5 Biggest Mistakes Golfers Make in Trying to Improve Their Game

This post was reblogged with the permission of Derek Hooper Golf. I liked this post because I think it goes well with my two posts on improving your performance on the golf course part 1 and part 2.

There is not a golfer on the planet that doesn’t enjoy playing well. We all have so much more fun when we hit the ball long and straight and add up a score which is lower than we have ever had before. But too many golfers experience this feeling far too often.

There is a definitive process to follow in order to play good golf and to consistently improve your scores. There are also things I see golfers do that prevents them from improving their golf game and today I want to share with you my Top 5 mistakes players make when trying to improve their game.

1. Not understanding what changes need to be made – The golf swing can be simple and complex at the same time. Not knowing what moves cause certain results is dangerous when you start to tinker with parts of your swing. It can be a lot like a house of cards – move the wrong card and the whole house falls apart.

Quite often you will have a series on compensatory motions combining within your swing to give you the level of consistency you now enjoy. Knowing what to change to give you the result you want is critical to making improvement. If you take a haphazard approach to this then you can expect erratic results.

2. Not working on the area that will yield the greatest change in score – The main goal is not to have the prettiest golf swing or to be the longest hitter in your group. It is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. I see too many players working on hitting their driver longer when improving their chipping and putting will have a much greater effect on their scores.

Keep statistics from at least five rounds and track fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts, penalties, green saves and sand saves. A effective and inexpensive program to help you do this is http://www.mygolfgameplan.com. This is the one I use with my players. It allows us to track all the important statistical categories as well as set goals in each category. The area that needs the most attention will be more obvious with the numbers in front of you.

3. Expecting change to happen quickly – You have worked very hard and had many, many swings to get very good at repeating your current swing. To expect that swing to change by simply changing your swing thoughts and a few practice swings is unrealistic. When Tiger Woods changed swing coaches from Hank Haney to Sean Foley, it took the greatest player of our generation two years of working on the swing change every day, before he won again.

You have a full time job and a variety of other commitments before you can even find time to practice your new swing motion. Even small changes will take time to be learned and then replace the old, more ingrained swing patterns.

4. Expecting change to happen easily – There is a definite process to follow when changing swing patterns. After only a few swings on the range you simply will not be able to perform the new swing consistently, under pressure. You must first learn how to make the new swing motion and then work through a series of practice sessions where the pressure and situation slowly becomes more like what you experience on the golf course. Only after completing such a process can you expect to reproduce the new swing on the course.

5. Trying to do it on your own – The best players in the world work with a coach. They do this because they cannot see their own swing, nor is their expertise in swing mechanics and cause and effect of the golf swing. If the best players in the world need assistance in playing to the best of their ability, then you do too. Find a PGA Professional who you can relate to and talk to them about putting together a personal plan for improving your golf game. Start this process today and you will be on your way to consistently lowering your scores.


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