We can all learn from the things they do, but here are 10 things all great golfers don't do.


10 Things All Great Golfers Don’t Do

We focus so much on what they do, but what about what they don’t do?

Pros are only human, they do make mistakes – just fewer of them.

Here are 10 things all great golfers don’t do. Hopefully it might get you thinking…

1. Arrive At The Course Five Minutes Before Their Tee Time

This has been known to happen – Rory McIlroy knows all about running late for a tee time.

However, for club golfers, it’s more the norm. So often the result is a loose first tee shot – which tends to set the tone for the round.

For many of us, arriving at the club two hours before a tee time just isn’t feasible.

That said, if you can allow yourself just 20 minutes to warm-up properly, you’ll be all the better for it.

Related: The Importance Of The Pre Round Warm-Up

2. Follow One Mistake With Another

Well, not as often as club golfers anyway.

It helps when your powers of recovery are excellent, of course, but in the amateur world this isn’t always the case.

As tempting as it may be to try and make amends instantly for a bad shot, the safe play is just to take your medicine.

10 Things All Great Golfers Don't Do

10 things all great golfers don’t do: generally speaking, pros are better at keeping their emotions in check Credit: Getty Images

3. Lose Their Cool

Have you ever seen a Tour player lose their rag? Actually, they do…

Let’s put it another way: in the main, the best players control their emotions. By the time they address their next shot, their focus – normally – has been regained.

Too often, a show of temper will only lead to more misery on the golf course – so put the last shot to the back of your mind and move on.

4. Give Up

Great players never know when they’re beaten. To be able to grind out a score is a great strength, even when you’re not at your best.

Tiger Woods has been one of the best at this over the years – he gets the most out of every round.

To everyone who’s carded seven points going out and 20-odd coming home, pat yourself on the back. It’s as much about pride as anything else.

5. Blame Their Tools

This isn’t to say the pros don’t visit the Tour truck and/or get on the Trackman to tweak things and make subtle changes.

However, we’ve yet to hear a player come off the course and blame a poor round on faulty gear.

‘That new putter I was using is useless’. Never heard that one. ‘That slice was my driver’s fault’. Nor that one.

So, get your custom fitted sorted and leave your excuses in the car park.

10 Things All Great Golfers Don't Do

10 things all great golfers don’t do: they don’t tend to fear the putts coming back Credit: Getty Images

6. Worry About Three Putting

There’s no fear when the first putt is struck – it’s going to scare the hole.

The handicap golfers’ worry around the return putt often means they don’t properly release the club head, and they come up short.

Related: How hard should I hit my short putts?

7. Take Unnecessary Risks 

Although they might push the boat out every now and then, pros know where they can and can’t miss.

There are times to attack the flag, and times to find the safe part of the green, for example.

What this does is keep the large numbers off the scorecard.

Give that a go in your next Medal and see how many shots you save.

8. Underclub 

This is to say, they don’t make a habit of coming up short.

Ask the Tour pros to name some of the most common mistakes they see from amateur golfers in a pro-am, and not taking enough club will get more than a few mentions.

The reason, it seems, is that amateurs tend to believe they hit the ball further than they actually do.

Take an extra club – that’s what we’re always told.

10 Things All Great Golfers Don't Do

If you’re not driving it like Rory, don’t be afraid to put the driver away Credit: Getty Images

9. Always Hit The Driver

Players like Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka have a lot to answer for – they strike the driver so well it rubs us on off at home.

However, there’s no shame in putting the big stick back in the bag when it’s not behaving – don’t believe the pros don’t.

10. Hit Balls Randomly 

Not one… well, maybe the odd one.

Ninety-nine per cent of the time, however, pros have a plan when it comes to practice – and they stick to it.

To watch a pro on the range is a bit like watching a top athlete go through their warm-up routine prior to a race.

So, the next time you pop down the range and stick a token in the ball dispenser, ask yourself whether you have a plan before you hit that first ball.

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