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how to break 80.


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My goal is by the end of the year to break 80. I've come very close so far having scores such as 81, 83, 80 and today another 83. I practice short game occasiolionally , but probably not enough. I know you guys don't know the way I play the game, but would you guess this is what is holding me back ?
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play a par 70 course...

Which, IMO, leads to my theory that breaking 80 is about GIR.  If you don't hit enough GIR, you're going to be fighting and scrapping to break 80.  My current struggles to consistently break 80 (I've

The two common stats for rounds under 80 are; seven greens in regulation 30 or less putts per round Do that and you will regularly break 80. How to reach these objectives is the

Here you go....... It's not about the great shots, it's about consistency and not 3 putting. All you have to do is hit all the par 5's in regulation, hit half the par 3's, and half the par 4's. With NO three putts, you just shot 79! It really is that easy. Now go do it! :-)
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You only need to improve by a couple of shots, so it potentially could come from any part of your game.  Where do you think you are weakest?  Short game could be the low hanging fruit if you haven`t been practicing it much...OTOH, if it is psychological, and you tighten up when you have a chance to break 80, try playing some shorter tees or an easier course and get more comfortable with low numbers.  You could also play a longer set of tees to work on your game and then move back to your regular set which may seem easy in comparision.

After not playing much golf and not breaking 80 for about 6 years, I got out regularly this summer and have broken 80 7-8 times with a low round of 73.  The key for me is to putt decently and avoid multiple bad swings that cost me 2 strokes each.

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It depends on your game.....considering your short game comments, I'm guessing that your putts and chips are not where you think they should be.....but, that might not be it.......what are your number of putts?  Are you fatting your chips?

How are you off the tee?  Are you hitting into trouble and losing strokes in hazards?  Or, are you hitting most fairways?

How is your iron play?  How are your GIR?  Are loose iron shots causing you penalty strokes?

Could it be course management?   A few poor choices at the wrong time can lead to extra strokes.

Lot of unknowns here, we really need to know your stats to get a good feel for what is missing.

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I find it hard to believe that you don't know what your weak point are. They are the key to lower scores...

I also have a best score of 81 and a bunch 83-85, so maybe you can learn from my weak spots. There are two major issues:

- making more putts from 3-6 yards;

- shooting more GIR's when pitching from 90-150 yards

Next year I will break 80 for sure.

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Finding your weak points is not necessarily easy unless you keep detailed stats over an extended time. I'm a good example of this. While I do break 80 once in a while, my weaknesses are kind of spread all through my game. When I have a yucky round, it is usually a couple bad drives, a couple skunky iron shots, a couple horrendous wedges, and a few three putts, and there you have it - an nice fat 88.

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1.) Keep the ball in play at all costs.

2.) Know your distances with all clubs. Not just your stock distances, but from the rough, from hardpan, and when amped up or worn down. Good to know when trying to maximize GIR.

3.) Forget about the pins unless your course has very large greens. Mine has small greens and I play better when there are no flags - happened twice this month.

A tee ball in play, a reasoble attempt at a GIR, and a decent lag putt makes the game almost easy.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

1.) Keep the ball in play at all costs.

Definitely.  This is my achilles heel.  If my goal was solely to shoot the best score I possibly could that day every time out, I would probably be best to never break out the driver.  Especially on courses with tight holes and trouble off the fairway.

Quote:

2.) Know your distances with all clubs. Not just your stock distances, but from the rough, from hardpan, and when amped up or worn down. Good to know when trying to maximize GIR.

This is a good tip that I need to apply to my own game.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

3.) Forget about the pins unless your course has very large greens. Mine has small greens and I play better when there are no flags - happened twice this month.

Was it because you played too early or too late in the day that the greenskeepers just didn't have them out there?  Or was it intentional?  (I have heard of clubs doing tournaments like this before and think it's a great idea.  I believe that just about everybody except scratch players would score better if there were no flags)

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

3.) Forget about the pins unless your course has very large greens. Mine has small greens and I play better when there are no flags - happened twice this month.

Was it because you played too early or too late in the day that the greenskeepers just didn't have them out there?  Or was it intentional?  (I have heard of clubs doing tournaments like this before and think it's a great idea.  I believe that just about everybody except scratch players would score better if there were no flags)

I played so late that the pins were pulled (lying on the side of the green) to keep the moose from walking on the green. The flags attract them.

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Don't dwell on it, and make sure that you play your game "for the day".    That means if you are not hitting things crisp, play more defensively.  If you are swinging well, play more aggressively.  I've scored some really good rounds and not been swinging well because I do small things like intentionally play safer shots or even aim right/left because I keep slicing/pulling the ball.

Sometimes the best birdies I've made are when I was forced to lay up on a par five, so i picked my distance and then had the shot I wanted.

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I know exactly how the OP feels.  Took me forever to actually break 80 and was always close.  It's frustrating.  Obviously you know your game, but I agree with many of the others: at all costs, keep the ball in play.  Cannot have any penalty strokes.  Biggest thing for me personally was also better course management.  Instead of taking a rip and getting on a par-5 in two (if I hit the perfect shot) lay up to a comfortable yardage.  Another thing was practicing my chipping.  Still not the greatest and won't always have tap-in's but I can now chip it close enough to have a reasonable shot at making the putt.  Amazing what a difference that makes when you don't duff a couple per round.  Also under the category of course management, and you hear this said on the PGA Tour all the time...miss in the right spots.  Now for me that means don't go at sucker pins and short-side yourself.  Hit the middle of the green and two putt.

It will happen.  I was starting to wonder myself and then it happened when I least expected it.  Second round of the day on a golf trip at a very difficult course.  It was hot as heck in the afternoon and I was worn out so maybe the expectations and pressure weren't there.  What's funny about it is even though I shot 77 I putted like absolute crap.  Had several chances at birdies and didn't make a single one.  Putt like I normally do I seriously could have shot even par or better.  See?  Never satisfied!

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Originally Posted by David in FL

It's not about the great shots, it's about consistency and not 3 putting. All you have to do is hit all the par 5's in regulation, hit half the par 3's, and half the par 4's. With NO three putts, you just shot 79!

Which, IMO, leads to my theory that breaking 80 is about GIR.  If you don't hit enough GIR, you're going to be fighting and scrapping to break 80.  My current struggles to consistently break 80 (I've shot 80 or below 4 times this season and in my entire life) leads me to this.

Breaking 80 once can be accomplished with a good/great short game, but doing it consistently is about having a consistent full swing, IMO.  Then, once you break into the high/mid-single digit handicap area, the short game becomes much more critical to staying there or improving.

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For me it's about execution and playing smart. What keeps me over 80 is not taking steps to avoid unforced errors. The driver that should have stayed in the bag instead of trying to eek out a few more yards on a tight fairway. The difficult 2nd shot in deep rough that needs to clear the trees and misses the green. The duffed wedge from a difficult lie that leaves a chip on the fringe. The resulting long putt that is harder than it should be because because of the previous mistake. It only takes a few mistakes to negate good play.  For me it starts in my head standing on the tee box. Make a mistake there and it tends to snowball. Getting into position to score well starts with the first short. I hit more GIR from the shot that was FIR. Taking the chip out of the equation leads to less putts etc.

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Record all your stokes per hole, i.e., where drives went (Straight, Right, Left); same with your fairway shots, number of sand traps you ended up in (if any), number of putts, etc. Build a data base to see what you need to work on, then work on it and track your progress. You may be surprised at what you find. I found I pulled a lot of drive to the left, which screwed up my approach shots. There was a correlation with drives pulled to the left and number of sand traps I ended up in, so I work on both. Try it you may find it interesting plus it allows you to remember each hole more specifically.

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Yes...I too am flirting with breaking 80 ...and I know that my main weakness is pitching-especially from 150 and in....I've started playing practice rounds by myself and when the course is not busy I will drop 2 or 3 balls and pitch them on the green....I will lay up just to get pitching practice and , of course pitch a bag or two of range balls as well.

It's getting more dependable and I hope to soon join the under 80 golfers of the world...I've shot 81 FOUR freakin' times!!!    :(

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