This is the biggest mistake amateur golfers make, says Michelle Wie West

Michelle Wie West has played plenty of golf in her lifetime. She’s been a household name in the game since the 2000s, and she’s been around the game even longer. Wie West and golf are all but synonymous.

In that lifetime around the game, Wie West has seen the game from just about every angle. She’s seen pros at the top of the sport and weekend hackers poking it around at a pro-am. Her experience as a player and an observer spans the entire spectrum.

With so much experience under her belt, Wie West knows exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do when it comes to the golf swing. And when we caught up with Wie West recently at Liberty National, we asked her what the biggest mistake she sees that amateur golfers make.

“They don’t know how to turn their shoulders and their hips properly,” Wie West said. “I see a lot of swaying.”

Getting your sequencing synced up so your shoulders and hips turn in the correct way is an integral part of the swing. However, just turning them is not the answer. You have to be able to turn them the correct way for it to be effective.

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If you focus solely on turning your hips and shoulders around your spine, you’ll risk spinning out of the shot, which saps you of power and consistency. Instead, you have to combine your turn with the right amount of weight shift if you want to get the best results.

“It’s got to be a combination of all of them,” Wie West said.

Bonus tip

In addition to asking about the biggest mistakes, we also asked Wie West about her advice for young golfers looking to take their games to the next level. Here’s what she said.

“First off, have fun,” Wie West said. “I think a lot of times when you start grinding, everything gets a little too mechanical. You can drive yourself literally insane. I always found that I played my best when I was having fun and free-flowing.”

She also explained that relying on your instincts is hugely important. It can be easy in golf to get too bogged down in the mechanics, but it’s important to stay agile as well.

“Just be an athlete out there,” she said.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at