There are few experiences in golf that top the feeling of breaking 100 for the first time. There is something about getting below that triple-digit barrier for the first time that makes you feel like you are truly a golfer (we think everyone who plays and loves this game is “truly” a golfer – but the accomplishment of breaking 100 can’t be denied). Did you know that only 40% of golfers will ever break 100 in their lifetime?
Of course, breaking 100 is not easy. This is an extremely challenging game, and you are sure to feel some mounting pressure as you get toward the 18th hole with a chance to shoot 90-something for the first time. The topic of breaking 100 is a big one, and we can’t offer every last bit of advice in this article, but the points below are a great start.
Optimize Course Management
The path toward breaking 100 is paved with smart choices. If you can avoid making big errors that will lead to big numbers on the scorecard, you’ll be a lot closer to reaching your goal. Keep these course management keys in mind –
- When in doubt, lay-up. You don’t always have to lay-up when you are on the edge of being able to reach the green, but that should always be your default option. In other words, laying up should be the choice you make unless you are absolutely sure you can reach the target with ease. There is too much to lose by going for aggressive shots when you don’t actually have that much to gain.
- Put down the driver. You’ll still want to use your driver plenty during the average round, but it’s not the right choice on every tee (on most courses, at least). Identify the holes where using driver could get you in trouble and consider playing more conservatively to keep the ball in play.
- Ignore the pins. For a player trying to break 100 for the first time, consider completely ignoring the pins when hitting approach shots. Just aim for the middle of the green to give yourself maximum margin for error. This will help you hit more greens and you can work on your lag putting to get down in two as often as possible.
Pick the Right Tees
If you’ve never broken 100 on a regulation golf course, don’t step back to the tips – even if others in your group are doing so. Pick a set of tees that is reasonable for your skill level and work on developing your skills before taking on that bigger challenge.
Value Each Shot
Often, the goal of breaking 100 will become out of reach over a stretch of particularly poor play somewhere in the round. You might hit a few bad shots, get frustrated, and let a few more get away. The key is to get back on track as quickly as possible to limit the damage and keep your goal in sight. To do that, value each shot as its own challenge and don’t let the outcome of one shot impact the rest. If you can maintain your patience and keep a positive attitude, a good outcome is far more likely.