1. Lack of focus:
Juniors are easily distracted by what’s going on around them. They get sidetracked by noises, their playing partners and the opposite sex. Very few of them know what they should focus on.
For them, developing a consistent, effective pre-shot routine is vital. Young golfers must be aware of how their ball is laying, their target, which club to use, and what type of shot they are going to play.
2. Lack of confidence and having a poor attitude:
A general fault among junior golfers has to do with being too hard on themselves. They have a tendency to live and die with every shot. If a good shot is played then, things are fine. However, if they hit a poor shot they tend to feel horrible. It’s difficult for them to bounce back for the next shot.
Young golfers must learn that their mental attitude needs to be as good as their physical skills. They must develop a mental toughness and be able to remain positive even after a poor shot.
3. Poor Practice Habits:
Juniors tend to mess around and just go through the motions when hitting balls. They don’t focus and don’t have a plan. Juniors need to know in advance what they are going to practice with the help of their instructor.
When a young golfer learns how to practice and thus, not waste time they will begin to make strides toward improvement.
4. Being overly conscious of the score:
Juniors tend to get ahead of themselves and forget to focus on the shot that is right in front of them.
Golf involves two steps: process and outcome. Young golfers need to be reminded that how they swing the club will result in a certain outcome of shot. Basically this is a cause and effect. If their only focus is the outcome of the shot they will forget to focus on the best process to achieve better results.
5. Not using enough club and swinging too hard:
Juniors routinely under-club: Sure, they might be able to hit that 9-iron 140 yards… when they swing hard from a perfect lie and catch it right in the sweet spot.
Take out a little more club and swing at 85%, they’ll make more consistent impact on the ball and find their shots becoming more consistent.
6. Automatically shooting at the flag and not playing away from trouble:
Most times, the flag is not the smartest play… For juniors, the center of the green is a higher percentage shot: Because from there, at least they’re putting instead of chipping from an uncertain lie.
Sometimes, shooting at the green isn’t a good idea at all! If they would learn to play away from trouble, it could take 10 strokes off their score today.
7. Trying for too much out of trouble:
Often, juniors find it difficult to regulate their natural bravado and shoot the ball sideways back into the fairway … but if they’d give it a try for a round it would do wonders to their score!
When trouble is looming just take out a short club, or hit a safety shot. Sure, it might be an assured way to get a bogey instead of a lucky birdie/par… but it’s also an assured way to get a bogey instead of an unlucky triple/quadruple.
8. Attempting to hit shots that they’ve never practiced:
Juniors need to pay strict attention and observe what’s going on around them. They must learn to judge when their ball is laying poorly. Misreading turf and lie conditions is an easy way to mis-hit shots.
Also, practice it first! A young golfer needs to hit flop shots and sand shots for hours and hours or else they should expect to blade a lot of balls over the green!
9. Not spending enough time working on putting and the little “scoring” shots around the greens:
Young golfers underestimate the importance of learning to properly read the greens. They tend to under-read the break on the greens and their ball will slide beneath the hole on a putt with any significant break.
Without a doubt, improving their short game is the quickest and easiest way to cut strokes from their game. It’s the area where a junior can turn three shots into two. For any young golfer, it’s the key to being a better player.
10. Playing “outside” their comfort zone and not being “tournament ready:”
Sometimes this mistake is made by overzealous parents who want their child to play in a tournament when the junior really isn’t ready and, they don’t know how to properly prepare for a tournament.
Junior golfers can and will enjoy competition when they ready themselves by playing practice rounds and by having a pre-round routine: Because, like the old sage said, “You fool no one when you overestimate your abilities, least of all yourself.”