How to Overcome Ego Mistakes

By John Lindell

golf ball on tee
The majority of beginner golfers, and a large number of seasoned players as well, have a habit of remembering the great shots that they are able to hit. Unfortunately, these people also will tend not to remember the shots that were less than stellar that were attempted with the mistaken belief that the player was a little better than he really was. When a player's ego begins to take over during a round of golf things can go wrong in a hurry, which is why it is important to be able to overcome the desire to try hitting golf shots that may be beyond your skills.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Avoid always using your driver off the tee on longer holes. There is an inclination for golfers to always want to drive the ball as far as they can when the opportunity arises. This affinity for using the driver is partly due to wanting to show off and also comes from the mistaken notion that every yard the player can get closer to the green the better off she will be. It is often more prudent to employ a lesser club that you have better control over than hit the ball long and far but out of bounds. A 230-yard drive on a 400-yard hole that lands in the fairway is better than a 260-yard drive that ends up in the woods or in a bunker.
  2. Be willing to accept help with your golf game. Many people who are excellent athletes take up golf and are reluctant to seek any help with their swing, feeling that their athletic ability will eventually be enough to compensate for a lack of technique. This common ego mistake gradually ruins the sport for many individuals who would be much better players if they simply took lessons or at least read some golfing magazines.
  3. Stay away from shots that you do not practice. For example, rather than try to clear a hazard like a tree and drop a shot onto a bunker-protected green--which many professionals would be hard pressed to pull off--punch the ball out into the fairway and play it from there. Don't expect yourself to be able to hit phenomenal shots out of the blue.
  4. Steer clear of trying to outdrive your competition. This is the most frequent ego-related error that players make. Stay away from trying to hit the ball farther than you normally can just because a friend or opponent has hit a long drive, and concentrate on getting the ball into play where you can reach the green safely.
  5. Keep in mind that the low score wins. The goal during a round of golf is to finish the round with the fewest strokes possible. While hitting the ball a long distance is a great feeling, playing a smart round and making the right decisions along the way is an excellent one as well.