9 Common Golf Mistakes Beginners Make

In any sport, it is common to make mistakes when just starting. But the case with these mistakes is that you should avoid turning them into a habit. Golf is no exception to a sport. You will most likely be making mistakes unknowingly as a beginner in golf.

These issues can be related to the sport itself or other related factors. We will be pointing out the most common golf mistakes made by beginners. That way you will be able to figure out what you thought was right but you were doing wrong.

golf mistakes made by beginner golfers that break rules

As a beginner, you tend to notice the improvements you are making more than later on. The increases tend to decrease down the road. So, the best thing to do is to point out these most common golf mistakes as early as possible.

As a result, you see better improvements in your skills. One way to figure out the mistakes by following other seasoned golfers. Especially, what they regret doing or not doing or asking golfers what they wish they knew about golf when they were beginners.


Common Golf Mistakes Made by Beginners

We have tried to compile the golf mistakes that beginners make which are the most common. You will be able to relate to some if you are a complete beginner.

Now that is out of the way, here are the most common golf mistakes made by beginners;

1. Overestimating the Distance of Club

As a beginner, you might start thinking that your 7-iron club is your 160 club but you will probably notice that you are falling short of your target. Even though you hit your shot correctly, you keep falling short by a couple of yards every time.

You should take the club as your 160 clubs, with which you get 160 yards on average. It is not the club that got you to 160 yards when you put all your skills into getting a perfect shot. With that club, you have to hit a perfect shot every time just to get a 160.

However, no one is that perfect and it is not necessary to keep pushing. Again, the problem here is ego and the pride. Beginners will try to impress their friends by trying to use the 7-iron to hit further shots.

But at the end of the day, it is not how far you hit your shot. Everyone will forget about the shot you took earlier. What matters is how low your score is. That is all they will care about.


You can try to find out a proper club for yourself. Try to experiment when you can get the golf course to yourself. Better if there is a minimum to no wind. Take different clubs and a bag full of balls with you.

Start marking the balls differently and hitting them with the same club as perfect as possible. Get a rangefinder if that is possible. Take an average of the distance of the balls to find out the average distance for that club.

Do this for all the clubs to separate your 170 clubs from your 160 clubs. This way you do not have to ruin your 160 clubs.

2. Not Playing the Correct Tees

Golf is all about having an enjoyable experience. However, you cannot enjoy yourself if you are constantly getting frustrated with mistakes. One of those is playing from a tee that is too far back.

Often what happens is that beginners play with friends and they play further back. The player’s ego gets in the way there. They play also to match their friends or pride.

As a result of this common mistake, they get fewer birdies. The rounds become longer and you lose more balls in the woods. Through this common golf mistake, beginners miss the ultimate goal of playing golf in the first place; that is enjoying themselves and having fun.


As a beginner, you should try to play from the next set of tees after the tees in front of the tips. You can go even shorter if you are playing alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, everyone was a beginner at some point. Try to embrace the learning process.

3. Inefficient Range Practice

The common mistake most of the golfers make is that they pointlessly waste time at the range. Especially the beginner golfers tend to go to a range and hit away the balls with no goal. There is no point in hitting balls with the same club again and again without a goal.

In a real round condition, you would never find yourself doing that. So, there is no point practicing like that. Thus, that is a common mistake to look out for when you want to become a better golfer.


The target of going to a range should not be mindless hitting. You should focus on doing the things you would normally do in a regular golf course. When you practice actual playstyle of a round, that will carry over to the golf course. You will then not only be hitting perfect shots at the range but also at the course as well.

Try to simulate the golf rounds from the golf course at the range. This will provide with the best possible result. Also, you can use the spectrum to warm up for the actual round at the golf course.

4. Not Getting an Instructor

Starting as a beginner, you most likely do not know where to begin. Not knowing what to do and how to do them, you will start making common golf mistakes. Suppose you do not have an instructor, and thus you will get frustrated.

You think you are practicing correctly and practicing the right things. Unfortunately, you are not practicing them in right way. That is a common mistake and most of the beginners struggle to improve because of this.

These are the reasons you should be considering a professional instructor. It will be better if they are a PGA professional.

If you are taking up golf seriously, an instructor is necessary. If you are hoping to consider it as a profession, an instructor is a must. Learning by yourself or from a non-professional friend will only lead to developing bad habits. That should be avoided if you are playing seriously.

It is easier to learn the proper techniques from the very beginning. Trying to determine the appropriate ways later on can be a big hassle, especially if bad habits have been already embedded in you. Hence, changing to correct ways later will be a very strenuous process.


Try to get the best instructor for your budget range by asking people and taking trials. At the beginner level, you should get an instructor to avoid wasting hundreds of hours for nothing.

5. Overlooking Short Game

One of the mistakes beginners make is ignoring the short game of the round. In the beginning, people get occupied by hitting the ball as far as they can. They focus on their swings to improve their long-distance game. In the process, they forget about the short game.

So, this creates a significant imbalance in the playstyle of the golfer. They end up with a good long game but struggle a lot with the short game. As a result, their scores end up being unnecessarily higher than they should be.

You can try hitting chips from different angles and to different targets as well. Try to get the ball out of the bunker with the very first try. This will improve your short game.

Also, you can make up for your long shot mistake. That being said, the long game needs to be given an equal amount of importance. If you keep messing up your long game, even a good short game will not help out that much.


Over time you will get frustrated from the ball going out of bounds or going into woods. A balanced playstyle will provide you with a more enjoyable experience.

Also, it will be better if you are taking the sport seriously or as a profession. In the future, competitive and complex environments will be easier to handle if you practice your short game properly.

6. Expecting a Constant Rate of Improvement

When you are just starting, you will start to notice a good amount of improvements in your games. Regrettably, when people see this amount of growth, they get overly optimistic. As a result, they start thinking that this rate will be constant as they keep playing the sport.

It is true that at the initial stage the growth tends to be higher. However, the growth tends to deteriorate throughout a lifetime of playing. This goes for any sport or skill you can imagine out there.

Accordingly, the beginner golfers will lean towards quitting as they see the lack in the growth of improvement. This is a common mistake they make as well.

The stage after the initial growth is the most important. This is the time that should be focused on for anyone taking up the sport seriously. The best thing to do at this stage is that you should keep doing what you were doing.


When you are just starting, start with a realistic growth of improvement. Always keep in mind that the development rate will not be the same all the time. Keep going at trying to learn.

Through consistency in practice, you might not immediately see changes in your games. But sooner or later, you will start to notice that you are becoming a much better player. Even better than you thought you could be.

7. The Distance over Strategy and Accuracy

A typical golf mistake of beginner players tend to make is that they prioritize distance over accuracy. This goes for most of the beginner players out there. They seem to find it cooler to be able to hit a longer shot than an accurate one.

As apparent, this is purely driven by the golfer’s pride and ego. The additional yards you get from your most robust swing might result in a reduction in the number of fairways hit.


As a solution, the player can try to play their shots at ninety percent of power, and try to play par 5. This is a smarter move to increase the error margin. The goal of the player should be to hit more fairways without trying to gain the additional yard distance.

That way, you will still be at the same distance from the flag. You would be rather playing from the fairway instead of the hazard or rough.

8. Wrong Club Fit

The golf clubs you play with should always be fitted the skill level you are in at the moment. As a common mistake, a lot of beginners tend to get the wrong club for themselves.

This might be reason that someone suggested the club or it was on a good deal during a black Friday sale. Perhaps, there was some other reason behind it. The problem is that you might think that the club will be good. Yes, the build of the club might be significant.

However, it is not necessary that a good or an expensive club is fit for you or fit for your current skill level. You will start to notice that club once you start playing.

You probably start having trouble with even the easiest of swings at a point. After a long time of playing, you would realize that the club is not responding how you want it to. That is when it is time to change your golf club.


You will come across two types of clubs. At a beginner period, you would want to have a club that forgives your mistakes. When you start improving your skills and getting better, it is not preferable.

At that stage, you want to get a club with better control. A club that would allow you to have better control over your shots and swings.

9. Practice Time

When it comes to any skill or sport, it boils down to practice. There is not any other way of adequately improving yourself other than practice. Especially during golf, what happens is that people get frustrated quickly.

A person will play a couple of rounds on the weekends and realize that it is getting difficult for them to go on. Then they would start looking for shortcuts to improve in the shortest amount of time possible. That is a grave mistake when you talk about learning anything.

Shortcuts are never the way to learn things. As a beginner, you should always try to build up a full-fledged foundation for the future.

Going to the golf course and trying to practice there can get tedious as well as expensive. That is why the driving range exists. Most of the time the driving range tends to be a cheaper option.

There is a saying that you will get better at golf if you take ten thousand shots. You can surely be able to get that faster at a driving range than a golf course.

Another mistake related to the practice is that the golfer tends to practice only drives and fairways. A round of golf is not only about hitting your long shots correctly. When it comes to becoming an overall better player, other game types are equally important.

So, the golfer should be putting equal amounts of time in all of their shot types from long games to shorter games.


Let’s take a learning guitar as an example. When you are just starting to learn guitar, you keep repeating the same things. Your fingertips start to hurt from the strings and your muscles start hurting as well.

However, once you have got the practice part down, it becomes really fun to play different songs. The idea is the same for golf. In the beginning, the repetition of shots will get boring and at one point you might want to quit.

On the other hand, if you keep at it, you will get better and surely be enjoying the sport later on.

Other Mistakes?

So far, we have talked about the most common golf mistakes made by beginners. Now let’s talk about some of the mention-worthy mistakes that other players should try to avoid as well.

Not taking more than one club with them is one of the mistakes that golfers tend to make. There some times when they have different kinds of shots, they need different clubs.

Most of the time golfers will get frustrated in the golf course. They end up blaming their luck or the environment. Remember, how you end up playing depends about ninety percent on your skills. Looking for sympathy is not the way out.

Looking great might be important to you but when it comes to playing a round of golf consisting of 18 holes, it is not that important. Playing for about 4 hours requires fitness and clothes that help your blood flow as well as are comfortable.

When a shot looks impossible to take, do not take it. You are not a superhero breaking through barriers every day. Play it safe in the course and try to keep your score as low as you can.

Our Final Thoughts

These are most of the common mistakes you will face with during your playtime in the golf course as a beginner. You will probably face other ones too.

Your goal should be looking out for mistakes and try to learn from better and more experienced golfers.

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