Top 10: Most common mistakes in golf

The Scoop

And how to steer clear of them

We’ve all been a golf rookie at some stage (some of us would technically still call ourselves ‘rookies’) and we’ve all made some silly errors during our time on course.

We’ve hand picked a selection of 10 of the most common errors made on the golf course, in a bid to prevent you from making them.

This list is by no means definitive, but is a guideline for golfers all over the world to follow.

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1. Not being ‘ready’


“Who’s next?””Is it you or me?” “After you.” “Are you sure?” Meanwhile, paint is drying, civilizations are rising and falling, and the group playing behind you are growing livid by every second you waste. Just hit when ready.

2. Having a massive meal before playing


“I’ll need the energy” you think as you wolf down a hearty pre-round lunch – you’ll suddenly realise that digestion doesn’t occur quite as quick as you expected. Keep it light.

3. Going for the flag


There’s no shame in just putting it on the green. But you won’t listen to this advice – take your par and walk away quietly.

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4. Never cleaning out your golf bag


Only keep essentials in your bag. That old towel that has seen better days, tags from previous golfing trips that are now turning to dust, and a heap of old battered balls that you wouldn’t give your worst enemy to use. Lighten that load and get rid – your back will thank you for it.

5. Not charging your electric trolley battery


Charge. Charge. Charge. How often do you go out with the battery on the brink of death, hoping and praying that these silent prayers will power your expensive trolley? Well, they won’t. If you haven’t charged the battery – see the No. 4 and save yourself the hassle and carry.

6. Forgetting to put on sun cream


Much like Baz Luhrmann said in his spoken word song – “Wear suncreen”. Do you want to look like an angry lobster? Or a leather handbag? Put some in your bag and then there is no excuse. Skin cancer is no laughing matter, and slapping a bit of cream on almost negates any risk. Just apply regularly.

7. Thinking you hit the ball farther than you do


Pure narcissism you stand and wait for the green to clear on a par-5 despite the fact you’re almost 300 yards away, into a brisk wind. Finally the green opens up. You swing, make terrible connection and see the ball whistle 120 yards to a pitiful stop on the edge of the fairway.

Know your limits.

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8. Not watching your ball


We are all guilty of this. You shank a tee-shot into the trees, instead you look at the ground, look to the sky for answers. You timidly ask: “did anyone see where it went?”. Don’t rely on your playing partners, just suck up the bad shot, watch your ball and go again.

You’ll spend less time looking for balls this way.

9. Leaving a club behind


There might be nothing worse than having to trudge back three or four holes to retrieve a wedge from the fringe of a green/bunker – and nothing quite as embarrassing. Save yourself this hassle with a little tip I have been told – leave your club between the hole and where you will exit the green. You’ll literally have to walk right past it to leave it behind this way.

10. Not shouting ‘FORE’


Don’t think your errant tee shot will land near that groundskeeper pruning bushes? Shout “Fore!” anyway. Can’t believe your 3-wood will reach players on a green you’ve never hit in two? “Fore!” is still a must. Follow a simple policy: Better safe than sorry.



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