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Decelerating

Decelerating refers to when a player is either slowing down their body or their arm swing as they approach impact. The result is obviously a club head that is slowing down as well which will result in a loss of distance, but can also result in lack of control. When a player decelerates the club head often flips past their hands too early in the downswing. This makes it almost impossible for the player to keep control of the face and the player could experience fat and thin shots along with directional issues.

Decelerating Drills

Decelerating Tips

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  • Great Players Generate Speed the Same Way

    All great ball strikers generate speed the same way in the golf swing. This is called the kinematic sequence. What this sequence defines is the transfer of energy from your hips to your shoulders and then to your arms and finally to the ball. After your hips fire in the downswing they will start to slow and then the energy is transferred into your shoulders. Your shoulders do the same. They accelerate using the energy from the hips and as they slow, they then transfer the energy into your arms which fire and transfer the speed and energy into the ball. In order to have a proper kinematic sequence you need to have the flexibility and strength in the various body parts involved.

  • Stay Smooth

    Always swing smooth. Remember with more speed the ball will pop up higher. It's important to not jump at the ball, but rather have your acceleration slowly building on the way down so it maximizes at impact. When you jump at the ball from the top you will accelerate there and then decelerate into the ball. This will make the flight of the ball come out low.

  • Finish High to Prevent Decelerating

    If you find that you tend to decelerate on pitches into the green try finishing high. If you make it a goal to get your hands as high as your head and the butt end of the grip pointed towards the target you leave yourself with a destination that you can accelerate towards. Quitting on the swing is a definite problem for many when they try to shorten their swing, but if you coach yourself to accelerate to a finish rather than just to the ball you will create speed through the shot.

  • Sudden Acceleration Throws Off Consistency

    Keep the back swing and forward swing as one movement to control distance. Any independent movements or sudden acceleration will make speed control very inconsistent. For this reason it is important to let your big muscles (back, shoulders, abdominals) control the stroke. Getting the little muscles of your wrists and hands too involved makes it hard to keep the stroke smooth.

  • Don't Stop Your Hands

    Make sure to keep your hands accelerating towards the target. Stopping the hands too soon or decelerating in a short game shot can be detrimental resulting in chunked or skulled shots among other things. Remember to keep your pivot moving. Inconsistent strikes and an early release of the hands are often a result of a player's pivot stopping. Keep your pivot moving to keep your hands moving.

  • Accelerate to Impact

    To hit solid putts and control distance make sure you keep accelerating consistently to impact. It should be a constant acceleration, not a sudden acceleration. Sudden bursts of energy are going to make distance control nearly impossible. Your swing should feel like an even pendulum accelerating just a bit to the ball.

  • Stay Aggressive on Bunker Shots

    When hitting sand shots be sure to stay aggressive and swing hard. Remember, as long as you hit sand, the shot will come out short so you won't over shoot the green. Decelerating is a killer in the sand. It results in chunky shots that don't leave the bunker or skulled shots that fly over the green. Make sure you accelerate all the way to a finish that is at least as high as your shoulders.

  • Don't Stop Your Follow Through

    When working on putting length, let your follow through be a bit longer than your back swing. This will keep you from decelerating or quitting on the putts resulting in putts that are left short of the hole. It will also prevent you from the opposite. Stopping too short on the follow through can be a result of getting too choppy or handsy (not letting your shoulders and big muscles control the stroke). This can cause the club head to over accelerate sending the ball too far.

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