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How to Golf Better and Break 90

Updated on April 14, 2018
Larry Mize Masters Champion 1987
Larry Mize Masters Champion 1987 | Source

Getting the Right Perspective

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 with practice and knowledge. For instance, Ben Hogan never did become a very accurate or long hitter, yet his tenacity and dedication toward getting better would turn into focus to execute his short game and hit the ball solid and true. In this article, you'll find some tips on how to break the barrier of 90 on eighteen holes, or shoot +17 or lower.

Keys to Help Focus

  • Watch golf in the off time
  • Make small adjustments instead of big changes
  • Play when the course isn't busy
  • Play with other golfers who respect game
  • Get a USGA rules book and study it
  • Look into a men's club
  • Look into amateur tournaments

Why should you listen to me?

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 men's leagues for a few years, and lastly have played in two OGA amateur tournaments in Oregon. I've played golf for 26 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?

On the greens
On the greens | Source

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One Round Away From Par

There are different types of golfers, some more meticulous like Jim Furyk, others more wild like Arnold Palmer. Either way, the golfer is a thinking person. What else can you do when there's 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 (most of the time lately).

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.

The Masters is great inspiration.

Meat and Potatoes

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.

What's your best 18 hole score in relation to par? What would you add to the article?

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    • profile image

      Talore Hillton 4 years ago from Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for responding Lowdoan.

      I am most often happiest when I am golfing.

      Have a great day.

      Best ever...


    • Lowdown0 profile image

      Robbie Newport 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Thanks for the comment Talore, golf isn't an easy game, but we make it harder than it is usually. Golf courses, in my opinion are the most beautiful man-made constructions there are.

      Double bogeys can happen fairly quickly, but if keep your cool then it doesn't turn into a +4 on the hole. Many times I thought I ruined the hole, and ended up making a nice bogey.

      And as long as the greens aren't frozen, it's a good day to go golfing. Thanks for coming by again, and let me know your notable scores when they occur. Happy golfing.

    • profile image

      Talore Hillton 4 years ago from Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

      Hey Lowdown,

      While I spend a lot of time on a golf course, most of the time I spend is during exactly those times you recommend.

      If I was going to give sage advice to anyone serious about improving their relationship with the game, be they novice or pro, this would rank in the top 5.

      Having said that, the times on a golf course that nobody else wants are the best times for anyone intimidated by the game or those around them. There are few opportunities to have something as wondrous as a beach, a forest or a golf course all to yourself to bring out the best in a person.

      So if a sense of intimidation is what is preventing people from taking up or sticking with the game, this would rank as number one tip.

      As for your tip to lower your score. Spot on!

      That was an area of my game I spent the last year working on. It had the desired effect of taking my game to an entirely new level. The biggest improvement is what it does inside your head. There is a tremendous sense of confidence a golfer feels when he or she knows they can still save par or even double bogey if they make a bad shot or even two on any given hole.

      The short to mid irons have become my favourite tools to score or save.

      Keep churning out those good tips!

      Best ever...

      Talore Hillton


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