Breaking 80 Consistently On the Golf Course

There are many different strategies for breaking the various milestones in golf. The one I want to talk about today is breaking 80 consistently. I chose this benchmark because it fits my game for the start of my 2023 season. I always want to break 80 when playing any golf course. It is my target score that helps me develop my course management strategy. To break 80 consistently, there are several aspects of my game that I need hone. My process is fairly straight forward as it was developed over years of practice.

To Break 80, I have six aspects of my game that I have developed that usually assure a lower score. Of course, like all players, I do have games where I do not perform to expectations resulting in a higher score, but we will not talk about those. ūüėČ That happens and I do not sweat the small stuff. To consistently break 80, I need to do the following:

  1. Practice Putting
  2. Work on your wedges for all distances
  3. Practice around the green (within 25 yards) including out of bunkers
  4. Aim to the middle of the green side of the pin
  5. Start swinging all clubs under control. This will vary between clubs
  6. Work on course management

As you can see, my focus is from the pin outwards. To truly lower my score and sustain this level of excellence, my short game has to be at the forefront of how I play golf. Many players overlook the strokes lost around the green. Amateurs think that hitting the ball long to get the ball close to the green is where strokes are saved and in some cases this is true. However, chipping and putting account for a third of our score during a normal round. Therefore, to break 80 consistently, our short game must be the focus.

“We¬†use the phrase Greens in Regulation (GIR) to describe the number of times a golfer is on a par 3 in one shot, a par 4 in two shots and a par 5 in three or less shots. But let‚Äôs flip that stat to¬†‚ÄúGreens¬†Missed¬†in Regulation‚ÄĚ (GMR).¬†The scratch (zero handicap) golfer misses seven to eight greens a round, the 85 shooter misses 14 to 15 greens and the 100 shooter misses all the greens on average.”

“That is why short shots constitute 60 to 65 percent of the¬†game (putting alone is 40 percent). So the 85 shooter will take roughly 50 to 55¬†short shots a round.¬†Yet 90 percent of the¬†requests I get are for full swing lessons.¬†In other words, 10 percent of golfers want lessons¬†on the¬†shots they play 65 percent of the time and 90 percent of golfers want lessons on shots they play 35 percent of the time.¬†Go to a driving range or any practice facility in the country.¬†If you see 20 golfers practicing at that facility, I‚Äôm betting that 17 or 18 will be hitting balls, and maybe two or three will be chipping or¬†putting.”¬†

If you are still not convinced, have a look at what Mark Crossfield has to say:

The percentage of golfers who consistently break 80 varies. I read as low as 2% and as high as 21%; personally somewhere in between is likely the actual number. It is difficult to know for sure because of the poor ability to collect accurate stats. Regardless, there are much fewer golfers breaking 80 than many suspect. I know I consistently break 80, but have been known to shoot higher depending on many factors.

Regardless of where your score stands, developing a strong short game is key to lower golf scores. I have espoused this for years: start at the pin and work on your game outwards. And if you are ever in doubt on how to approach this seemingly daunting task, seek your local professional for advice and/or lessons.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links…!


4 thoughts on “Breaking 80 Consistently On the Golf Course

  1. I’m sure that stat is only about 2% of golfers ever break 80 rather than consistently do it. Not many put in the time and fewer still ever make it.

    Other than putting in our practice, reading your articlesūüėČ and watching Crossfields video’s, there is one thing you don’t discuss I assume because of where you live but here there is a issue that can keep you from breaking 80 ever and certainly consistently that comes with the territory and that’s playing too many courses.

    Stick with one if you want to lower your scores and be more consistent about it.

    Here’s a story for you: I think I mentioned my Shot Scope watch died on my while still under warrantee. I contacted them and they gave me pretty good customer service. They promised a new watch would be shipped and I’d get an email so I could track it. That didn’t happen. It came US post. Still, it got here in 3-4 days. But it wasn’t alone. They sent me two. So earlier I had to send them another email to let them know. lol I found it a little disheartening not having it for a few days. I never used them in the past, but once I did, I felt lost without know front back and middle distances.

    Liked by 1 person

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