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7 Mistakes That Every Golfer Makes

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 09 Oct 2023

With the game being around in some form or another for almost half a millennium, it’s fair to say that there are repeatable patterns that have continued to crop up through the ages that can prevent us from playing our best. Whether you're a beginner or a scratch golfer, errors can creep into your game and affect on-course performance. We’re going to take a look at some of the most frequent issues that golfers bring upon themselves on the course, so that hopefully you can steer clear of as many as possible!

Neglecting Proper Warm-Up

A good round can often start before you head to the first tee, and almost all amateur golfers underestimate the importance of warming up before hitting the course. Failing to stretch and loosen up can lead to stiff muscles and a less flexible swing - but more importantly, it can make you hit a terrible shot off the first in front of your mates! A few minutes of stretching and light exercises can significantly improve your mobility and help prevent injury, and might actually give you a decent chance of making par on your opening hole, rather than giving away an easy shot or too.

Ignoring the Mental Game

Similarly, a great number of us focus too much on what our arms and hands are doing, and not enough on what our head is thinking about. Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical, we can all hit the perfect shot - but you’re not giving yourself the best chance of doing this with any regularity without any sort of mental routine. Overthinking shots and dwelling on past mistakes is never likely to yield a positive outcome. Developing mental toughness and a positive mindset can make a significant difference in your game. So do yourself a favour, and at least step into every shot with a clear and positive mentality!

Poor Course Management

Speaking of things going on inside of your head! It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of hitting long drives, but successful golf requires strategic thinking. Good golf is boring golf. And if that means laying up to 100-yards, rather than risking a reload by taking on undue risk, then sobeit. Most of us play the majority of our golf at our home course, and there’s simply no excuse for not having a proper plan in place for the best way to tackle each hole. And it might not always be laying up either! Sometimes the prudent play is to hit past trouble, even if it might mean missing the centre of the fairway. Eliminate simple strategic mistakes, and you’re likely to see your scores come tumbling down.

Golfer Mistakes

Not Adapting to Different Conditions

In terms of strategy too - you simply have to take the day’s conditions into account. Changes in temperature, the amount of layers you’re wearing, the strength of the wind, the amount of moisture in the air; all of these things will impact the distance that your ball is travelling through the air. It’s imperative to take stock of these things, and not just hit your 7-iron every time you have 150-yards on your laser. When in doubt, err on the side of you not hitting it as far as your indoor simulator numbers might suggest … it’s a little easier to swing freely when you’re nice and cosy, and there’s no physical out of bounds to be hitting into!

Poor Equipment Maintenance

Your golf clubs are your most essential tools, yet many golfers neglect their maintenance. Dirty clubfaces, worn grips, and uncleaned grooves can negatively impact your shots. There’s something hugely therapeutic about cleaning your clubs ahead of play; and whilst we’re firm believers in the golf clubs as ‘tools rather than jewels’ - they’re simply not going to be optimised if caked in mud! 

Similarly, the same can be said about your footwear. Spikes can become blunt over time, and spikeless shoes can become slippy if coated with a smooth layer of sod on the bottom. With most clubs having an on-site air pressure hose, there’s just no excuse for not starting each round with your shoes in decent condition.

The Rise of The YouTube Golfer

Even experienced golfers can benefit from professional coaching, and not just things they’ve found online. There are only so many ways to fix a slice, and your best bet is always going to be speaking to your local pro - rather than scouring the thousands of videos on YouTube that promise a miracle cure. We assure you, there’s as much information out there that won’t be relevant to your own swing patterns as stuff that would be. Save yourself some time (and many shots), by seeking out a professional for your next swing overhaul!

Blaming (And Changing) The Tools

Online shopping has made buying and selling golf clubs easier than ever before - particularly if you’re looking to try out something more affordably in the second-hand market. However, changing your clubs every other week is going to make it extremely difficult to develop any sort of trust when it really matters. Sure, there’s often a honeymoon period with some new clubs … and we’re certainly not going to tell you not to treat yourself … but if you’re going to make a change, do it properly. Go and see a fitter and get your new sticks dialled in. 

There’s a reason that Tiger Woods was the best pressure putter on the planet. It goes without saying that his stroke isn’t bad, but the confidence he has in that iconic Scotty Cameron Newport putter is a not-so-secret weapon that has been by his side for more than 60 of his 80+ PGA TOUR victories!

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