Have you been trying to break 90 for a while now? It might feel like a lonely place, but don't worry, plenty of golfers are in the same boat! According to the National Golf Foundation data, only 26% of all golfers can shoot in the 80s consistently in a full 18-hole round.
If you're still trying to break 90, or if you just want to do it more often, we have some tips to help you make it happen! Check out our ten point plan to help you go sub-90 with ease.
Don't Neglect Your Warm Up
So let’s talk warm up. You’ve heard it said a million times before, but before any round of golf it’s generally a good idea to loosen up a little. If your sole aim for the day is to go as low as possible, it becomes a must.
Before hitting any balls, take 5 minutes to stretch out those muscles to help you swing freely and avoid any injuries. Then take 20-25 minutes to hit a few balls with each club in your bag at the range before rolling a few putts on the practice green.
No need to go overboard, but that half-hour of practice will give you the extra confidence you need to start your round off strong!
Select a Reliable Driving Club
Find a golf club to use from the tee which gets you into the short grass and away from trouble consistently. For some, it might be driver. For others, it could be a hybrid, or maybe even an iron. Distance would be great, but accuracy is king - and with the right club, you'll be be in better shape to find the fairway more often than not.
The confidence you’ll gain from finding more fairways will build the foundation for a solid round. If you opt for a shorter club and turn a par-4 into a three-shotter to the green, no dramas.
All you need is 17 bogeys and one par to break 90 - easy, right?
Employ Your Pre-Shot Routine
Now you've chosen your driving club, step up to your first tee shot with confidence. You'll feel those first-tee nerves, sure, but that’s a good thing - the world's best golfers experience them too!
The key is to stay confident and employ your pre-shot routine as you would on any other hole. Forget about 'swinging out of your shoes' and just focus on making a smooth, controlled golf swing - that gives you the best chance of hitting it solid.
Now you're on your way. Let the games begin.
Use the Par-5 Strategy
Using this strategy, as the title suggests, you view every hole as a par-5. If you shoot a double bogey on a par-3, you're even par for the hole. If you score bogey or better, you have a buffer to take to trickier holes throughout the remainder of the round
All you need to do is finish -1 after treating every hole as a par-5, and you've broken 90! No stress, no worries - just play your game and you'll be golden.
This approach trains you to turn your back on golf shots you've no business taking on - the miracle shot, if you will - and encourages more conservative golf.
Just because you have hit the green on a long par-4 from 220 yards in the past doesn't mean you should be going for it this time. To break 90, you'll need to play the percentages, so don't be afraid to take the safe route from time to time.
As you walk off 18, you'll be glad you did!
Take Your Medicine
If you can focus on getting the ball back in play above all else, you'll limit the number of times you're scrambling to rescue 'your par'. Should you find yourself in the rough and blocked out, let’s not make a bad situation worse - the sensible play is usually the smartest one.
Make sure you can hit a basic punch shot when you need to escape trouble and get it back in the fairway. Don't try to be a hero - it's rarely worth it. Just shake off the bad shot, get it back in play and limit the damage.
Play Your Shape
In an ideal world, we'd all be able to hit the ball wherever we want, whenever we want. But let's face it, most of us are gonna hit it right more than left, or left more than right.
One of the keys to playing good golf - embrace your shot shape! If you know you slice to the right, aim down the left side of the fairway and let the ball come round and find the short grass.
Just watch out - every now and then you might surprise yourself and hit it dead straight! And it’ll be when you least expect it.
Chip Low to Go Low
When you're close to the green, don't be tempted to go for a flashy shot with a lofted club; that's not gonna help you break 90. Instead, switch to a lower-lofted club like a short iron and pick a landing zone closer to you. That way, you'll get a more predictable strike and a better outcome.
If you're not used to the bump-and-run style chip shot, do some practice before you hit the course and get a feel for how much each club rolls out.
Trust us, it's a real shot-saver.
Get the Speed of the Greens
When you find a green-in-regulation, you'll often be left with a lengthy putt, so a big part of your success in breaking 90 is all about avoiding those dreaded three-putts. Before you play, take 10-15 minutes to practice your putting stroke on the green and get a feel for the speed on lag putts.
It's all about pace control - don't worry too much about the line. If you can get the ball to die close to the hole with a degree of regularity and walk away with a two-putt, you'll be primed for a good day on the greens.
We've got a couple of drills to help you nail your pace control.
Play with Better Players
Here's a tip that's pretty simple, but it can make a huge difference: if you wanna play like a low-handicap golfer, you gotta hang with low-handicap golfers.
Watching how someone who regularly shoots in the 80s handles their round can be a great way to pick up tips on course management, shot selection, and maybe even a few swing secrets. Get playing with your best golf buds more often, and it could really help take your game up a notch.
Consider Golf Lessons
If you've been giving these tips a shot and still can't seem to break 90, why not grab some one-on-one golf lessons?
Sure, you can break 100 without totally nailing your golf swing, but if you want to get closer to breaking 90, you need to be pretty close to your A-game ms! If you can't seem to get it together, check in with your local golf pro. They can help you get rid of any bad habits you've picked up and give you the lowdown on your mistakes.
With their help, you can get your game on track and start shooting some super low scores!