The title of this post should really be How to Break 100 in Golf EVERY TIME. Let’s face it breaking 100 once is fun, but breaking 100 each time you play is really where you start to feel like your game is headed in the right direction. I’ll give you some of our best tips for breaking 100, some stories along the way, and some mindset thoughts to help you get that 102 into a 99.
Knowing how to break 100 in golf does not happen overnight, and you must put some time in to get here. In this article we are going to cover strategies off the course, on the driving range and on the course.
Quick Tips for Breaking 100 from PGA Pro Ian Taylor
Check out some quick tips for breaking 100 from when we interviewed PGA Pro Ian Taylor below. You can find the full chat here.
Strategies Off The Course
Off the course strategies can happen at home, on your way home from a round, and sometimes on the way to the golf course for a round of golf. The bottom line here is that there are ways to work on your golf game even when you aren’t actively playing which we will expand on;
- Plan your round
- Get equipment that works for your game
- Grip a golf club daily
- Stretch before a round
Plan Your Round
Professional golfers create a game plan for themselves, a way they want to attack the golf course. When you think about it, most professional athletes will do this.
Those with a plan have a much better chance of pulling it off.
Go through your round of golf in your head and be realistic about where you want to place the ball, what scores you know you can achieve, and what you want to look like when you are out there playing golf.
Get Equipment that Works for Your Game
If you are ready to make that push to break 100 and start playing good golf, make sure you are using the right equipment to break 100. Look for golf clubs that have more forgiveness, plenty of distance capability, and the right shaft weight and flex for your game.
You can still break 100 with a beginner set of golf clubs. However, most amateur golfers will, at some point, start to upgrade things like the wedges, a putter, or a driver to bring some additional technology into the club set.
Grip A Golf Club Daily
You may not have the chance to head out to the driving range or even to take practice swings daily, but nothing is stopping you from gripping a golf club. The more you can get comfortable with how to grip a golf club, the easier it is to do so when you play a round of golf.
Most golfers working on breaking 100 in golf struggle with consistency in their grip. If you can at least learn to put your hands on the golf club in relatively the same neutral position each time, your chance of hitting solid shots is considerably better.
Stretch Before a Round
Stretching before a round of golf can take as little as 5 or 10 minutes. If you want to hit shots where you are getting your full rotation and flexibility, the few minutes you spend stretching could really make all the difference.
Stretching can also be done first thing in the morning when you wake up; you don’t have to wait until you run to the tee box.
Strategies On the Driving Range
Now that we have covered what it takes to break 100 off the course let’s move to the driving range. We will cover;
- Learn to control the clubface
- Split your time between short and long game
- Find a safe shot
- Work in a practice bunker
- Take a few lessons
- Incorporate alignment sticks and training aids
Learn To Control The Clubface
The clubface is what controls the direction of your golf shot. If your clubface is square at impact, you will likely hit a great shot, headed directly towards your target. If your clubface is closed, the left side of the golf course will come into play; if it’s open, the ball will go right.
The more you can learn about what causes the golf ball to go left or right, the easier it is to control the ball on the golf course.
Pay specific attention to your wrist position in the golf swing. If you play around with the amount of extension and flexion (cupping and bowing) in your wrists at setup and the top of your backswing, you will see that impacts the angle of the clubface at impact.
If you hit a shot that goes well right or left of your target, take a slow motion swing and see what your clubface looks like.
Split Your Time Between Short and Long Game
Short game practice is important. Work specifically on distance control with your wedges. Hit chip shots and pitch shots from a variety of lies around the putting green. So many golfers stand and hit 30 sand wedge shots in a row, don’t do this.
Change the trajectory of the shots you hit, work on keeping the ball low and hitting bump and run shots. Pay close attention to ball position and setup when hitting different shots with your pitching wedge and sand wedge.
Also, incorporate some lower shots with a 7 iron or 8 iron into your short game practice routine. The next time you play, you will have a wide range of options to choose from.
For more help with building a great practice plan check out Break X Golf.
Find a Safe Shot
I know if I take a slightly narrow stance and a 3/4 swing with my 7 iron, I can hit a straight shot that flies in the air and stops on the green. If you are trying to break 100, you need a safe shot. The safe shot can work for some approach shots, for getting out of trouble, or for those days when nothing is going right.
Of course, you will want to take those big swings from time to time.
The key is to have a safe shot, one you can trust anytime it comes up on the course.
This may take some time to develop, and it can be a fade or a draw, as long as you know you can make solid contact and know roughly where your golf ball will finish.
Work In A Practice Bunker
Find a practice bunker or take a bucket of golf balls to the beach. Most of the issue golfers have with sand traps is that they never practice. We avoid these bunkers and sand traps like the plaque, and then when we get into them, we are shocked that we can’t get out!
Most golf courses have some type of a practice sand bunker; make sure to use it. To break 100, you don’t need to hit a perfect bunker shot; you just need to get out of the bunker in one shot each time you get in it.
Take A Few Lessons
Golf lessons can really help when you want to learn to break 100 in golf. I’m all for self-study and learning how to lower your average score entirely on your own. However, if you take a few lessons, it can give you some guidance, quick wins and allow you to discuss your thoughts with an expert coach.
Incorporate Alignment Sticks and Training Aids
When practicing on the driving range, at least put an alignment stick down so you know what square looks like. The alignment stick can help with aiming, alignment, and even on the putting green. Take your practice session seriously and use technology and training aids to become a better player.
Strategies On The Course
Finally, we have made it to the golf course! Now is the chance for all of that practice, mental training, and work to pay off. I want you to keep in mind that you will experience some bad shots on the course; whether it’s a chip shot or a tee shot, don’t let it ruin your game. Move to the next shot and remember these on course strategies. Here are some strategies which we will expand on;
- Know your carry distances
- Keep the ball on the ground around the greens
- Eliminate the big numbers
- Develop a pre shot routine
- Understand that a bogey is good enough
- Stay focused on your game
Know Your Carry Distances
How far are you really hitting your approach shot to the green? If you have a 150-yard pin that is just on the front edge of the green surrounded by water, you better know exactly how far you hit your golf clubs.
Focus mostly on how far the ball carries; how far it rolls will never be the same from day to day. Golf course conditions are going to be a key factor in total distance.
Also, stop trying to keep up with your playing partners regarding distances. If you hit your 8 iron between 140-145 yards, that is fine. If they hit their 150, let them! Be honest with yourself about yardages; it will only hurt your score if you are not.
Keep The Ball On The Ground Around The Greens
To break 100 in golf, putt the ball from wherever you can. Lag putting is much less dangerous than a lob wedge shot. Most golfers with higher handicappers are overusing their sand and lob wedges on their shorter shots around the green.
I love the concept of a high-lofted shot when it’s necessary. The key phrase here is “when it’s necessary.” If you have short-sided yourself and don’t have much green to work with, you may be forced to hit the higher-lofted shot. With green to work with, choose the lower lofted bump and run-type shot.
Eliminate The Big Numbers
Triple bogeys are just ugly. We have to get them off the scorecard, and the best way to do this is to not compound your errors.
Take, for instance, Golfer A, who hits their tee shot into the water. When they get up to the ball, they can still see it, even though it’s in the water hazard (we have all been there!). Golfer A rolls up the pant legs, gets in the water, and proceeds to swing and miss the ball, burying it further into the rough.
At this point, Golfer A realizes it’s time to take a penalty stroke and a drop. They drop in the thick rough, try to hit fairway wood out of it, and the ball advances 40 yards. With another approach shot, a chip, and a three-putt, the total score on the hole was a 9.
Golfer B hits their tee shot in the water. They take a drop, go to their safe shot to lay a shot up just short of the green, chip on with a low bump and run chip and make the putt for a 5. Even if Golfer B misses the putt and doesn’t get up and down, a score of 6 is still something that can be recovered from.
This is why they say, take your medicine and move on. Chances are you will make a few pars, so a double bogey here and there is not going to hurt you. Just don’t compound the errors.
Develop a Pre Shot Routine
There are a lot of variables in the game of golf. If you can eliminate just a few of them and use a consistent pre shot routine, you will have an easier time learning to break 100.
I recommend the same pre shot routine for the driver, fairway woods, irons, and even chipping. Your putting routine may be a little different, and that is acceptable. You also may change your routine for the driver at some point, but right now, you must focus on something consistent.
A great pre-shot routine has an alignment aspect, a mental aspect, and then an approach to the golf ball.
I like to come from behind the ball, choose a line, approach the ball, think about my swing thought, look at the target, and swing. This routine took time to develop, but I repeat it the same way every single time I hit a shot.
Understand That A Bogey Is Good Enough
To break 100, you will need to shoot less than 28 over par (for a standard par 72 golf course). If you were to bogey every hole, you would easily break 100 (with 9 shots to spare!).
Stop getting thrown off or upset by bogeys. At this stage in your golf game, a bogey is good outcome, and for some golfers, starting to think of a bogey as a par can lead to better course management.
For instance, on a long par 4, instead of hitting a driver and a 3 wood, maybe you try hitting a driver, 7 iron, or wedge and make things a little easier on yourself. You can still two-putt and get your bogey.
Stay Focused on Your Game (Don’t Think About Score)
When it’s time to execute a shot, you have to keep your head in the game. Too many golfers are focused on what other players are doing, or they are adding up their scores and not just playing.
I encourage you to try and make bogeys and pars when you can, control your attitude on the course, and focus on each shot you take. One shot at a time, you can learn to break 100, and keep your head focused on what you are doing.
I hope these thoughts have helped you feel more in control of what you are doing on the golf course and how you can learn to break 100 consistently. It takes practice, some data tracking, and a lot of learning to break 100 in golf. However, if you stick with it, the process is enjoyable, and the results are attainable.
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