If you make an error (whatever it is), try to stay calm. And remember that, during a golf round, everyone will have his/her turn for getting into trouble. However, if you don't stay calm, you will start hitting the ball in an uncontrolled way that will make the situation even worse. As a result, you will get even more nervous and……….game over.
2) Looking for distance rather than accuracy:
When you prepare to tee off and you are facing a long distance hole, you may consider taking your stronger wood and hit as hard as you can. Well, unless you are a pro, I bet that your ball will slice out of the fairway with as a consequence that the ball will be impossible to recover or that you will need a supershot to get back in the game area….. Always favor accuracy over distance (if you can't ensure both) to get a solid, straight fly.
3) Worrying about future shots:
A very common mistake is to start worrying about your future 2-3 shots while forgetting to concentrate on the shot you are about to hit. Even worse is when you start viewing all potential strokes you may (or may not) do mentally, calculating and predicting your result at the same time……Well, let me assure you that, in 99% of the cases, you will fail to hit your immediate shot either because you haven't really focused on it or because you will have become so tense having acknowledged the score. Remember, consider only one shot at a time.
4) Forget to keep the ball in play:
This seems trivial but in reality it is the most common mistake that amateurs make! Too often, when facing a recovery shot or simply teeing off, players go for the ideal shot forgetting their own limits (not all of us have the flexibility of Tiger Woods or the touch of Phil Mickelson….) resulting in a very poor shot. Instead, when reflecting about your next shot, always go for the one that will give you the highest chance to keep the ball in play, even if it is not the shortest way to the flag. Keeping this in mind, you may shoot less birdies but you will be consistently within the par-bogey score. And remember, to win a match you need consistency not just a couple of magnificent shots…..
5) Targeting the flag:
Another common mistake is to misread the green approach. Frequently, it is much better not to shoot in the direction of the flag (there may be obstacles all around) but shooting towards an area of the green that is safer also if that would make your shot look less perfect. Remember, a lot of greens are purposely designed in such a way that shooting directly towards the flag will drive you into trouble……….don't fall into that trap !