While thinking about a couple of common faults of the average golfer I came up with a long list. But let me identify four areas that could have a huge benefit on several holes per round:
Keep the putter low to the ground into the follow through. This will help assure a more solid impact with the golf ball. Also, it will help keep the ball on line and reduce side spin.
I see many players where the putter gets too high coming through the impact area and quitting somewhat on the motion.
Let the loft of the club create the lift of the ball. Many players will try to help the ball into the air with a "wristy" or scooping motion that can often cause you to top the shot.
Keep the wrists quiet through the hitting zone and skid the club along the ground. The club was designed to strike the ball with the shaft at a 90-degree angle to the ground -- fairly close to straight up and down. If you get “wristy”, the club gets ahead of the hands at impact and that is bad. This goes for any club from driver to putter.
Most players I see error in the front bunker, short of the green or short of the flag stick. Hit enough club so you don’t have to swing hard. If you mishit the shot by a little bit you’ll carry the bunker and possibly reach the green.
Some of this could be an ego issue, with golfers assuming they can hit a 200-yard 5-iron like Tiger Woods. Check your ego at the bag drop area, and be realistic about what club to hit.
This carries right down to the wedge: I see many players try to hit a 60 degree wedge from 90-yards - No chance.
Many golfers try to swing much too hard.
This can create balance problems, issues with repeating the same swing, and inconsistent results. Sound familiar? When you look at swings in control like Mark O’Meara, Curtis Strange or Fred Couples, you see smooth, well-balanced swings. They are good models to follow.
The fluid motion of that type of properly balanced, in-control swing will allow for plenty of power; but you will really succeed by repeating the swing so the results will be predictable.
Look at Tiger and Phil Mickelson -- who I feel swing too hard -- and notice the inconsistent results they get. If I were to coach them, I’d brainwash them to smooth it out and swing easier.
So to review this: Hit the fairway, get on the green and hit solid putts. Your scores will improve. It’s just that simple.