PGA Tour pros are so amazing at "releasing" the club. What does this mean? If you watch a pro just after impact you can see that their hands have turned over. The right hand is on top of the left. Many of us amateurs, myself included, don't do this. Instead we break our left wrist, which makes the left elbow break toward the target, producing the dreaded "left arm chicken wing." The released club vs the chicken wing is no contest. Winner: release.
Full release produces higher club head speed and thus longer distance. The chicken wing reduces distance and increases the likelihood of a block or slice.
Here are a few thoughts on how to get your club to release.
Take a baseball bat and swing it as you normally would in a baseball game. Notice how your right hand turns over your left. That's the feel. Try to repeat that with a golf club. In fact, try a baseball swing with a golf club. Get the feel of that release, then move it down to the regular hitting position.
Another way to promote or feel the release has another baseball analogy. Instead of bringing the club straight through impact or cutting across the ball to the inside after impact like most amateurs do, imagine that you're hitting a ball to first base or right field. Hit inside the ball, extending to the outside of the target line. This will help prevent the chicken wing and promote a better release. It may even help you hit a draw, rather than a fade or slice!
The release is all about timing. Do it too soon and your power curve will be past max before you hit the ball and the shot will go hard left. Do it too late and you'll block the ball and it will sail far right. With the drills above you'll feel the speed zone in the middle of the impact area. If you can release the club at just the right time, you'll knock it straight and considerably farther than the old chicken wing swing.
Go practice your release!