10 Common Mistakes Golfers Make (and how to avoid them)

10 mistakes golfers make

Golf is a game of managing and minimizing mistakes, and you can bet that all golfers, regardless of skill level, make plenty of them. This post is an opportunity to learn from the many mistakes made before you, and keep your golf journey headed in the right direction. Here are 10 common mistakes made by golfers, and some tips on how to avoid them.

10. Bad Etiquette

Avoid being “that person” on the golf course, and become familiar with basic golf etiquette. It’s pretty easy stuff that helps everyone enjoy the game. Here are a few of the main ones:

  • Stay quiet while others are hitting. Your story, or rustling through your bag for a granola bar, can wait a few seconds;
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone;
  • Repair ball marks on greens, replace your divots, and rake bunkers after you’re in them;
  • Don’t walk through someone’s putting line;
  • Don’t spend all day looking for your ball, and help others look for theirs when practical. Limit searches to a couple minutes — if you haven’t found it by then, you probably don’t want to; and
  • Be ready to play when it’s your turn.

10 mistakes golfers make

9. No pre-shot routine

Taking two practice swings before one shot and six before the next doesn’t help your chances of hitting a good shot — developing a consistent pre-shot routine does. Find one that works for you. It should involve picking a target and consist of no more than two practice swings, which your playing partners and golf game will appreciate.

8. Not taking lessons

There’s no shame in heading out to figure it out on your own. It sure is a fun challenge. However, you don’t want to ingrain too many bad habits. You don’t need a lesson every week, however, developing some sound fundamentals will do wonders for your game in the long run. We even have some additional some tips on finding the best instructor for you.

7. Thinking too much 

Our brains aren’t meant to focus on several things at once. When you’re playing, focus on one key swing thought at a time. It could as simple as tempo, your posture, or staying committed to your target. Thinking about your grip, your stance, your posture, your take away, your wrist set and your hip action all at once will cause a breakdown. Get a good thought in your mind and let the shot go.

10 common mistakes golfers make


6. Playing incorrect tee boxes

Play the tee boxes that suit your skill level. If you’re out with more experienced golfers, put your ego aside and play a tee box up from them. Or suggest that everyone play a tee box up with you. If they understand golf, they’ll realize you’re doing the right thing for everyone in the group. It’ll end up being more enjoyable for all.

5. Being self conscious

Everyone hits bad shots, even the pros. Don’t be scared of hitting bad shots. If you’re reading this post, odds are you’re a step ahead of the majority of people around you. Ignore what everyone else is doing and do your thing. What people think about you and your game is completely irrelevant to your enjoyment.

4. Throwing a pity party

Golf can be tough — for everyone — but the challenge is part of what makes the game so great. Don’t throw a pity party because it’s not going as well as you expected it to, it’ll bring the whole group down and won’t turn your game around. Every golfer, no matter how talented, has frustrating times. Enjoy the ride and never give up.

10 mistakes golfers make

3. Sloppy practice habits

When you head to the driving range, have a plan for what you’re going to work on. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It may just be your grip, your tempo, or your alignment. The range is also a great place to practice your pre-shot routine. Always pick a target for each shot, and change your targets as you go. Take your time and focus on quality over quantity.

2. Playing shots over your head

When you’re out on the golf course, play high percentage shots. It’ll help you score better and reduce the chances of getting frustrated. If you have 220 yards of carry over water to the green, consider all your options. Maybe you carried a fairway wood 220 yards on the driving range twice out of 20 attempts, but those aren’t favorable odds. Try hitting two 110 yard iron shots — I guarantee you’ll score better in the long run.

1. Forgetting to Have Fun

It’s easy to get caught up in trying so hard to score well that you forget to relax and enjoy the game. Letting go and embracing one shot at a time will not only be more fun and relaxing, but you may be surprised how much better you score the less you think about it.

by Josh StrukoffOffcourse contributor and owner of http://golfismentalblog.com/