Golf is undoubtedly one of the most difficult sports to master and it's certain that new golfers - and high handicappers in general - will make numerous errors early on their way to developing a good golf swing.
Below we have highlighted some of the most common beginner golfer mistakes but, in reality, they can apply to a wide spectrum of golfers regardless of skill level.
1) Neglecting the 'boring' stuff
When we begin our love affair with this wonderful (and sometimes downright frustrating) game of golf, we dream of hitting laser-like bombs into the centre of every fairway and chipping in from impossible lies around the green. We rarely think about the hard yards that need to be put in before getting to anywhere near that level.
Clearly you can't build a house without the foundations, and the same goes for golf.
If you want to play golf to even an average handicap standard, you absolutely need to grip the golf club correctly. Similarly, a whole host of destructive golf swing issues can be traced back to improper posture, stance and/or ball position at set-up. Check out the video below for some advice on how to strengthen your golf foundations.
2) Gaming the wrong golf clubs
While it can be said that a bad workman blames his tools, as far as golf is concerned, it's possible that your golf clubs could be ill-suited to your skill level, swing speed and accuracy and they may be making the game harder as a result.
It's probable that we have all purchased a golf club - or set of golf clubs - on a whim without trying them out first or (heaven forbid) getting properly fitted.
If you're struggling to find any sort of golf swing as a beginner golfer, it's time to look at whether your clubs are suited to your game. Alternatively, if you've been playing for a while and hit a wall in terms of golf improvement, it's probably time to look at upgrading.
3) Poor use of time at the driving range
When you get to spend time at any practice facility, quality over quantity should be your focus. Machine-gunning 100 balls at the range without any real target or thought process serves no purpose other than perhaps whiling away the stresses of the day.
If golf improvement is your aim, a practice schedule focusing on different areas of your game can really pay dividends in the long run. Better still, download our new App: CORE Golf available for iOS (13 onwards).
You'll start practising with a real purpose as it provides you with practice drills for all areas of your game. It’s like having a golf coach in your pocket to take with you to the driving range.
4) Overestimating yardages
Take a sample of golf pros, ask them what's the single biggest error they see during pro-ams and it's a pretty safe bet most will mention an amateur golfer's tendency to leave the ball short far more often than they find the green.
Any level of amateur - beginner golfers included - would do well to make their target the back 1/3 of the green and that way they'll more regularly take enough club and find more greens in regulation.
If you're stuck between clubs, in most cases you'll be better off choosing the longer one.
5) Overemphasis on distance
Golfers of all abilities are guilty of getting hung up on distance and, at times, can feel like they need to bomb it from the tee to keep up with playing partners. Often this added distance comes at the expense of good course-management and general accuracy so, if the big stick is regularly landing you in trouble, perhaps a more conservative approach is called for.
It's also the case that, at times, beginner golfers and higher handicappers will swing 'out of their shoes' with their irons to hit the golf ball as far as possible. While it's true that a good golf swing should be an agressive, althletic action, if your tempo is off it could lead to some pretty poor strikes.
Finding the perfect tempo and rhythm in your golf swing would be a better initial focus than obsessing over distance.