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Most Common Mistakes Made by Recreational Golfers


Avoid the most common mistakes made by recreational golfers.

As we head into golf season here in Colorado Springs, I thought I’d share with you a few of the most common mistakes that I’ve observed recreational golfers make.  Avoid these amateur practices, and you might be surprised to enjoy a better golfing experience and hopefully even shave a few strokes off your game.  Good luck!

  1. Alignment: This is the most important part of the setup and the most overlooked fundamental. You can use a club, yard stick, or really anything straight to help with alignment. Just lay it down between your feet and the ball at your target, and make sure your body is parallel to the club.
  2. Posture: Most amateurs either have too much bend in their back or stand up too straight. You need to be in an athletic position to make the proper rotation. Think of a second baseman or a tennis player returning a serve, with a slight bend in the knees, bent over at the hips (not waist), straight back, and arms hanging down naturally. This will put you in the proper posture!
  3. Grip: The grip is just tight enough that if you were holding a bird, it could not fly away. Too many recreational golfers grip it too tightly, and the hands cannot work when this is done. Just think loosey goosy.
  4. Balance: The balance needs to be evenly distributed between both legs at address with the weight in the middle of the feet, not on the heels or in the toes.
  5. Tempo: The harder you swing the club, the more difficult it is to hit the ball in the sweet spot, which is what gives you more yards. We want to hit the ball consistently in the sweet spot, and a smooth tempo will give us this.
  6. Weight transfer: Too many golfers have a “reverse pivot” during the swing. Weight goes back to the right side on the back swing and then transfers to the left side at the beginning of the down swing.
  7. Lack of practice: I was guilty of this as well:  just beating balls on the range for the sake of beating balls. You need to have a method to your madness on the practice tee. Practice like you play even if that means hitting fewer balls, but as long as those fewer balls mean more, then you will be better off. PRACTICE YOUR SHORT GAME! This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the game, and this will lower your score faster than anything.
  8. Improper etiquette: Nobody likes it when someone talks in the middle of your back swing or walks through your line on the green. It is up to each of us to keep the game the way it was intended. This can be a touchy subject, so if you are unsure, please consult your local PGA professional; this is why we are here!
  9. Course management: Everyone has trouble figuring out “how to play” a course or hole. Course management can help reduce the amount of large scores on the scorecard. Again, your local PGA professional can teach you how to do this like the touring pros!
  10. Improper warm-up: Stretching is so important. Not only does it help you swing the club like you want, but it keeps you from getting injured. Your local PGA golf professional will be able to help with the correct stretching and warm-up routines.

If you’d like to speak with me or one of our other golf pros here at Kissing Camels, please call 719-636-2520.  To learn about the golf membership opportunities that are available at Garden of the Gods Club, please contact Tracey Kalata at 719-520-4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com.  Happy golfing!

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