5 Driving, 5 Wedge Play and 5 Putting Mistakes
May31

5 Driving, 5 Wedge Play and 5 Putting Mistakes

Mistakes—we’re all going to make them, especially on the golf course. Luckily, this isn’t a game that demands perfection. Even on Tour, low scores can be had without being perfect on every swing. The key is to limit the mistakes that can cause the most damage and jump on scoring opportunities whenever they arise. At the highest level, on-course mistakes typically take the form of a slight mis-hit or an error in club selection. Within the recreational ranks, however, mistakes run the gamut from poor mechanics to poor course strategy. However, you don’t need an overhaul of your swing to keep many of these mistakes at bay and, certainly, there’s no need to correct them all. It’s a simple matter of fixing the ones that produce the type of results from which recovery is impossible. I’ll address 15 of these over the next several pages, encompassing the areas of driving, wedge play and putting. By doing so, you’ll be in better position off the tee—a blessing for most recreational players—and have greater ability to get the ball close and into the hole. Driving Driving is paramount to success. As you probably know, the flood of low scores on Tour is fueled by longer, more accurate drives that leave shorter approaches into the green. Eliminating common driving mistakes will leave you with the same, welcomed proposition. Mistake #1: Equipment A big mistake recreational players make when driving occurs even before the swing is begun—more specifically, even before the round has begun. Some golfers are dead-set in their belief that a driver should feature no more than nine degrees of loft. Most recreational players would be better served by a driver with 11 or even 12 degrees of loft for several reasons. One, more loft creates more backspin, and more backspin means less sidespin and, thus, less slice and hook. Second, it’s becoming apparent that it’s easier to create optimal launch conditions with a high-lofted driver. Many Tour players and long-drive competitors are increasing the lofts on their drivers to create the higher angle associated with optimal launch. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need a stiffer shaft than what your swing realistically needs. If you’re not sure what flex is right for you, err on the “flexier” side. A key component of successful driving is getting the face square and through the golf ball, which is more easily accomplished with a softer flex. If the shaft is too stiff, you’ll have to make compensations to get that head to turn over. Mistake #2: Level Shoulders I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but I’ll repeat it...

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