It’s estimated that nearly 80% of all golfers can’t break 90. For some, it comes easy, for others, it’s a monumental task. Playing golf on a regular basis, we come across all skill levels of golfers, and below are some of the glaring mistakes we see.
In this article, we offer tips to break 90 that doesn’t include golf lessons. We believe you can manage your way around the course and practice key areas that will shave strokes off your game no matter what your skill level is. After all, breaking 90 is just 17 bogeys and 1 par.
Tee Box: The easiest tip we can offer. Most players are playing from the wrong tee box. We see it all the time, they get to the course with their buddies, and feel the need to play the back tees. Unless you’re gearing up for a US Open qualifier, there’s no reason to do this. Play it forward, move up a tee or two. You’ll score better, and the game will be more enjoyable. Once you can turn in solid rounds from the most forward men’s tee, move back. As a scratch golfer, there are times I’ll move up a tee for a round just to get my confidence back up. Don’t be a hero, move up.
Practice: Now for the juicy stuff. The average golfer doesn’t practice often, but when they do, 100% of their time is spent on the practice range bashing drivers. For someone that can’t break 90, nearly 70% of all their shots will occur inside 125 yards (between wedge shots, pitches, chips, and putts). So why not spend the time practicing in these vital areas? If you can’t break 90, you need to change up your practice routine.
Spend 25% of the time hitting balls, and 75% of the time pitching, chipping and putting. Practice 3-5-10-20-30 footers until your hands bleed. Challenge yourself in the short game area, start out making 3 putts in a row from 3 feet, then move back a foot and make 3 more in a row, when you miss one, start over. Practice your lag putting from over 30′. Someone that can’t break 90 is going to three putt on average 3+ times per round, by eliminating three putts, you’re shaving 3 strokes off your game right there. Get yourself 30-40 feet from the hole (because let’s be honest, that’s about as close as you can get it) and practice two putting from these distances. If you don’t make the putt, be sure to leave yourself inside 3 feet. Which you know you can make, because you’ve practiced those 😉
If the average golfer can eliminate two chips and three putting, they’ll shave many strokes off their game.
One of the best short game videos you will ever watch is Phil Mickelson’s Secrets to the Short Game. This has sort of become my bible and I refer back to it as often as possible, I recommend giving this a watch as it covers fundamentals, drills, and practice tips. My brother went from an 18 to a 13 weeks after practicing the fundamentals below: (Warning, this will change your life, so wait til the wife goes to bed and get the lotion out)
Club Selection: So many golfers struggle when it comes to proper club selection. Whether it’s from 150 yards out in the fairway, or just off the green, the wrong club is selected more times than not.
When a player misses the green, they immediately grab their SW or LW. This shouldn’t always be the case. Learn to use different clubs around the green. If you have plenty of green between your ball and the hole when chipping, learn to utilize other clubs (like an 8 or 9 iron). It will be a much shorter stroke (less margin of error) and the ball will roll like a putt once it hits the green, which is exactly what you want when chipping. Grabbing that wedge and trying to hit the sexy high shot just isn’t necessary unless you absolutely have to.
On full shots in the fairway, players will select a club that they can get to the flag, but only if they hit it 100%. Never swing 100% unless absolutely necessary. Most of your trouble around a green is short of the green. The best tip I can give is to take more club and take a smoother swing. Less is more.
Targeting: Don’t let the flag always be your target. If the flag is tucked left or right, hit the middle of the green. If you play to the middle of the green, you won’t have more than a 25-30 footer on nearly every public course, not the end of the world. When you attack a flag and miss it in the rough. You leave yourself short sided which will lead to a bogey.
These aren’t the only things that will make you break 90, but it will get you well on your way to breaking 90. Read them, learn them, and practice them. I urge you to try these things out and give us feedback on your results. As always, thanks for reading!