Stephen if you contact your plan administrator to initiate your rollover you will be able to provide guidelines as to where to direct your rollover. If the administrator cuts a check in your name versus the name of your new self-directed custodian, then be aware that you have a limited time to deposit the check into your new IRA.
Stephen- there are possibly two separate points here in your check/owner controlled plan wording - you can acheive "owner control" by following the answer from Kimberly Curtis and just setting up a self-directed IRA for yourself. If you are referring to a self-directed IRA that is sometimes said to have "checkbook control", that is a very complex structure that you will need professional help to set up to avoid prohibited transactions. It is most often referring to an IRA that is invested in real estate or more specifically an IRA that is invested in a company (that you set up) that invests in real estate. Having checkbook control comes from the fact that your new company will have a bank account and a checkbook to pay for operating expenses related to the business. There are very strict self-dealing rules that you must adhere to in these structures. A good source of information on self directed plans investing in real estate is www.guidantfinancial.com/resources
Consider that if you are not age 59 ½, you would incur a 10% penalty every time you withdraw money, in addition to withholding tax being held. You may have trouble finding a company to offer check-writing privileges if this is the case.
If you are age 59 ½ , many brokerage accounts will offer check-writing privileges and will offer the flexibility it invest in a large platform of what is is publicly traded. You will still be responsible for withholding taxes, as everything withdrawn from your pre-tax account is considered earned income. But you will not have a 10% penalty.
Your best options depend on your risk tolerance, time frame, investment style, other assets, and a myriad of other variables. Consult a local qualified investment advisor in your area. Find one that you feel comfortable with. Ask questions.