Wyndham Clark, reigning US Open champion and member of the US Ryder Cup team, has played a lot of pro-am golf over the past few years. He has observed things his amateur partners do or don’t do that prevent them from playing their best golf. In a recent sit-down with Golf Digest, Clark revealed three common pitfalls that everyday golfers should avoid.

Carrying wedges with too much bounce

Keyur Khamar

Although conventional wisdom says, “Bounce is your friend,” Clark sees that concept as more of a Band-Aid than reliable advice.

“I think amateurs play wedges with too much bounce,” he says. “Game-improvement wedges (high bounce) might mask some mistakes, but it can be very difficult to hit the correct shot with those wedges or have the ability to be versatile.” Clark continues: “Everyday players have to hit a lot of shots around the greens. To score better, I’d suggest using less of a game-improvement wedge and working on hitting a wider array of shots.”

Using shafts designed for tour pros

Jamie Squire

Just as tour players are susceptible to trying the “hot” shaft off the assembly line, so are amateurs. Most golfers, however, are not achieving tour swing speeds or swinging the club on a path that resembles what a tour pro does. As such, copying the pros in their shaft choice is a bad call, Clark says.

“Trying to use a shaft because some tour player you like uses it or because it’s expensive so it must be better is a path to poor golf,” Clark says. “I see too many golfers with shafts that are way too stiff or too heavy for them. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use the same model, but a good fitting will likely result in a different flex and weight.”

Eating on course like you’re tailgating

Amateurs typically eat or drink when they’re playing, as do the pros. But unlike the pros, devouring a hot dog at the turn and washing it down with a beer doesn’t really count for keeping up your energy.

Clark’s on-course “menu” is probably a better plan of attack. “I eat often on the course but a little bit at a time,” he says. “I usually have apple sauce, which keeps my sugar levels good. I have Bobo’s Oat Bars for carbs and a little bit of protein. I always have gluten-free oat butter with jelly. Nuts and apples, too.”

You might not play like a US Open champ, but take a few tips and give your game a boost.