Your Strategy For Breaking 90

If you can shoot 95 regularly, you have all the shots you need to break 90.

By re-orienting your mental approach to the game, and making a few adjustments to how you play, you can get there.

The first thing to do is start believing that you are an 80s golfer. We live up to the image we have of ourselves. Right now, your image is that the best you can do is 92. Time for a new image.

Second, play every shot with confidence. Never play a shot before you feel that it will come off as you intend. Reserve a few seconds in your pre-shot routine to allow that confidence to emerge.

If you can’t get that feeling, pick another shot or play the ball to a different spot.

Because half of good golf is wrapped up in how you use your mind, you’ll need a solid mental game to see the course clearly, choose the right shot, hit it with confidence, and stay composed throughout the round.

Play every hole with a plan you have worked out before tee off. Your days of hit-and-hope golf are over. You plan is, which combination of shots can you hit, and to where, to get the ball near or onto the green quickly?

A typical par-5 hole runs 485 yards. Say you put your drive in the fairway 225 yards out, leaving 260 yards to go. Why hit your fairway wood next, which is a difficult stroke to play? Try covering that distance with two 8-irons. Much easier.

If you’re playing a difficult par 4, maybe you could lay back and play it as a par 5 so the ball is always in play, making each stroke a comfortable shot instead of reaching for something you seldom produce.

On long par 3s, consider playing short of the hazards around the green, and chip on for your bogey, or a par if it works out. Avoid the double, because they’re easy to get on these holes.

Remember that you don’t have to play for par on every hole. Lots of bogeys and a few pars will do nicely.

Off the tee, unless you’re very good with your driver, leave it at home. To break 90 you have to get the ball to the green as fast as you can. Chasing down errant tee shots is not the way to do that.

When you get onto trouble, chip out, then continue down the fairway. That will cost you one stroke. Hitting your fairway metal because you’re 230 yards from the green, ignoring the fact that the ball is in calf-high weeds, will cost you two or three.

As for putting, the critical skill is approach putting. Many more three-putt greens come from leaving 30-foot putts too far from the hole than from missing short ones. (But learn to get those three- and four-footers in the hole, too.)

You no doubt miss a lot of greens, so hit your short shot to get the ball on the green inside two-putt distance. Just get it on the green in one shot, and close enough. Don’t ask anything more of your short game than that.

Another mental skill: it’s time to become a forgetter. Forget about the bad shot you just hit. Forget about the bad scores you made on prior holes. Hanging on to them makes you think they have ruined your chance to shoot a good score.

They haven’t.

You’re going to make mistakes and have bad holes. Just don’t think that you can’t make any mistakes, or that making one or two sinks the round.

One thought on “Your Strategy For Breaking 90”

  1. The best way to keep 7s, 8s, and 9s off of your score card is to always play the safest possible shot. This could mean laying up on a long par 4, never going for the green in 2 on a dangerous par 5, or always shooting for the middle of the green on your approach. If you always play the safest shot possible your odds of blowing up decrease dramatically.

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