1 – Learning the game; All beginners have the preconceived image that they should start learning to hit the ball on the range, using a full swing , like they see on the tele. But in truth every single golfer should start as close to the hole as possible. Learn to putt the ball into the hole from just half a meter, using the clock drill. Place a ball at each hour of a clock face around the hole and hole them, once you can do all twelve move further away. Gaining confidence in this area of the game will serve you for years to come.
2 – Avoiding tournaments; There are a lot of beginners, that have ventured out onto the course a few times to achieve a handicap, only to avoid playing in competitive rounds due to lack of confidence or fear. I say go and play in tournaments as soon as you have your handicap. Playing under pressure from the start will help you to build a solid mental game and increase your drive to become better. Remember the longer you wait to play a tournament the more nerve racking it will be. There always has to be a first time.
3 – Starting to play because a loved one or friend plays and wants you to join them. Beginning under obligation is a sure-fire way to stop you before you even got started. You must want to try golf for yourself, not because people are badgering you to give it a go. Golf demands a lot of its players, you have to dedicate time and a lot of effort in the pursuit of achieving a level suitable to head onto the golf course, and if you are not happy trying to achieve that goal for yourself, then golf is the wrong sport for you.
4 – Believing everything you hear to be true; Myths are abundant in golf and the biggest is the one that creates the most problems for new golfers. You will be drilled into thinking that your head must not move, under any circumstance until you look to see where the ball has gone. FORGET THIS PIECE OF ADVICE! Beginners who try desperately to keep their head still will suffer. The head can move, it is only natural for the head to move, instead REMEMBER TO WATCH THE BALL at all times.
5 – Finally and almost as bad as believing everything you hear is trying to hit the ball too hard. A swing thought that most beginners have is “if I hit the ball harder, it will go further” WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Make sure you swing with rhythm, a smooth swing will create better, longer golf shots.
Doesn’t make any sense? Try this exercise.
Hit 10 balls, and take down the distance of each shot. Remove the shortest and longest shots and calculate the average of the remaining balls.
Once you have completed the exercise, repeat it, only this time swing with only 65% of your “normal” power, take down the distances and work out the average as you did before.
Was that surprising? I believe it was!