47

maximum cup in the wrist this way okay

8:49

the loft is on and we work around the

8:51

corner um it's a longer swing it's a

8:53

risty swing but you still need to make

8:55

sure you're turning going to widen the

8:57

stance up here because we need a longer

8:59

uh it's a longer swing so we need a

9:00

wider base ball forward shaft neutral no

9:03

lean here at all we want all the bounce

9:05

showing nice and brave with the swing

9:07

try and cut the wrist to get the club as

9:08

open as possible and then fire it under

9:11

the ball there's a little bit more

9:13

conscious release in this one whereas

9:15

release two was a bit more just letting

9:16

the club swing on its own Force this is

9:19

a little bit more meant through the ball

9:22

with that bottom hand okay only play

9:24

this shot when you have very little

9:25

green to work with and just weigh up the

9:28

situation you maybe wouldn't do it so

9:30

much in stroke play but you maybe do it

9:31

in match play for example um here

9:34

there's probably a little bit too much

9:35

green to play I could still probably do

9:37

the release two for this situation for

9:39

those that are looking keenly on with

9:41

with with your eyes in terms of how much

9:42

green there is but imagine there's a bit

9:44

less green okay and I've got a flight a

9:46

little bit near the

9:48

pin right let's give that a go so we're

9:50

down there ball forward keep the chest

9:52

moving release the

9:54

club it's a nice high release and you

9:57

can see how quickly that stops okay you

9:59

see how the the club is kind of going in

10:01

the holster as I call it here and the

10:03

holster move comes from really releasing

10:05

it nice and narrow and then it comes

10:07

around the corner and into the holster

10:10

so um no real kind of no real charging

10:14

at it I've just got to keep everything

10:17

moving wind's a little bit off the right

10:19

so you got to allow for the wind a

10:20

little bit with this shot because it's

10:22

hanging in the air so

10:25

much you see how softly that lands and

10:28

just trickles out okay so you know great

10:30

shot to have in your locker um brilliant

10:33

out of the bunker as well like I say you

10:36

do need to have an okay lie to play it

10:39

if you were in a divot and you're in

10:41

this situation well sometimes you got to

10:43

take your medicine a little bit I would

10:45

play a release one because I want to get

10:48

the club face on the ball when it's

10:50

sitting down I don't want to be using

10:51

the bounce and i' accept it's going to

10:53

go lower and it's going to run out a

10:55

little bit more so I'm going to play

10:57

that back in the stance a little bit of

10:58

hinge though

10:59

get the ball first and then hopefully

11:02

hold that pot for a for an up and down

11:04

okay so understand the light is really

11:07

critical but that's release three really

11:09

fire it use your most lofty Club I've

11:11

got 60 in my hand here use your most

11:12

lofty Club release it keep turning so

11:15

you've now got three releases you got

11:17

the front hip for your chip and run

11:20

you've got the belt buckle for your soft

11:22

Landing shot and you got the back hip

11:25

for your lob shot three releases got to

11:28

match it to the line and you got to use

11:30

the right Club at the right time but

11:31

hopefully that helps you understand the

11:33

free releases a little bit more much

11:34

more to learn from different videos in

11:36

the book but um hopefully that helps you

11:38

game all the best

Understanding the 3 Releases

The video and information below will give you a solid foundation of Dan's short game techniques. If you want to take it a step further...

I highly recommend you get his book...

3 Releases: The Short Game System: Transform Your Technique & Thinking

Dan has taught some of the best professionals in the world and you'll get drills, setup, swing sequences and more...

Dan Grieve 3 Releases

Release One: The Chip and Run

Release 1
  • Ideal for: Green-side chips
  • Technique: Utilizes the front section of the club's bounce and butt of the club will release at the lead hip at impact.
  • Result: A low-flying shot with varying roll depending on the loft used
  • Pro Tips:
    • Use a higher wrist position to minimize wrist action
    • Keep the ball just back of center with a slight forward lean
    • Focus on maintaining the club's butt close to the lead hip at impact

Release Two: The Soft Landing Shot

Release 2
  • Ideal for: Situations with a downhill slope or when more spin and control are needed
  • Technique: Engages the middle section of the club's bounce and focuses on the butt of the club pointing back at your sternum or belt buckle.
  • Result: Higher flight with more spin, ideal for quick, downhill greens
  • Pro Tips:
    • Requires a reasonable lie with some grass under the ball
    • Position the ball forward, with a lighter grip and flared foot
    • Focus on a relaxed grip to feel the weight of the clubhead

Release Three: The Lob Shot

Release 3
  • Ideal for: High shots out of the sand or with limited green space
  • Technique: Utilizes the trailing section of the bounce, with a focus on the back hip release point.
  • Result: A high arc with a quick stop, perfect for precise landings on the green
  • Pro Tips:
    • Needs a decent lie; avoid hard pan surfaces
    • Adopt a wider stance, with the ball forward and no shaft lean
    • Emphasize wrist cupping to maintain loft and use a conscious release through the ball
  • FAQs

    Q: Can I use Release One with any club? 

    A: Absolutely! You can adapt it to various clubs depending on the distance to the pin.

    Q: Is Release Two suitable for all lies?

    A: Release Two requires a reasonably good lie. If the ball is sitting down too much, it’s challenging to get the club under the ball for the desired soft landing. Also if you have a hard pan lie... You're most likely better off using release 1. 

    Q: When should I opt for Release Three?

    A: Use Release Three in high-risk situations where you have minimal green to work with or need to escape tricky sand traps. It's a more advanced technique and requires practice.

    Conclusion

    Mastering these three releases can significantly improve your short game. It gives you versatility and imagination for a variety of shots. Remember, the key lies in choosing the right release for the right situation. Practice these techniques/releases to drastically improve your short game and scoring. 

    Happy golfing!

    Fore!

    Just so you know, some links on this post are affiliate. Our recommendations are as straight as a well-hit drive, unaffected by any partnerships. We may receive a commission with no impact on your pricing.

    About the author

    Shawn is the founder of UpGlove. He started UpGlove to solve his own problem of getting an affordable player's glove. Shawn is a single-digit Handicap and loves to play different courses throughout Tampa Bay. He also enjoys taking his two doggies Brutus & Champi for long walks.

    You might also like

    {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Big on Feel. Small on Price.

    Stop getting ripped off at the pro shop for a decent golf glove.

    >