High handicap mistakes? Let me count the ways. We’ve all gone through learning enough about our swing, physique, ability, and clubs to get through 18 holes without too much embarrassment. It’s part of the beauty of golf that we all start with an ugly game. Not to worry!

The trick is to be honest (that’s your bonus mistake tip) with ourselves and play within our ability. Got a natural slice, draw, or fade? Stop fighting it and use that expected outcome as part of your game. If you play golf courses in Bend, you know the fairways are generally wide; there is some room to stray right and left. Wait a season before you tinker with your swing.

Here are some tips to combat a few more high handicap mistakes while you play Bend golf!

Mistake #1 Using the Wrong Equipment

Playing with several brands of clubs (steel, graphite, multi-flex) in your bag makes it impossible to know the weight and flex of your club for each shot. Play with one set.

River’s Edge pro shop is the best place to try a few hybrid clubs to replace tough-to-hit low irons like the 2 through 4. Get steel or graphite to match the rest of your clubs.

Mistake #2 Trying to Kill the Ball

Deciding to kill the ball as you start your follow-through is a common mistake and deciding anything during your backswing should also be avoided. Striking the ball in the sweet spot does more for distance than swinging hard, which often results in topping the ball as your muscles tighten.

Mistake #3 Not Practicing

Nothing beats practice before or between rounds because your golf body isn’t made for speed and instant action. It’s made for stretching, getting a few kinks out, and being consistent.

Mistake #4 Not Being Consistent

As mentioned above, consistency is super important in golf, so follow the same approach and setup before striking the ball. That way, you’ll know where your problems lie – too close to the ball, feet not spread far enough, poor balance, etc.

Mistake #5 Not letting your Club do the Work

Let the club do the work with a smooth swing and let the pitch handle everything while avoiding the urge to try and lift the ball.

Mistake #6 Not Taking Enough Club at River’s Edge

Playing the best golf course in Central Oregon means planning your approach to get up and down in regulation or even bogey golf. If you sabotage your shot at the green because you hit your seven iron 180 yards once last year (but regularly 160), you’ll find sand, water, and tears. Be honest about which club you need.

Mistake #7 Misunderstanding Your Clubface at Bend’s Top Golf Course

Misunderstanding your clubface at River’s Edge can be a problem. There are several water hazards, but you won’t have to worry about the beautiful Deschutes River unless you have a monster hook.

If you do hook, it’s usually caused by gripping the club tightly with a poor swing path through impact. Generally, it happens when the clubface alignment is tilted inward towards your lead toe.

If you have a slice, it’s because your clubface is open away from your body at impact. Tighten up slightly and away it goes!