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deceleration in golf swing

4 Ways Decelerating Your Swing Is Killing Your Game (and How to Fix It)

What’s the biggest swing error you can make? Many say it’s a deceleration in golf swing. Whether or not it’s the absolute worst swing flaw or not, deceleration is certainly serious enough that it can derail your game.


Deceleration affects not only contact quality but also accuracy and distance control. More importantly, it packs serious strokes onto your golf handicap—more than you probably realize.


So if you really want to reduce your golf handicap, learn to stop decelerating when you swing. Of course, that’s a challenge. It’s harder to stop deceleration than you think.


Fortunately, the key to eliminating this swing error is simple: Concentrate on the through part of your swing—the part of your swing from impact to finish. It’s also the part of your swing you probably think about least.


Below we discuss how you can stop decelerating in four key parts of your game—and stop losing strokes from this dastardly swing error forever:

deceleration in golf swing
Deceleration in golf swing

Drives: Deceleration in Golf Swing


Deceleration short-circuits power. That costs you distance on your drives. If there’s one part of your game where you really want to stop decelerating, it’s off the tee. Ben Hogan said he always tried to reach top speed with the driver about 10 inches in front of the ball, after he hit it, not behind the ball. That’s a good feeling to internalize. To do it, use the golf tip provided below:


To get yourself to stop decelerating on your drives, imagine a ball about 10 inches in front of the ball on your tee. Now try to hit that second ball as you swing through the first. Try doing this without a ball a couple of times. Then tee one up and try to do it for real. You’ll get a different, faster sensation as your swing through impact.




When you decelerate your swing,  your top hand can easily overtake your bottom hand. That makes the club bottom out too soon, resulting in fat or thin shots.


Sound familiar?

Mishitting chips can cost you strokes, big time.


To correct this problem, focus on accelerating through contact with your bottom hand while keeping it flat. You can also try rotating your hands counterclockwise with your bottom hand on the grip. Place your bottom hand in a weak position at address and bow it slightly toward the target.




Decelerating when putting causes the ball to come up short. That’s the last thing you want on the green. The ball can’t possibly go in if it never reaches the hole.


When putting, you want to make a “through” stroke that’s about twice as long as your backstroke. A longer through stroke encourages you to automatically pick up the pace and reach top speed past the ball.


To practice this concept, mark the length of your backswing by placing a ball on the green just to the right (left for lefties) as you stand at address. Place another ball about twice the length of your backstroke to your left but slightly outside your target line. The ball to your left is your finish position after the shot. Now take some practice strokes using these two balls as guides.


Bunker Shots


Most golfers know the dangers of decelerating through bunker shots. Decelerating in the sand usually means that you’re going to be there for a while. It’s a costly error. No doubt about it.


To stop decelerating on bunker shots, you must work on the through part of your swing—the area from impact to finish. Here’s a drill that can help:


Pick a spot on the grass just outside the bunker. Assume your normal setup position and set the clubface in the open position. Make a full shoulder turn with your left arm, nice and straight. Swing down to the finish with the sensation that your arms and hands are loose and soft. Let them slap down hard on the grass through impact. This is the feeling you want when hitting bunker shots.


Deceleration is one of golf’s biggest swing flaws. It adds dozens of strokes to your score over the course of a year. It can also hurt accuracy and distance control. So if you’re serious about improving your game, work on stopping deceleration using our golf tips above. Stopping deceleration will reduce your scores and your golf handicap.


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