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Breaking 80?

Ronnie B

Having trouble breaking this barrier, 5 rounds in a span of a week and I have shot 80, 83, 82, 81, 81. WHY CAN I NOT BREAK IT?! Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 

77 Replies

  1. James E


    In those rounds did you finish poorly or did you finish strongly? That will help in understanding if nerves or getting ahead of yourself may be the issue. 

    You will break 80, it is just a matter of time. The less you think about breaking 80 the faster you will break 80. Please do not think "why can I not break it". Just think about the shot at hand, visualize your desired shot and execute that shot and then repeat. Stay focused on what you can control, the shot at hand. Thinking ahead will not help (and there is nothing you can do about future shots anyway). You have the skill to do it, just let your skill take over. Try not to think of score and just think shot and then total it up at the end. It sure sounds to me that you are going to break it very soon. The more you knock on the door then more you will be comfortable.

    Hope this helps somewhat. Keep us posted.  

  2. Cameron D

    Hey Ronnie,

    One of the quickest ways that I found to drop a shot here and there, without making any swing changes, was just through basic course management.  Analyse those past few rounds and see if there was hole that you had a big number on because you decided to "go for it" or took driver off the tee when you could have used a hybrid/iron to keep it in play.  Making these subtle changes will help you to eliminate bringing that double or triple bogey into play, and you should start to see your scores drop by a shot or two.

    Hope this helps and good luck!



  3. Keith M

    Guessing by your scores, I'm going to say you're probably a pretty darn good ball striker. 

    Are you losing a few strokes on/around the green?  One even mediocre chip can turn what was a decent birdie opportunity into a 25 footer that can result in a 3 putt and a double bogey. 

    Maybe a quick lesson with your club pro that focuses on chipping and putting will save those last few strokes.  Best of luck to you getting it under 80. 

  4. Hunter P

    Hi Ronnie,

    One thing I found that helped me break 80 was creating my own par. I mapped out the course and what I thought a proper score for each hole was, I narrowed it down to around 6 over par and tried to get my set score on each hole. Just my two cents and that what worked for me! Good Luck!

  5. Spudstarch

    Hi Ronnie,

    I'm floating around that same barrier. I've hit 79 maybe 3 times, but I really want to break 80 by a larger margin to make it feel a bit more valid.

    Here are the areas that I am working on.

    1) Drive farther to get into birdie range with a short iron

    2) Land my iron shots within 10 feet of the hole

    3) Chip to within 3 feet of the hole

    4) Drill my putting stroke to prevent sliced rolls which kill hard breaking putts

    5) Get comfortable sinking 6'-10' putts as those are my most common birdie opportunities.

    6) Build more stamina so I don't fall apart on the back 9 in.

    7) Become familiar with different types of grass and how they affect the ball (contact, spin, release, roll etc)

    8) Read the slope of the area around the green on the approach shots so I know how the ball react.

    9) Stop playing muni's where the greens don't roll true around the hole. (super frustrating seeing a 2' tap-in break 45 degrees inches before the hole.)

    I'm sure the list will go on the more I play.

  6. RON H

    Thanks for the question Ronnie, I too have not been able to break the 80 number my scores last week were 80 81 82 82 84 and a 90. I know don't ask me how that last one got in there. Thanks James good suggestions all, I'm going to write all those mental notes down and take them with me to the course this week and see how it goes. Thanks again for the help. RON
  7. Brian M

    Change your mindset. You're probably saying to yourself, "this is the round I'm going to do it." Instead, focus on making smooth solid swings and aggressive putts. Don't scorecard watch. Play solid and add it up at the end. 

  8. Curtis M

    Cameron nailed it.   For an easy couple strokes, better course management.   Find your "go to shot".   Mine is around 115.   Being said that, on the long holes that you cannot make in 2, lay up to your "go to shot" instead of going for the green and most likely missing.   So rather than pulling a 3 wood out trying to reach 230-240, take a short iron to get to your money shot, then stick it close.  Good luck!!

  9. Hotsauce

    The best advise I can give you is the oldest cliche in the book-  Take it one shot at a time.

    Instead of thinking, 'if I par this hole I'll shoot 79', think only about the shot you're about to take.  If you get too far ahead of yourself it's never good.  The day I shot my best round (75) I had no idea what my score was.  I was just playing and thinking about my process and each individual shot.

    If you're still struggling I would suggest working on your short game.  Getting those clutch up and downs, and making those 6 footers is the key.  You can also plug your stats into the My Game portion of this site and it'll break your game down and let you know what you're missing.

    Best of luck!

  10. James E


    You are welcome.

    You are close, you'll break 80. 

    Keep us up on how the scoring goes this week.

  11. andy r

    Hi Ronnie,

    I am in the same boat, cannot seem to get into the 70's.  Been very close quite a few times as you have , now my average around 83

    Usually once a round I have  two doubles and unless your making a four or five birdies those are the numbers  that keep you from breaking thru,

    In my case I am going just keep thinking Fairways and greens. I read somewhere recently to break 80 try and focus on hitting 12 greens in regulation supposedly will get you over the hump barring any of the true blow up holes.

    That is my goal for my next round - 12 greens and no 3 putts. 

    Fairway - green  12 times...... Hopefully that will get me there.

    Good luck and play well !

  12. James E

    I really like Curtis' advice about finding the goto shot and finding a yardage where you are highly confident of "getting it close". Mine is 100- 110 yards. Think of Zach Johnson at the Masters when he won and Steve Stricker. Look at TW over the past few weeks, how he got up and down a lot.

    Avoiding a big number like Curtis and Andy say really is key. There is really nothing wrong for playing for a bogie in order to stay "in the game".

    I also really like Andy's view. Fairways and greens. 12 times. No 3 putts. Even if a player would play for bogies on the other holes you'll break 80. Avoid big numbers, stay out of trouble, avoid 3 putts, hit the fairways and greens as often as possible. And practice your 5 footers.

    Imagine if you made every putt inside 5 feet, what would your score be? Imagine if you made every putt inside of 10 feet, what would your score be? Now this is taking it to another level but my point is, if you can putt you can break 90, 80 or even 70 if you are a good ball striker. Practice your putting inside 5 feet so they become nearly automatic.

    Love this advice, great stuff all.

  13. fred k


    all great advice.  i'll add this one: don't start counting strokes.  a friend of mine always does the "i have to par the last 3 holes to shoot..."  i think you get ahead of yourself and stop concentrating on the shot at hand.  play the hole and write down your score, but don't start adding up the scorecard until that last putt has dropped on 18.  good luck!

    - fred

  14. JPHB

    just keep playing, ignore your score (as much as you can), play your game and when you add them up one day you will have broken 80, and judging from these scores, you'll do it repeatedly. 

    Don't change anything, you're playing great golf, just take dead aim and go for it.

  15. RON H

    Thanks for the encouragement, seems like I get right on the cusp of the break when a 90 shows up and brings me down to earth. God you just got to love this game. I'll keep plugging and let you know (heck I may let everyone know) when I break 80 RON
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