Golfing habits that could let your game down

Golf is a game that is enjoyed by millions of people across the world. However, as many beginner players soon find out, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain any kind of consistency. One minute you could be making tremendous progress, the next you could be ready to give up as bad golfing habits creep into your game.

Golf is a game of fine margins. Even the slightest tweak or change in a stance or grip can determine the success of a shot. This is what makes golf so simultaneously satisfying and maddening, it’s a game that requires constant revision and self-improvement, but also one that can see players struggle if they’re not careful. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common bad golfing habits that could affect your game. Check them out below.

Gripping the club too tightly

The grip is one of the first things you should learn as a golfer. Gripping correctly is absolutely essential, it’s how you control the club and, by extension, the ball. An incorrect grip means you are never going to strike the ball cleanly and is a golfing habit that will see you struggle to hit consistent shots.

An incredibly common bad golfing habit is gripping the club too tightly. This is largely down to the fact that many players incorrectly correlate a tighter grip with more power. They believe that if they grip the club as hard as they can, they’ll be able to put more power into the swing.

In fact, the opposite is true. Gripping too tightly can reduce your power and distance, as the club head slows down as it strikes and moves through the ball. 

Loosening your grip on the club can be an effective way of improving your game. However, a tight grip is a difficult golfing habit to get out of. It takes time and focus to trust in yourself enough to swing with a loose grip.

Not using a target

Golf is a game that involves directing a ball towards a target. This sounds obvious, but it’s something many players forget. They concentrate so much on trying to hit the ball that they forget that it needs to be travelling in a specific direction. This is a risky golfing habit to develop, it can lead to slices and hooks creeping into your game.

When you’re at the range, focus on a specific target. Then, you can align your body and stance as you address the ball, aiming for this target before you take the shot. Both your feet and shoulders should be in line with the target path, this will ensure the swing follows this path and will give you a higher chance of successfully hitting the target.

Using a target for every shot is an incredibly beneficial golfing habit that will see your game significantly improve. However, it’s important to remember that golf is hard. Even the pros hit the fairway from the tee less than 60% of the time, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Wrong ball position

Ball position is critical. You could have the perfect swing, with the correct grip, alignment, and stance, but if the ball is in the wrong position, you could skim it, top it, or even miss it entirely. This is a golfing habit that can be easy to overlook, but is vital if you want to improve.

Generally speaking, the longer the club the closer you want to the ball to be to your lead foot. For example, when using the driver, the ball should be in line with the inside of the heel of your lead foot. When putting, the ball should be almost central, just ever so slightly towards your lead foot.

If the ball is too far back, you risk hitting the ground before making contact, too far forward and you could top it. Placing the ball in the right position every time is a key golfing habit you need to learn to hit consistent shots.


Golf is more popular than ever, with Statista research revealing that 3.2 million people played their first ever game on a course in 2021. However, golf can soon become frustrating, and you must strive to identify and break out of bad golfing habits if you want your game to improve.