11 Most common course management mistakes

     During our golf rounds, it is proved that there are some mistakes done more frequently than others. These mistakes kill our scores. And it is proved that we can improve our scores, without changing anything on our swing. Here is a list of things to consider next time you visit a golf course.

     1.     Not taking enough club.

An average player most of the times takes to little club. This point is very connected with mistake number 2, swinging too hard. Most golfers rely on their absolute best shot distance instead of their average which doesn't leave room for a slight miss hit. Make a card with your distances on it and put it in your bag for reference. Don't let your ego get in the way of your golf score.

We recommend you to use a little more club and hit at 75% of your power. You will see the different quite fast on your scorecard.

     2.     Swinging too hard.

We see too often people trying to hit the ball miles. This will lead into a lot of miss shots. By trying to swing at 80% most of the time, you will make more consistent impact on the ball and find your shots becoming more consistent.

     3.     Aim for the flag.

Not all the time shooting at the flag is the smartest play. If we think about it, it is much easier to aim the middle of the green and have a good score. A ball on the middle of the green is always a makeable putt, at least, much better than having the ball in the bunker or in a water hazard.

     4.     Trying impossible shots.

Probably, this is something that you have heard more than once: “play smart”.

Let's get into the situation. You have hooked your tee shot into the forest and have two different options. The first one, and the one most people will do, is try to take that hero shot through a 1 meter gap slicing the ball 60 meters into the green. The second one might be the boring one but for sure the safer one and the smarter one, will be to chip the ball to the fairway giving you a chance to hit the green on your third shot and still having a par chance.

     5.     Reading the putting line properly.

I see lot of times from golfers when asked to read a putt. The apex is the top of the curve on a breaking putt. If you “aim” at the apex, your ball will begin to break early in the putt and always miss low and will never make it to the “apex”. So, the apex is an area that the ball will roll through if the ball is started on the correct line. So my advice, once you have read the putt, try to think of it as a straight putt. If you always miss low, try on adding 20% of break to long putts.  

Here you can see an image of what I had talked about.

     6.     Miss the green on the wrong side of the flag.

If we miss the green on the short side of the flag, we will have less chances to get an up & down. Getting short-sided can cause us to shoot a flop, over a bunker, into a downhill lie. It's a low probability shot, with a high degree of difficulty.

So when hitting the shot to the green, before aiming, think a bit on where do you want the ball.

     7.     Hitting driver on every single hole.

In golf, more than any other sport, it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses and driving can be a weakness if you don't play smart. There is always a hole or two at your home course that gives you huge headache every time you play it due to that hazard on the right side or out of bounds. In these cases, we have to play smart; we have to use our handicap.

Let's say you are handicap 9 and the stroke index of this hole is 3, then our par score, in case of a par 4, will be 5. So let's hit a 5 iron from the tee, then hit another 5 and on the third shot approach to the green, still having the chance to do a 3 stableford points. This strategy will give you much better results than slicing the driver into that water hazard.

Next time you tee off on that hole you always hit the driver out of bounds, think about this and your scorecard will thank you.

     8.     Not taking advantage of the teeing ground.

After you have picked our target off the tee, I would suggest you tee off on the side that you don't want to miss it. For example, you have a par 4 with out of bounds down left side. Tee off on the left side of the box which will open up your target area.

     9.     Know your strengths and weaknesses.

When playing golf, it is important for us to know in which area of the game we are good or not that good, or which club we can hit most of the times with a good result or which one we tend to miss. We have to work on our weaknesses on the practice range. For this it is important to have numbers of statistics form our golf rounds to see how many fairways we hit, or how many putts we need per round. We will talk about this on another post. Until then, try to practice what you think you do worst instead of hitting a bunch of drivers every time you visit the driving range.  

     10.     Letting a bad shot ruin your round.

This point it is much easier said than done but we must have an effective post shot routine. Everybody gets upset over a bad shot but when we carry over for several holes then we have a problem.

This means that the shot doesn't finish until we have forget it. We have to work on our post shot routine. We can be angry for let's say 10 seconds but once that the club goes back into the bag we must focus on the next shot. We can't change the past but we can change the future.

     11.     Carrying too many negative thoughts or swing thoughts into the course.

We have all heard how important a pre-shot routine is in helping you stay focused on the shot at hand. If you have read my introduction you probably had saw the three questions we must ask ourselves before hitting every shot.  What I want to do? What I have to do to get that stroke? Can I do it? These questions will help you block out distractions and helps you focus on what is really important.

Once we had answer these questions, check your target, visualize the shot, have a deep breath and make that swing