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Bye Bye Ball

Arrrgghhh Will I ever break 80?!

12 posts in this topic

Title says it all really.  Another round today where I was closing in on a 79, 8 over par through 15 holes then just fell to pieces and ended up blobbing 17 and picking up my 2nd shot on 18 just through frustration.

I realise people will point out I should count myself lucky I'm shooting low 80's but it just seems that every single time I get close and seem on course to break the 80 I hit a bad shot or get a bad break. I'm getting more and more frustrated with it because I first shot an 80 well over a year ago now, and despite playing a lot over the summer, still haven't been able to get over that line.

How long did it take you guys to break 80 (those that have)?

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Patience grasshopper. It took me probably 12 years to break 80, although the first 8 were just playing beer golf. And like you, I remember a few times coming down the stretch being close and then choking before I broke through. I distinctly remember once after pounding my drive right down the middle of the shortish par 5 18th, my buddy says, "Hey dak, if you birdie this you will shoot a 79." Thanks Chuck, thanks a lot. I bogied it.

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You peeked at your scorecard. If you're playing badly you generally figure you'll blow past 80 anyway. If you're playing well, by the time you get to about 15, you realize it and triple 16. I spent nearly a summer trying to crack 80 and I focused on the scorecard and the scores for each hole and would ALWAYS mess up on those last few holes. I decided instead of writing the actual score for each hole- I would use a "-", "+1", "-1", etc... instead. Dash was even, +1=bogey, and so on. OR any method that kept the actual scores OFF the scorecard to keep it out of my mind. I used this method for breaking 80 and then the following Summer shot even par. Even now, if we're playing in a group, I will try to avoid being on the cart that is keeping score. Just to keep my mind off it. A few years ago, we were playing a nice course in the Poconos and I seemed to be playing pretty good- no big numbers, scrambling for a few pars, putting well, etc... About 16 one of my friends was looking at the card and said to me "Hey, Ray! you're shooting lights out... 1 under so far!" I nearly punched him right in the face. Doubled that hole, parred 17, and bogied 18... It isn't so much of an issue anymore since I'm rarely playing for anything or against anyone other than myself- but I never try to add up or "see how I'm doing so far" if I can help it. Like we mentioned about making those tricky putts in an earlier thread- to shoot that 80 you need to make an adjustment of about 6 inches... the 6 inches between your ears.
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Lol, yeah don't look at your card. It's the kiss of death for me.

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It'll happen when you allow it to happen and don't dwell on it.  You'll likely shoot a few strokes better on the day that it happens.  I thought it was much harder to break 90 than it was to break 80 but you just have to keep workin and then before you know it you'l expect to shoot in the 70's regularly.  You are too close right now for it not to happen...it's just a matter of time.

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Originally Posted by RayG

You peeked at your scorecard. If you're playing badly you generally figure you'll blow past 80 anyway. If you're playing well, by the time you get to about 15, you realize it and triple 16.

I agree with this completely.  I've done it once, and I was completely focused on each swing, not thinking about the result.  Standing on the 18th tee, I hit the drive of the day.  I get to my ball, center fairway, 9 iron out, and I looked at my card.  73.  Double bogey still gets me to 79, its in the bag.  Of course, I shank it behind a tree, had to punch out, and didn't get up and down.  Luckily I made the 5 footer for double bogey.

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It took me 3 years to break 80. Both times that it happened, I had no clue until the round was over. Don't watch your score, it gets you focused on the wrong things. You should be focused on hitting the shot in front of you as best as you can, not how many over par you are.
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When your as close as you are, it will happen on its own. The biggest thing is not trying to shoot 79. You can hinder your ability to play better. Telling yourself on 15 tee that you can make 3 bogeys and still break 80 is no way to play. Let 76 or even better be your first time. Good luck.
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Please read all the other posts in this thread above me AGAIN. They are all correct. To add to what they said, be prepared for the round AFTER you break 80 for your first time to be a very high scoring round. Very few of us do it back to back after the first time. Guess what? We are ALL saying that you will do it eventually. Work on chipping for 1-putts and let it happen on its own like it did for us.

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While I haven't broke 80 yet, I'm typically in the low 80s most of my rounds, I don't calculate my scorecard till after the round, just for that reason.  I don't want to be thinking too much through those last couple of holes, the game is already challenging enough, don't want to add extra pressure to the situation.

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It's tough, like you I always blow it. I'm almost always just playing 9 holes and frequently shoot 1-3 over but when I get the rare chance to play 18 and I'm close I just come apart it seems. The worst was 3 over with 3 to play and I thought, wow I'm on pace to shoot a 75 with a really easy par 5 coming up. Well missed the fairway, punched under a tree, lost my ball in light rough, walked back to the original spot punched out, think I took a triple.  (and promptly fell apart)

I also have distant memories of just needing to par out several times with a couple to play and hitting all time worst shots ever like 60 yard drive that caroms off a tree.

Anyway don't worry that was several years ago, ever since then I practice hitting balls almost daily and work on my short game constantly and well, still haven't broken 80 legitimately on 18 holes. :)   Oh well there's always next year!

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I started playing golf when I was around 8 years old and I ended breaking 80 for the first time when I was 14. A few suggestions that may help, first which I got from an article in Golf Magazine: break the round up into groups of holes instead of thinking of the overall score, for example break the round up into six groups of 3 holes each which will make it seem less daunting.

Second (again taken from other people much more knowledgeable about low scoring than me), do not be afraid to play a safe shot (I should take my own advice) in order to avoid a big number so instead of playing the 210 yard second shot over water to the par 4, just lay up and try to go up and down from 100 yards or so, worst case you make bogey but you may even make the putt for par. One of the most important distinctions IMO between someone who shoots under 80 regularly and someone who does not, is that people who shoot under 80 never hit two bad shots in a row, thus avoiding big numbers.

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