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Golf Practice Plan To Break 80

In this article we’ll run through a practice plan to help you break 80. We’ll also explain how and why this practice plan will help you perform on the golf course. If you manage to complete this entire plan you’ll play 27 holes a week and have roughly 3 hours of practice split between the range, putting and chipping green.

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Practice games to break 80

The following is a list of core tasks. At the end of this article we have a full description of each game/task, how to set it up and score.

Look at this as an ideal to-do list each week. Life will get in the way, so don’t beat yourself up if some weeks are better than others. From 17 years of experience coaching, I’d suggest getting 60-70% done most weeks will result in you making great progress.

  • 18 holes practice round (L3)
  • 9 holes in regulation (L1)
  • 3,6,9 ft putting (L3)
  • Long game technique (L2)
  • Par 18 (L1)
  • Driving challenge (L2)
  • Round the clock putting (L3)
  • Boudreaux range challenge
  • Short game technique

* Don’t worry about the L1, L2..for now, this is part of a bigger project we’re building out.

Practice time per week to break 80

If you complete all the tasks above your total practice time will be just under 9 hours, with 5 hours on the course and 3 1/2 hours split between the driving range, chipping and putting green.

Practice hours for the practice plan to break 80

Many golfers make the mistake of just hitting the range between playing, but it is important to spend time on the golf course too. In Regulation is an excellent game that challenges you to think and play differently on the golf course.

Dispersion of time across areas of the game

This practice plan focuses heavily on putting and approach play, whilst providing core tasks for driving and short game. For golfers shooting in the mid-80s, there are normally some easy wins to be had on the putting green.

As long as you can get the ball in play off the tee, approach play and short game will be key for making lots of pars and creating the odd birdie opportunity.

A graphic showing the time spent on each area of your game.

Break down of practice type

This plan is light on technical work and focuses on skills games and time on the golf course to help you problem-solve and improve your scoring.

Golfers looking to break 80 can normally hit all the shots needed, but their consistency under pressure is not there. They often can make easy gains by picking better targets on the golf course and thinking through shots with more consideration of where they can and can’t miss.

A break down of practice by type.

Practice difficulty

Practice difficulty is a number from 1 – 100 I’ve assigned to each game/task. < 33 equals low difficulty and you’ll always complete the task, like free practice, or working on your technique. Medium difficulty (34 – 66) are games that you’ll complete some days, but not other days – like 3, 6, 9 ft putting with 3 golf balls.

Hard practice games (> 66) challenge you to hit very accurate shots, or produce highly consistent performances. You won’t complete these very often, but they are important for your skill development. This program has a nice split across all three levels.

practice difficulty for the break 80 practice plan

Practice realism

Practice realism is a metric (1 to 100) to describe how realistic the practice is compared to playing in a golf competition. Playing a practice medal ranks as 95, whereas short game technique ranks as 10. Factors such as perceived pressure, a representative environment, practice variability and number of attempts all feed into this metric.

This practice plan scores high in practice realism, as golfers who wish to break 80 need to learn how to perform when it counts.

practice realism for the break 80 practice plan

Table of practice plan to break 80

18 holes practice round (L3)Play 18 holes medal or Stableford and see what you can score to par.
9 holes in regulation (L1)Play 9 holes and see how many fairways and greens you can hit. You gain 1 point for every fairway hit and 3 points for every green hit in regulation.
3,6,9 ft putting (L3)Place markers at 3, 6 & 9 ft (3 ft = roughly 1 putter’s length). Aim to hole 3 balls from each location before you move back. If you miss at any point start again. Your score is how many putts in a row you can hole.
Long Game Technique (L2)Hit 50 range balls working on key technical moves to improve your ball flight.
Par 18 (L1)Pick 9 locations around the chipping green. Aim to chip the ball on and hole the putt, before you move onto the next hole. Each hole is a Par 2. Write down the total shots to complete all 9 locations.
Driving Challenge (L2)Pick a 20-yard wide target on the golf range. Hit 10 shots with driver, 5 with a fairway wood and 5 with a long iron. Give yourself a point for every ball that lands within your target fairway.
Round the Clock Putting (L3)Pick a sloping putt, and place 6 markers spread evenly around the hole at 5 ft. Aim to hole all putts in a row, if you miss, start again. Your score is how many successful putts you can hole in a row.
Boudreaux range challengeHit 20 shots at each of the three targets (100, 125, and 150 yds). You get 1 point for every shot that finished on the green, and 3 points if the ball finished within a flagstick (inside 8 feet).
Short Game TechniquePick a shot that needs work after your short game challenges and refine your technique for that shot.

If you would like a pdf of this plan just click the button below.


That wraps up our breaking 80 practice plan. It is tricky to create a plan that suits every golfer’s needs perfectly, but this will provide a very solid starting point for most, and help make practice fun! To find where your current strengths and weaknesses are, check out our golf stats by handicap dashboard.

For a detailed guide on how to break 80, including course strategy tips, check out this article.

Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider

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Will is a PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. He spent 10 years lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in Biomechanics and Motor Control before becoming the Head of Golf for the University of Exeter. He currently runs Golf Insider UK, Sport Science Insider around wider consulting and academic roles in sport performance and motor control.

5 thoughts on “Golf Practice Plan To Break 80”

  1. Great content as usual. Some articles I’d love to read. Shockingly, they fall close to home:

    How about an article on finding more consistency for the high handicapper or realistic development expectations for 1 range session and I round 18 holes per week? Any other high handicap course management strategies / where this go wrong – targets, club selection, hero shots, etc?

  2. I’ve got a season pass to a golf course, close to breaking 80 so I’m going to use this plan. Course management articles are really helpful, I’m trying to think more about the widest areas to hit to, fairway traps and hazards (and then of course actually executing, sometimes that doesn’t happen!) Love your articles, I have your performance book.


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