The average golfer has trouble breaking 100, so I’m guessing you are better than average. If this is true you’ve likely been working at the game for at least a year. Some people are more naturally talented at the game, but I believe experience can even out the scores. For instance Ben Hogan never did become a very accurate or long hitter, yet his tenacity would turn into focus to execute his short game. In this article you will get some tips on how to break the barrier of 90 on eighteen holes, or shoot +17 or lower.
For the sake of empirical knowledge, I will divulge the extent of my own ability. The best my handicap has ever been was 11, and as for now it’s about 14. This means I am qualified to give tips on breaking 90, but as for how to break 80, not so much. Breaking 80 is another barrier you will come to if you are a serious golfer, and if you learn how to regularly shoot in the 70’s, let me know how.
As for tournament and experience in the organized game? Well I played high school golf for four years, was on the squadron team in the Air Force for three years, played on a couple courses men’s league, and lastly have played in two amatuer tournaments in Oregon. I’ve played golf for 22 years, since the age of 12- you do the math. Oh, and I love this game.
With that said, as you can see, even if you started golfing at 12 years old doesn’t mean you are going to be shooting par in your prime. In actuality, if one keeps a USGA score, this game is not so easy.
There will be birdies and many pars, but also there will be many bogeys, double bogeys, and even triple bogeys. That’s one of the keys of any given 18-hole round, cut out all scores worse than triple bogey. If you have learned to make solid contact and are somewhat proficient around the greens (not many tops or scuffs), you should be able to avoid all +4 scores on one hole.
They say golf is 90% mental, and 10% physical; this isn’t true until you start hitting the ball solidly enough to break 100. The beginning golfer is just trying to hit the ball, and if can do math well enough their scores will likely be about 120-150. Be honest golfers, when we began it was a miracle to shoot 110, right?
One Round Away From Par
There are different types of golfers, of course; some more meticulous, others more wild like Arnold Palmer (aggressive golfer is a thinking person. What else can you do when there is so much time in-between shots?
This is why I love the game, I love to think. When I start out my round, I can believe that elusive par round is going to occur, or at least +5 and under. After the first five holes or so, I realize I’m going to have a tough time breaking 80- then after the first nine- I’m usually trying to just shoot in the low 80’s. Admittedly, there are times I don’t break 90.
Don’t tell anyone, but there are even rare times (one or twice a year) when I don’t even break 100. Usually I’m in some hurricane weather, or have a valid excuse (ha). Anyway, don’t be discouraged golfers, one day we will shoot par!
For now though, lets just try to shoot under 90 consistently.
When you plan to go play a round, don’t go during the peak times. Go early in the morning during the weekdays is best. Also, go by yourself so you can anyalize your round without distractions. If you can find someone to play with who is as serious as you are then that could work.
Don’t be shy when the weather is bad either, this can help you learn how to play under pressure, and learn different shots. Also, if play when it’s cold or rainy you’ll have the course to yourself. Honestly there isn’t anything better than having the course to yourself.
When your playing, note your stats in a way you can anaylize later. You driving distance, your greens in regulations, putts, par saves, sand saves, and fairways hit. Other stats are up to you, but all information you can gather will help. When you get done with the round, log the stats in an organized fashion and see your averages for the year.
This system will help you see your weaknesses and strengths. So make adjustments to your weaknesses and maintain your strengths the next time you go out.
When you are playing, my advise is to not play a mulligan, this type of behavior isn’t helpful to the serious golfer. No, instead feel the pain of the bad shot, no matter how ugly. Learn how to calm your emotions and reasonably face the next shot. Remember you just need to avoid the big quadrouple bogeys or worse, and if you do- you’ll have a good shot at breaking 90.