Mistakes Every Beginning Golfer Makes (And How To Fix Them)

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Beginning golfers often struggle with common mistakes that can hinder their progress and enjoyment of the game. This article aims to provide valuable insights and practical solutions to address these issues.

The first key area to focus on is understanding your distances. Developing a clear understanding of how far you hit each club in your bag will greatly improve your club selection and shot accuracy.

Another mistake to overcome is excessive sway in the backswing, which can be corrected through the use of an alignment stick drill. By maintaining stability in your backswing, you will experience better control and consistency in your shots.

Playing the percentages and avoiding trouble areas on the course will help minimize damage and improve your overall score.

It is also crucial to master impact and clubface control, as well as focus on consistent chipping and bunker strikes.

Lastly, allowing for enough breaks when reading a putt and visualizing the roll will enhance your ability to make accurate putts.

By addressing these mistakes and implementing the suggested fixes, beginning golfers can establish a strong foundation and improve their overall performance on the course.

Knowing Distances

One crucial aspect for novice golfers to address is their understanding of club distances, as it forms the foundation for making informed club selections and strategic decisions on the course. Developing consistency in club distances is essential to improving accuracy and distance control.

Novice golfers should invest time in practicing and recording the distances they hit each club in their bag. This knowledge will allow them to make more realistic club selections based on average shot distances rather than relying solely on their longest shots. Additionally, understanding trajectory is key to navigating different course conditions and obstacles.

Novice golfers should also consider club fitting to ensure their equipment is suited to their swing and play style. By honing their understanding of club distances and making informed club selections, novice golfers can improve their overall performance on the course.

Club Selection

Club selection is a crucial aspect of golf that requires careful consideration to optimize distance and accuracy on the course.

Shot selection plays a significant role in determining the appropriate club for each shot, considering factors such as distance to the target, wind conditions, and potential hazards.

Course management also comes into play, as players must strategically choose clubs that will allow them to navigate the course effectively.

Swing tempo is an essential factor to consider when selecting a club, as different clubs require different swing speeds.

The shot trajectory is another crucial consideration, as certain clubs are better suited for high shots, while others are more suitable for low shots.

Finally, consistency in distance is key, and choosing the right club can help golfers achieve this by ensuring that they consistently hit shots of similar distances.

Backswing Stability

To enhance the consistency and power of their swings, golfers can improve their game by focusing on maintaining stability during the backswing. One common mistake beginner golfers make is excessive sway in their backswing, which can lead to inconsistent ball striking and loss of power.

To address this issue, golfers can utilize the alignment stick drill. By placing an alignment stick along the target line and ensuring that their body stays centered throughout the backswing, golfers can develop a more stable and balanced motion.

Proper weight distribution is crucial during the backswing. Beginners should strive to keep their weight evenly distributed between their feet, avoiding excessive leaning back, which can result in poor contact and loss of distance.

By developing a stable backswing, golfers can lay the foundation for a more consistent and powerful swing, leading to improved performance on the golf course.

Playing the Percentages

Maximizing success on the golf course requires strategic decision-making and an understanding of playing the percentages to minimize the risk of unnecessary trouble areas.

Course management is crucial for beginners to avoid hazards and make strategic shot selections. By aiming away from trouble areas on the course, beginners can minimize mistakes and increase their chances of success. It is important to assess the layout of the course and identify potential trouble spots such as water hazards or bunkers. By playing smart and avoiding these areas, beginners can reduce the likelihood of making costly errors.

Understanding the distances and limitations of their abilities can help beginners make more realistic club selections. By staying within their comfort zone and taking into account their average shot distance, beginners can increase their chances of hitting accurate shots and avoiding unnecessary risks.

Mastering Impact

One crucial aspect of golf that requires precision and technique is mastering impact, as it directly affects the trajectory and distance of the ball.

To achieve optimal impact, golfers must avoid leaning back through the shot, as this can lead to a loss of power and control. Instead, they should focus on generating clubhead speed and utilizing the proper loft for their desired trajectory.

One helpful drill to improve impact control is the glove logo drill, which involves adjusting the grip to align the logo on the glove with the clubface. This helps golfers understand the adjustments needed to control the clubface and achieve a solid strike.

By mastering impact, golfers can ensure more consistent ball flight and ultimately improve their overall game.

Clubface Control

Clubface control is a crucial component of a golfer’s technique as it directly influences the direction and accuracy of the ball’s flight. To achieve proper clubface control, golfers must make grip adjustments and have a good understanding of swing mechanics.

The face angle at impact determines the initial direction of the shot, while the path of the swing influences the amount of curve or shot shaping. To improve clubface control, golfers can practice specific drills such as the glove logo drill, which helps them understand the adjustments needed to control the clubface.

By developing a consistent and reliable grip and focusing on proper clubhead speed and loft for trajectory, beginners can gain better control over their shots and improve their overall performance on the course.

Grip AdjustmentsSwing MechanicsFace AngleShot Shaping
Maintain a relaxed and neutral gripPractice proper body rotation throughout the swingEnsure the clubface is square to the target at impactExperiment with different swing paths to shape shots
Keep the hands and wrists firm but not tenseMaintain balance and rhythm in the swingAvoid excessive grip pressureDevelop a consistent swing path for consistent shot shape
Adjust grip pressure for different shotsUse the lower body to initiate the downswingUse alignment aids to check the clubface alignmentUnderstand the effect of clubface angle on shot shape
Experiment with different grip sizes to find the most comfortableUse the arms and hands to control the clubface through impactUse video analysis to monitor clubface position at impactPractice shaping shots on the driving range to gain control

Chipping Strikes

To improve their chipping strikes, golfers should focus on achieving a consistently good strike by moving the ball into the middle of their stance and distributing their weight evenly. This chipping technique promotes better contact with the ball and increases the likelihood of a successful shot.

Additionally, golfers should consider the following tips to enhance their chipping game:

  • Maintain a relaxed grip to ensure a smooth and controlled swing.
  • Use a slightly open clubface to promote a higher, softer landing.
  • Maintain a downward strike on the ball to create a proper trajectory.
  • Practice different club selections to develop a feel for distance control.

By incorporating these techniques and practicing regularly, golfers can improve their chipping strikes and ultimately lower their scores.

Furthermore, visualizing putts and considering the break of the green will help golfers select better start lines and improve their overall putting performance.

Bunker Strikes

In the previous subtopic, we discussed the importance of chipping strikes and provided tips for achieving a consistently good strike. Now, let’s shift our focus to another crucial aspect of the game: bunker strikes.

Practicing technique is key when it comes to bunker shots. A successful sand shot requires a specific strategy that differs from shots on the fairway. It starts with the proper clubface position. Opening the clubface correctly before hitting the shot allows for a higher trajectory and helps the ball escape the sand smoothly.

Equally important is the bunker shot setup. Players should position themselves with a wider stance and slightly open their stance to accommodate the swing path needed for a successful bunker shot. Additionally, practicing splashing sand is crucial for developing a shallow angle of attack, ensuring that the club glides through the sand and avoids the dreaded ‘fat’ shot.

By mastering these techniques and strategies, beginners can improve their bunker play and navigate challenging situations with confidence.


In conclusion, beginning golfers often make common mistakes that can hinder their progress on the course. However, by addressing these mistakes and implementing the suggested fixes, they can improve their overall performance.

It is crucial for golfers to develop a clear understanding of their distances and make better club selections. They should also focus on stability in the backswing, playing the percentages, mastering impact and clubface control, as well as improving their chipping and bunker strikes.

Additionally, allowing for enough breaks when reading putts and visualizing the roll can greatly enhance their putting skills. By following these tips and drills, beginning golfers can build a strong foundation and enjoy the game to its fullest.

What are the common mistakes made by beginner golfers and how can they be fixed?

Golf fundamentals, short game, distance control, mental game, rules and etiquette, and golf equipment maintenance are all important factors for improving the game. Beginners tend to make mistakes such as poor head position, tight grip, swinging too hard, and hitting the ground before the ball. Proper head position, grip, club selection, and swing tempo are crucial for achieving accuracy and distance in shots. Improving short game, distance control, mental game, and course management can drop a few strokes from a beginner golfer’s round score. Correcting common errors, warming up properly, and adopting a consistent practice routine can significantly improve a beginner golfer’s game.