Golf Tips for Beginners: 10 Mistakes You Can Avoid

We were all beginner golfers at some point. It’s easy to get off on the wrong track in golf when you’re a beginner. Here’s 10 beginner mistakes to avoid when you start your golf journey.

10. Buying expensive equipment

Sure, equipment technology has come a long way. However, it can be daunting getting equipped with all the latest gear, and the best equipment does not turn bad golfers into good golfers. Start out with a small investment, buy some less expensive clubs or borrow a friends old set from their attic to get your feet wet and make sure you like it. You don’t have to drop $1500 to see if you like golf or not.

9. Listening to EVERYONE

Golf is full of know-it-alls. Listening to an array of friends giving mixed advice, all of whom rarely break 90 probably isn’t in your best interest. Find a pro or a trusted friend who you know is knowledgeable, and get some advice from them. Ignore everyone else. Except for me.

8. Not taking lessons

There’s no shame in going to the driving range and trying to figure it out on your own. But after a few attempts, it’s good to seek professional help before you ingrain too many bad habits. Your swing advice should come from one person and one person only at a time. Whether a pro or a knowledgeable friend or parent getting you started on fundamentals. Get a plan and stick to it. Jumping from tip to tip from different people or YouTube videos with different philosophies will cause confusion and you’ll spin your wheels.

7. Trying too many things at once

Our brains weren’t meant to focus on several things at once. When you’re learning something new or practicing something on the range, think about one thing to work on. Once you master that, move on to the next. 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. One step at a time. It’s going to take some practice and patience.

6. Giving up

Golf is hard. For everyone. Don’t give up because it’s not going as well as you expected it to. Every golfer, no matter how talented, has frustrating times. You’re going to find it, then you’re going to lose it. Only to find it again and you’ll vow to never lose it again. But you will. Never give up.

5. Playing the incorrect tees

You’ve put in some practice and now you’re finally ready to tackle 18 holes with some avid golfing friends. 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’re good friends and understand golf, they’ll realize you’re doing the right thing for everyone in the group. It’ll end up being more enjoyable for everyone.

4. Worrying what other people think

Everyone hits bad shots, even the pros. Don’t be scared of hitting bad shots — nobody cares. Especially at the driving range when you’re working on something new. Ignore everyone around you and do what your pro told you to do. Odds are most people at the driving range are ingraining bad habits and doing the wrong thing, so don’t watch them. What they think about you is completely irrelevant.

3. Practicing without a purpose

If you’re going to head to the driving range, have a plan for what you’re going to work on (hopefully something that came from someone qualified). Mindlessly hitting balls and “hoping” you’ll find something will get you nowhere. You’ll hit good shots now and then coincidentally, but if you don’t know what caused it, how can you repeat it?

2. Playing shots over your head

When you’re out there on the golf course, choose shots you’re comfortable with, not shots you see the pros play on TV. It’s important to always play within yourself. It’ll help you score better and reduce the chances of getting frustrated. If you have 240 yards of carry over a creek in front of the green to reach a par 5 in two, consider all your options. Maybe you carried a fairway wood 240 yards on the driving range twice out of 20 attempts, but those aren’t favorable odds. Things you can do on the range are going to be harder to do on the course at first. Try hitting two 120 yard iron shots — I guarantee you’ll make par more often. Unless you’re a lower handicapper and can execute that shot more consistently, leave those shots for the driving range until you’re more comfortable.

1. Not tucking your shirt in 

Look like a bum. Feel like a bum. Play like a bum. Read more about dress codes in golf here.

Good luck out there and happy golfing!

Josh

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  4 comments for “Golf Tips for Beginners: 10 Mistakes You Can Avoid

  1. March 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Great tips!! Especially like the idea of focusing on one thing at a time (#7). Usually before swinging, the following thoughts are typically running through my head: “don’t smack the ball, nice and smooth, swing with the hips, aim behind the ball, don’t be afraid of hitting the ground (I always swing over the ball)…” Suddenly that seems terribly unfocused!

    • March 27, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Thank you Inga!! Many amateurs seem to have about 7 pre-shot swing thoughts and then another 3 emergency swing thoughts right before impact which usually leads to disaster, haha. Simplifying things and trying to focus on one or two things at a time definitely helps! Look forward to chatting more about golf, and wine, in the near future!

      Cheers
      Josh

  2. January 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear. Point # 6 and 8 are some of the key things to be a good golfer. Thanks for sharing.

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