Breaking 100 in golf is a big deal for an amateur. For most golfers, passing this milestone gives them hope that they can consistently play below a hundred, and even lower. The pearly gates of better golf open here.
Whether it’s a new pair of clubs or a technique overhaul, golfers go to extremes to try and lower their score. At some point, you have to be willing to accept the fact that a great golf game comes down to a few key fundamentals. In this article we’ll talk about the most impactful optimizations you can make to your game in order to break 100.
Tip #1: Dial in Your Golf Swing to Break 100
Without spending sufficient time on the range, this can be a tough one. A consistent technically correct swing is a product of good practice and mindfulness on the course.
When you make a bad shot, can you pinpoint what caused it? Was it your alignment, your clubface angle, or your grip? Great golfers are hyper-aware of how their technique is affecting their swing.
It’s Cringy, But Record Your Swing
It’s no question that a video of their swing will leave most golfers scratching their head thinking “Does my swing really look like that?” Seeing your swing in action allows you to quickly know where you should make adjustments.
If you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong or what to look for, you might consider doing a session of golf swing motion tracking with Gears Golf.
Gears touts the most powerful, precise, golf swing biomechanics system in the world and our users are frequently awestruck by the clarity and practicality of our analytics. With our system you can not only compare your motions with a pro’s, but you can enjoy a glorious 3D rendering of every angle and speed of your body movement so you know exactly where you should be improving. Want to try it out? We’d love to show you around!
Tip #2: Nail Your Grip, Stance and Alignment
Get your golf grip wrong and you’ll never play consistently. A bad grip is like running on a sheet of ice; even with all the right intentions, you’ll never get anywhere.
Although proper golf grip is one of those things that most of us learn one time and then think we have a perfect handle on, it’s far too easy to slip away from good habits and start training yourself in a direction you don’t want to go.
Grip the club firmly. If your grip is too loose, you risk a slice. Don’t kill it though; if your grip is too tight you risk a draw. It’s tempting to loosen up part way through. Try to maintain even pressure on the club throughout the swing.
The right stance is another fundamental component of your swing.
Shoulder width, or a little wider: When you set up to swing, you should be standing slightly wider than shoulder width, your knees bent slightly.
Weight distribution: Our rule is you should keep about 60% of your weight on your lead leg. This will help you make clean, downward contact with the ball for a powerful shot.
Ball placement: Where you place the ball matters. It should be farther forward(off your front heel) when you’re driving, front center on the fairway, and aligned with your midsection when you’re playing a wedge.
Bad Alignment = Bad Habits
Make sure you have an alignment aid when you’re at the driving range. Something as simple as a stick or a rope will do. You may be to the far right or left of your target. Subconsciously you’ll try to compensate with a pull or a slce, creating a whole other set of problems.
Tip #3: Don’t Play for Perfection, Play Loose
It may be tour inspired, maybe it’s just a matter of personal ego. For reasons unknown to us, every amateur golfer seems to think that with enough effort they can land Hideki Matsunaga like dead accurate shots at every hole.
Don’t take it wrong, ambition is great, but landing a birdie every hole as an amateur just isn’t going to happen.
9 Bogies, 9 Double Bogies
All you need to break 100 on a par 72 course is 9 bogies and 9 double bogies. So don’t stress about each hole being perfect. If your drive doesn’t land on the fairway, it’s nbd. Get it back on with the second shot. Rule of thumb: Always take the easy shot over the tough one, even if it means more strokes(you’ll probably end up with more if you choose the tough shot).
Lag putting is a crucial component of a good golf score. Most amateurs spend hours on the driving range perfecting their game at the tee, but then come up short at the green when they double their strokes.
Go to the practice green, starting close to the tee. Practice closer putts until they’re literally automatic. We’re serious on this one. You should practically be able to bury these with your eyes closed. Gradually increase the distance, challenging yourself as you go.
The goal isn’t to nail the long putts each time(hats off to you if you can). Focus more on the feel associated with each putt distance, and try to set yourself up for a second putt within a 3 ft radius of the hole. There’s a reason they say that putting wins championships. Dedicated practice will help you to win at the green and lower your overall score.
Tip #4: Use the Right Equipment to Break 100
It is absolutely true that correct fundamentals most directly affect your score. That being said, even with the correct technique in place, it’s best to maximize your margin of error.
Choose equipment that’s forgiving. Too many amateur golfers break their wallets and their game on high-end professional grade equipment that just isn’t suited to their game.
So, the right equipment is the equipment that matches your skill level. It’s best to forgo expensive woods and irons, and invest in clubs with a more forgiving clubface. Golfers who struggle with a slice for example may benefit from a set of offset clubs to compensate.
Let’s Talk Woods
Choosing the right woods can in some ways make or break your golf game. Long irons are some of the hardest clubs to hit. Even professional golfers must exert an exceptional amount of attention to ensure that they are swinging them correctly.
Replace the long irons with fairway and hybrid clubs. This will make it easier to stay near par at each hole.
For most amateurs, an iron shaft is really just too heavy. Heavy shafts make it difficult to maintain proper swing alignment, which can hinder a golfer’s ability to shoot accurately.
Graphite shafts are lighter and more agile than metal shafts. They allow for increased swing speed, which can help you break 100 with ease. Be sure to do your homework on your clubs considering factors like clubface, shaft, launch angle, and length before you purchase.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid of the Sand
Most amateur golfers have an irrational fear of the sand. Many go to great lengths to avoid sandtraps resulting in lost balls, overshooting, and all kinds of awkward shots.
Here are a couple of tips to help you kill it in the sand:
- Don’t hit the ball, hit the sand. Sand is heavy, and you can use that to your advantage. A club full of sand will get your ball back on the green even with a soft swing.
- 70% of your weight in front. Favoring your front foot will transfer the extra force needed to get the ball out of the sand.
- Open up your wedge to create bounce.
- Fast follow through. You need to accelerate your follow through when you’re hitting in the sand. Sand is heavier than grass, so more force is needed.
Shooting below 100 is possible and probable for any amateur that is willing to put in the necessary time and practice. Honing the fundamentals, choosing the correct equipment, and playing loose all contribute to a cleaner and more confident golf game. Good luck!