Eliminating Silly Golf Mistakes

Every once in a while my round of golf is nothing but a comedy of errors. I seem to lose focus and make silly mistakes that I should definitely avoid. As a lower handicapper, I should have command of my game such that making pointless avoidable mistakes should be second nature. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and my frustration level rises every time I add strokes to my round. Interestingly, there are a few very avoidable mistakes that are more common than most; Rick Shiels brings these to light for us so that we can improve our scores and lessen our frustration.

The video below is very straight forward and to the point. If, as a golfer at any level, can eliminate these 5 silly mistakes then you are well on your way to shooting lower golf scores.

Of the five common mistakes that Shiels mentions, I want to talk specifically about two of them: not taking enough club and not reading putts from the side.

Not taking enough club on approach shots is definitely a challenge I struggle with during my golf season. I have a very good handle on how far my ball travels off each club, but in my case how I make contact with the ball makes a tremendous difference on distance. When I select my 7 iron, for example, I know it will travel between 145 and 155 yards. I realize that this is a tremendous gap for such a shortish shot, but that is the nature of my game. Therefore, I have to manage my approach shots on how I am hitting the ball on any given day. When I am hitting well, then clubbing down might be the appropriate action or just the opposite if I am hitting poorly. Hence, knowing the distances of my clubs is important, but don’t leave out the input of how well you are playing that day.

A second challenge I face is not reading the putts from the side (as I should). I get caught up in playing faster golf (not ready golf) and overlook this very important aspect of to putt the ball. As Shiels mentioned a putt will break more going downhill. This is very important and hence reading putts from the becomes more important. Additionally, I have played about 500 rounds of golf at my home course and sometimes forget that I do not know everything about the greens. My overconfidence leads to me just looking from behind the ball and putting away…..what a mistake, right?

The five mistakes mentioned by Shiels are definitely avoidable. For the most part it just takes me playing in the moment to ensure that I do not add unnecessary strokes to my overall score.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


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