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Breaking 85

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Please tell us all your experiences in breaking 85, or what you are planning on doing? Of course reading LSW is a good idea, but I am interested in specifics.

This seems to be a more difficult barrier to break than 90 because it requires you to par at least two holes on a typical course.

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To break 85 for me required extra work on my short game. I found that when I scored in the  85-80 range, putting was a big deal. Breaking 80 consistently required a better long game, as well as a good short game.

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Please tell us all your experiences in breaking 85, or what you are planning on doing? Of course reading LSW is a good idea, but I am interested in specifics.

This seems to be a more difficult barrier to break than 90 because it requires you to par at least two holes on a typical course.

Avoid making dumb mistakes (strategy-wise), avoid hero recovery shots, take your medicine, and do your best to avoid "blow-up" holes.  You are perfectly capable of getting around a course with few (maybe even zero) holes worse than bogey.

Keep the triples and worse off the card, the doubles to a minimum, and sprinkle in 5 or 6 pars, and there you go. :dance:

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Avoid making dumb mistakes (strategy-wise), avoid hero recovery shots, take your medicine, and do your best to avoid "blow-up" holes.  You are perfectly capable of getting around a course with few (maybe even zero) holes worse than bogey.

Keep the triples and worse off the card, the doubles to a minimum, and sprinkle in 5 or 6 pars, and there you go.


Well, when you put it that way. No problem. :beer:

Seriously, what kinds of things did you do to break 85? It seems like this is the crossing over point from bogey golf to sub-bogey golf. 16-18 down to 13 strokes seems like a lot of strokes. You're making 3 to 5 more pars every round rather than being satisfied with an extra shot on every hole.

Did you try playing rounds with irons only? Or something like that?

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Well, when you put it that way. No problem.

Seriously, what kinds of things did you do to break 85? It seems like this is the crossing over point from bogey golf to sub-bogey golf. 16-18 down to 13 strokes seems like a lot of strokes. You're making 3 to 5 more pars every round rather than being satisfied with an extra shot on every hole.

Did you try playing rounds with irons only? Or something like that?

Pitching and putting is big. When you hit a GIR it needs to be par at worst. When you miss off the side of the green you need to get up and down a lot.

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It started happening regularly for me because I a) started taking lessons and b) took less chances on the course that probably would have otherwise led to a bad hole. Pay particular attention to the par 5's, these are your best chances for par as a higher handicap golfer. The mistakes I see people make on the course are not being smart on par 5's and just being flat out careless on short par 4's. Closer is always better but closer and in play is critical. Even now when I know I need some pars to keep the score to my expectation I will back it down a bit if need be.

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Understanding your own limits and limiting the two way miss.

Ding ding, we have a winner. Just avoid big numbers. Don't try low % shots and aim for middle of green no matter where the pin is

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Greens in regulation are important, having missed near the green requires an ip and down and mostly no double bogies.
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Others have already said it, but the short game is hugely important. Every bit as important as pitching, for me, is lag putting. You're getting better, you will start hitting more greens in regulation, but you may find that this results in a lot more really long putts than you might have had when you had to make more pitch shots to finally get on the green. I seldom see people really practicing lags. As also said already, try to avoid hero shots to make up for having just made a poor shot. One of the best bits of advice I have ever read probably came from someone on this site, so my apologies to the originator if I paraphrase: when you find yourself making a shot from trouble, make sure your NEXT shot will NOT be from trouble! Beyond that, you know your game, work on any other specific issues you may need to. There is always something, that's golf.
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Well, when you put it that way. No problem.

Seriously, what kinds of things did you do to break 85? It seems like this is the crossing over point from bogey golf to sub-bogey golf. 16-18 down to 13 strokes seems like a lot of strokes. You're making 3 to 5 more pars every round rather than being satisfied with an extra shot on every hole.

Did you try playing rounds with irons only? Or something like that?

You already know this, but there is no magic elixir to break any milestone number.  Obviously, practicing your swing (and putting and pitching) is a given to improve from any level to any other level, so I don't speak to that.  What I assume you mean when you ask questions like this is 'What other things, besides practicing and getting better, can you do to make the jump?"

So my answer is probably exactly the same no matter what milestone you are talking about because other than practicing to get better, the only thing that can help you is playing smart and not making silly mistakes.

Usually, when I look back on a round and kick myself over something, it's a preventable double or triple.  I got cute and tried to slice a ball out of the trees onto the green and instead put it in the other trees.  Or I try to get a bunker shot close to a tight pin and forget to get it out of the bunker.  And the chances of me even saving a shot in those situations was always slim.  If I just chipped out to 100 yards and wedged it on, I could've walked away with a bogey, maybe even par.  If I just made sure to get the ball out of the bunker and onto the green, again, a bogey would be easy.

And, oh yeah, stay away from penalty strokes too!!

Hey, look what I found: http://thesandtrap.com/t/73620/how-do-you-get-into-the-low-80s-from-roughly-the-high-80s-and-low-90s/0_30#post_970575 :beer:

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Quote:

Hey, look what I found: http://thesandtrap.com/t/73620/how-do-you-get-into-the-low-80s-from-roughly-the-high-80s-and-low-90s/0_30#post_970575

Yeah, I was just trying to re-address this. :beer:

The main thing is that more experience on the course is required to really understand the things needed to get better.

I am just hoping to elicit experiences from everyone who has done it or is trying to do it.

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I seem to be having trouble breaking 85 this year. My observations are that I'm first and foremost hitting fewer greens. In addition, my short game is not doing so well resulting in a lot of bogeys. Most recently, I seem to have my cranial-rectumitis and making a lot of stupid mistakes. When I correct these things, I will be back under 85 and maybe under 80.

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I seem to be having trouble breaking 85 this year. My observations are that I'm first and foremost hitting fewer greens. In addition, my short game is not doing so well resulting in a lot of bogeys. Most recently, I seem to have my cranial-rectumitis and making a lot of stupid mistakes. When I correct these things, I will be back under 85 and maybe under 80.

Too bad we can't get a prescription for this? :-$

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Too bad we can't get a prescription for this?


I tried "Aiming fluid", but it doesn't help. ;-)

The prescription for me is to get on the golf course more.

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I tried "Aiming fluid", but it doesn't help.

The prescription for me is to get on the golf course more.

Not just for you, apparently.

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I've backtracked this year to upper 80s golf, and for me the difference is getting off the tee. Last year, I was more consistently hitting fairways and giving myself a shot at GIR/nGIR. This year, I've hardly had much chance to play, but when I have, I've topped too many, sliced too many, hooked too many. Wasted shots off the tee that occasionally compound into blow-up holes. I have kept terrible stats this year compared to last year, but that's how I feel I'm playing- I think my feel is real :). Once I can get my improved swing from the lessons working on the course, I'm thinking low 80s will be my new norm. Damn, just jinked it.
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I'm on the cusp of breaking 90, so take this for what's it's worth but I don't think you can score low 80's without consistently striking drives and irons. If you can consistently hit any club at least 75% of it's expected distance and within a decent degree of straight then you just have to make solid chips from nGIR and avoid really dumb strategies. But if you're chunking stuff 50 yds a couple times, blading a couple more those add up quickly. And especially so if you can't get up and down in 2, which doesn't seem like a reliable expectation to me when you're shooting mid-80s.

I was +5 yesterday going into 9, hit my drive left into tall grass and rather than taking my medicine like someone on here said earlier, I hacked out in 4. Then I was pissed and dumped a 5W into the lake for a 10. So a 42 (bogey) turned into a 45 in just 1 freaking hole because of stupidity!

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