Break 100: 5 Tips to Lower Your Scores
Breaking 100 may seem a distant dream no matter how close you get to the landmark barrier. Before we give you 5 tips on helping you do this, revisit the opening statement and how the language we use is a big problem. Landmark, barrier, and so many more words make shooting a score that is less than 100 seem so out of reach. Your mindset is crucial when it comes to improving your scores. Let’s get ready to Break 100!
1. Don’t add up your score until the end
Do you add up your scores as you are playing? Do you know exactly what your score is at any given point during the game? Have you had 3 holes left and you know exactly what score you need to break 100? This is a really bad idea – imagine you had a caddy and he told you that all you need on the last hole is a bogey to break 100! This puts undue pressure on you.
By focusing on the outcome, you won’t be able to focus on one shot at a time. So, next time you play, tell your playing partners not to tell you your score until you’ve finished. Make sure you only put the hole totals down and then work out your score at the end.
2. Allow for your bend
Changing your technique on the golf course is extremely difficult and a lot of times unnecessary. Of course, if you have a big slice, you’ll want to get rid of it. However, if you have a big fade and an occasional slice, then you could just simply allow for it. It’s okay to fade the ball – remember, ‘fades are fine, slices are sinister.’ So long as you’re not slicing every shot, then a fade/big fade will be repeatable and allow you to hit more fairways than trying to change your technique whilst playing. Leave the technique changes to the practice area.
3. Stick to your finish
Striking your irons well is a crucial part of creating consistency on the golf course. Just think – 1cm out on your strike can result in you missing the green which in turn puts your short game under pressure. Sticking to your finish and focusing on a well-balanced finish position, you will increase your chances of striking the ball well and create a lot more consistency with your accuracy and distance control.
4. Master the low chip
When playing chip shots around the green, we recommend playing the ball as low to the ground as possible. Putting off the green is absolutely fine and often the best option – a bad putt will end up closer than a bad chip.
The problem with playing a chip with a lofted club is: if you get the contact wrong, the result can be a long way from the flag. If you hit the ground before the ball with a sand wedge, the club will slow down quickly and leave the ball short. If you thin the shot, the trajectory will be a lot lower and too powerful as a result. Think – if you were to thin a 7 iron, the ball will go low and run a lot. If you hit a good 7 iron, then it will go low and run a lot. So, with a 7 iron, not only is it harder to hit a fat shot, but if you do thin it the shot will behave similarly to a good shot.
The trick is to land the ball just on the green as near to you as possible. By landing it on the green, you will get a consistent bounce. Next time, on the course, pick a landing spot just on the green and go for a lower lofted club.
5. Pendulum putting for less 3 putts
Before you read on, ask yourself this: how many 3-putts do you have per round? Your answer may surprise you. If it’s over 36, just imagine if you had 36 putts! That in itself could be good enough to break 100.
If we can get you hitting your first putt closer to the hole, you’ll have less 3-putts. The biggest problem we see is: golfers control the distance they hit putts by the effort level of the stroke. Often, the length of the backswing is the same for all putts – it’s just the effort level of the through-swing. By letting the length of your backstroke control the power level, you will start achieve a pendulum stroke. The best way to check this is to video your putting from the front view.
By working at a more pendulum-style stroke, you will start to rely on your natural instinct to judge distances on your putts.
We’ve been using these simple tips to help golfers break the 100 mark for the last 20 years, so if you think these would benefit you, then start working at them. Visit our full Break 100 coaching plan series for a structured programme that will get you breaking 100.