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Breaking 90?


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Im playing off 19 on my course par 71 so never have broken 90 yet!
I need to get down to 15 by september so i can play in the weekend comps during school term. Any tips?
I know this is very vague but anything to give my some consistent good rounds.
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Im playing off 19 on my course par 71 so never have broken 90 yet!

With my current low score being 92, I'm thinking about how I can break 90. My home course is a traditional-setup par-72 (4x3, 10x4, 4x5). I figure I can par the par-5s now and bogey everything else. Really, there are a few non-par5s I can par, and I might find myself with a double bogey or such at some point. But my plan has 3 strokes to spare, too.

Maybe that's what to do: plan to par your par-5s and bogey everything else; of course, accept a lower score if one comes your way. But don't risk going for a 5 in 2 if you can't do it, but lay up and hit that great wedge onto the green for GIR.
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If you think you are able to break 90 my advice is to be really focused from tee and stay away from trouble like OB, Hazard, Forest etc. If you suck at bunker-shots you should stay away from those too. And maybe even miss fairway/green in the rough rather than risking to find OB, Hazard etc.

I'm just saying that because I have shot over 90 once this year, and that was when I hadn't gotten any sleep the night before and couldn't focus on anything. So I ended up missing all my tee shots OB or whatever the hole had to offer. That's where I really lost my strokes. My short game was pretty much the same as when I shoot under 80. So that's what I believe anyways. Keep your ball in play.
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Im playing off 19 on my course par 71 so never have broken 90 yet!

I am in the exact same boat you are. I have shot a couple 91s but can't seem to get that number in the 80s. I feel like I am so close but can't seem to get there. Anyhow I'm rambling now, so I'll get to the point. I think most of the low handicappers are going to tell you it's all about the short game. I could not agree more. The way I see it is if my irons are WAYY off I might miss a green on an approach shot by 10 to 15 yards. If I can get up and down from there maybe 80-90% of the time I should be looking at a good score when its all said and done-- even if the up and down is for bogey. So my tip would be to practice chipping and putting constantly, and then when your done practice it some more. As for me, I am literally the world's worst putter so I am starting to think that that score in the 80s may not happen for me for a long LONG time.

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Dont think about getting that handicap or you are just going to fold under pressure. Have fun with a friend when you golf and dont count your score till the end, think positive, keep your drives on the fairway and PLAY CONSERVATIVELY.
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Dont think about getting that handicap or you are just going to fold under pressure. Have fun with a friend when you golf and dont count your score till the end, think positive, keep your drives on the fairway and PLAY CONSERVATIVELY.

I totally agree, about a month ago or longer I played with my Wife's friends Husband who is a Club Pro at a course up here in PA, he told me that unless you are playing with some important people never keep your score (I thought yeah right ok) he stated that when you are not worried about your score how much better you play, (no pressure)

so I took his advice and for the next several times playing I didn't keep my score.....he was right, when your not worried about your score you just hit the ball and play the game the way it is to be played (with fun, and with excitement).....
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If you want to break 90 do it the safe way. Avoid aiming at pins, aim at the center of the green (or to the left if you slice). Take a few irons/hyrids off the tee box, avoid risks and layup when needed. Dont do any shot that is outside your confidence interval and you will be breaking 90 in no time!
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Lots of good advice. Just started breaking 90 myself last year. Here's what I did:

-Hit an iron for all second shots on par 5's. I don't care how long you hit your drive or how long you hit your 3 wood off the deck, etc etc.
Even if I knew I couldn't reach a par 5 on the second shot with a 3 wood, I used to hit it anyway just to get as close to the green as possible.....boy is that stupid. Hit an iron to 100 yards and then you'll have a wedge into the green, you'll be amazed at how many birdie putts you'll have on par 5's.

-If you hit a bad tee shot on a hole and are in a terrible position for your 2nd shot, add 1 stroke to par for that hole, and that's what you are gunning for.
i.e. bad tee shot on a par 4....just say "okay this is a par 5 now, I've got 2 shots to get the ball to the green which will allow me a 2 putt for par." Which will really be a bogey but you get the idea...in that case for you it's as good as par. Maybe you hit a long putt for "birdie." This keeps you from trying to be a hero and trying to pull a shot out of your a$$.

-Stop getting fancy in greenside bunkers. Put the ball in the front of your stance, pick a spot in the sand an inch or so behind the ball and hammer that spot, get the ball on the green and 2 putt for your bogey....maybe you sink a long one for par.

-Take more club on virtually every iron shot outside of 125 yards. 90's / high 80's shooters like us don't hit every shot dead square, take that into consideration. When you start overshooting every green then you can club down.

-Before a round, do not practice anything but putting and maybe little chipping. No range balls, no beer in the bar, just putting.

Sounds like you are right on the verge of breaking 90, I bet if you do these things, next time you add up your scorecard, the final tally will begin with an "8".

Good luck!
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two things to drop at least 6 or 7 strokes:

1) Keep the ball in play. Probably what has helped my game out the most this year. Instead of trying to uncork a 300 yd drive off the tee, when you have been slicing all day, week, month etc... hit a three iron. Dont play any stupid shots you know you shouldn't be attempting. Just overall keep the ball in play, penalty strokes add up. This will drop your score 2-3 strokes a round and save you a little money as well.

2) Short game, short game short game. Eliminate three putts. I have been averaging 32-36 putts a round, right around 2 putts a hole. If you can eliminate three putts, youll drop another 2-3 strokes as well. Basic theory on this... don't be a hero. Chances are, your not going to sink that 90 footer, so instead of rocketing it by the hole, try and lag it to within 5 feet or so (wherever your comfortable).

Bonus and probably the most difficult to grasp. Make sure your chips from within 10 yrds of the green are not errant. You should be able to roll them down to an area where you feel you have a good chance of making the putt. This will eliminate a lot of bogeys, and quite possibly some doubles if you can get up and down.
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I am right at the doorstep. I have made so many swing changes this year that my friends tell me it looks different everytime I play with them. I am at a stage where I feel I have one stock swing and an option.
I have had a decent short game from the beginning. I feel a good score will happen before the end of the year. Waiting for that magic day... I guess that is what keeps every golfer going.
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I am right at the doorstep. I have made so many swing changes this year that my friends tell me it looks different everytime I play with them. I am at a stage where I feel I have one stock swing and an option.

If your short game is decent then you are already half way there. Just get some good course management and you will break it!

I can't even tell you the first time I broke 90, I probably wasnt even keeping score :) When I break 80 though, I will remember. :D
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I am right at the doorstep. I have made so many swing changes this year that my friends tell me it looks different everytime I play with them. I am at a stage where I feel I have one stock swing and an option.

Are you my long-lost twin? That sounds so familiar.

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for me it was realizing how many shots I threw away by topping balls and such. once i stopped doing that I shot in the 80's easily. Also if you dont top any balls, dont take many if any penalty strokes, and avoid 3 putting, breaking 90 is nothing. Hit your tee ball, if you can hit the green, if you cant punch out and then hit the green and take your chances with yoru par putt and at worst make bogey. If you missa green, make sure the next one gets on the green, no chilli dipping or flubbing shots around the green, you should never do that really unless you are trying to get cute with a very difficult shot. Just keep advancing the ball positively and no shanks/tops and youll be well on your way to mid/low 80's

edit: I saw someone else post an idea I forgot.

ALWAYS take more club on full shots and hit the ball almost always a little farther than you think you need to on your pitch shots/chips, Most high handicaps rarely flush the ball so the odds of you going long are pretty small, and your odds of hitting the green on a mishit go up dramatically with a longer club. Pace off yardages and stuff too, get exact numbers in your head dont just eyeball, it will help you out greatly in the long run. I honestly never see high handicaps hit the ball long, they are almost always painfully short and having to chip/pitch again and it ruins their scores. MAKE SURE you hit it hard enough to get it on the green. Also, for the love of god accelerate through your chips/pitch shots, take a shorter swing and swing briskly, like gary player said on his tips from the pros, you want to think of it like lighting a match, you need to have some acceleration through the shot.
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always know the place off the tee that will leave you dead. Play a shot that can't end up there. Have very specific targets. Make sure you hit tee shots that leave the best distances in. ie. We have two short par 4s on my home course, around 350-370. I hit a 3 iron off the tee. Why? Three iron leaves a gap or pitching wedge in, and never misses the fairway. Driver leaves less than a full lob wedge and it's easier to mess that up.

Aim for the middle of the greens, forget the pins. Become a great putter- practice your distance control on putts and practice 3-5 foot putts a few times per week. Do those until you make 25 in a row.

Become a good chipper. Prctice bunker shots. You'll not only break 90 but 80 too if you do those things with a purpose.
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Had a quad bogey after losing a ball on a par 5, a triple after going under bushes on 1 and another triple after getting up against the lip in a bunker.
Drives were going well, irons had the odd mis-hit,short game was great just those 3 bad holes.
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