When you're new to golf, it can be frustrating to learn that rarely do two roughly similar golf swings have the same outcome - and two separate rounds just days apart can pan out very differently. That sort of variability can make breaking 100 seem like a bit of a pipe dream.
In reality, shooting a score in the 90s is well within every golfer's reach, but we often make things more complicated than they need to be. If you develop a sound strategy and leave your pride in the car park, you can - and you WILL - break 100.
Here's a collection of 10 tips to help you do just that.
1) Arrive relaxed at the first tee
You can almost guarantee that if you're riddled with tension as you step up to your first tee shot, you're in for a tough day ahead - and you can forget breaking 100.
Arrive at the golf course in good time to hit a few balls at the range, visit the short play area, and leave yourself time to roll some putts on the practice green.
Now step on to the first tee-box, revel in the good shots, and laugh off the bad ones. Whatever happens, ensure you enjoy 18 holes surrounded by nature and in the great company of your buddies.
2) Ignore Par
Obsessing over par and how many you manage during a single round is counter-productive when trying to break 100. On a par-72 course, if you were to shoot nine bogeys and nine double bogeys, that would see you signing for 99.
A strategy to consider: forget the course's par for each hole. Instead, consult the Digital Scorecard on your Hole19 App and check out the holes with stroke index 1-9. Add two shots to their regulation par, and that's YOUR par.
Add one shot to the holes with a stroke index of 10-18.
You should walk off many more greens with a spring in your step as you reach your 'par' on a more regular basis - and you'll gain some much-needed perspective if you do post a high number.
3) Ignore the flag
If you're a golfer looking to break 100 for the first time, you will do well to avoid aiming for the pin - particularly on holes with danger lurking.
It's rare to find a flag located in the safest spot on the green. Instead, there will be varying degrees of risk/reward attached to going for the flag, and when trying to learn to plot your way around a golf course in under 100, risk avoidance is paramount.
More often than not, you should be aiming for the centre of the green; however, if there's trouble left or right, take this into account and adjust your target line accordingly.
Similarly, if there's trouble short, take an extra club.
4) Know your miss
The more you can keep the ball in the short stuff, the greater your chances of finally breaking 100. To this end, it's essential to understand your miss and adapt your starting line accordingly.
Every golfer on the planet has a bad shot - even Tiger Woods in his prime. The key to breaking 100 lies not in avoiding mishits altogether, but rather in your ability to prevent that poor shot from leading to a big number.
That's where knowing your primary miss comes in, and your Hole19 app is on hand to help. For example, you can click on your performance icon to delve into your driving accuracy statistics and see whether you lose more of your tee shots to the left or right.
You can now potentially eliminate one half of the golf course and choose your target line with greater confidence.
5) Have a 'go-to' club off the tee
When searching for as many fairways as possible, there's no need to be hitting driver off every par-4 and par-5 tee box. Unless you're in the minority of high-handicappers who can hit their big stick straight, the prudent play would be to grab your most reliable club.
Of course, if you do reach a hole with a wide fairway and little trouble, then perhaps the driver can make a fleeting appearance. Even if you manage to nail one down the centre of the fairway, it pays to demonstrate restraint by returning to your reliable club on the next hole.
6) No hero shots
When you inevitably find yourself blocked out with no clear shot to the green, put all thoughts of swinging one around the trees out of your head.
If you're going to avoid triples, the immediate thought should be to get it back to the fairway immediately. Advance the ball as far forward as possible, using your most reliable club in the safest manner.
It also pays to understand how to play a punch shot out of the trees. As a general rule of thumb, you'll grab a lower-lofted club, place your weight forward, ball back in your stance and abbreviate the follow-through.
We aren't looking for anything special. Get it back in play, ideally with a clear shot to the green.
7) Chip low to go low
When we find ourselves close to the green, it can be tempting to lift a lofted club and aim for a landing zone close to the flag. After all, the pros make it look so effortless.
For amateur golfers seeking to break 100 for the first time, it's a risky play. It's a high-tariff golf shot that requires a high skill level, and it's challenging to execute on-demand.
A better approach is to use a lower-lofted club, such as a short iron, pick a landing zone closer to you, and allow the ball to roll out. You'll likely find that the result is more predictable - even if the strike isn't as clean as you would like.
8) Learn to lag putt
When you're trying to break 100, the key when you're on the greens is limiting three-putts and avoiding blow-up four-putts. With that in mind, almost every first putt - irrespective of distance - should be viewed as a lag putt.
Get the ball close to the hole and make your two-putt. If the first putt drops, it's a bonus.
9) Improve your course management
It's incredible how many stokes can be saved if we can think a good game. You don't want to be giving away cheap shots by making silly mental errors.
The night before you tee it up, formulate a plan of attack by previewing the course on your app. With Course Preview, you will see the layout and distances of any golf course without needing to start a round.
You should also consult the hole layout on every tee box to remind yourself of the key hazards before deciding which club to hit.
10) Play your own game
Pride and ego are scorecard killers and have no place in our strategy to break 100. Don't try to keep up with your more accomplished playing partners off the tee. Knowing your own game and learning to play to your strengths will be more beneficial.
Adopting a patient approach early on will allow you to settle and help lay the foundations for success as you close out your round.