While playing with amateur golfers during pro-ams, on-course lessons and casual rounds, I often see them make the same mistakes.
Correcting the mistakes listed below will help anyone lower their scores, even without taking a lesson:
• Don’t always hit your driver: Unless it is a par-3, many golfers automatically hit their driver on every hole regardless of how long or short the hole might be and how much trouble there is. Because the driver has the least amount of loft, it will be the least forgiving club in your bag. A 3-wood or hybrid off of the tee is a more accurate choice and may keep you out of trouble, eliminating penalty strokes. Analyze the hole and choose a club that will keep you in play more often.
• Play to your tendencies: If you tend to slice the ball, learn to play your slice on the course and worry about fixing your swing at the range. Don’t aim down the middle hoping that your ball might end up there. Hope is not a strategy. Aim down the left side of the fairway anticipating your curve and find the fairway more often.
• Aim at a safe part of the green: Regardless of where the pin is or how much trouble is around the green, too many golfers will aim at the pin every time. If you watch tour players on television, you will see them playing away from the more difficult pin placements. Take note. Unless you have a wedge in your hand, you are better off playing away from the pin. The longer the club, the more you play to the fat part of the green. Using this strategy will help you hit more greens.
• Eliminate 3-putts: There are two parts to every putt, distance and direction. Distance is much more important. Many golfers get so wrapped up in worrying about the line that they forget about speed. Focus on hitting every putt the correct distance and you will eliminate wasted strokes on the greens.