Break 100: The Formula
Have you ever wondered how to make easy work of breaking 100? Well, I have the formula for how you can do just that. The photo shows a 400-yard hole. You might take out the driver and bust it right down the middle and make easy work of hitting the green and having two putts for a par. You might. Of course, you might bust that driver deep into the trees and fuss around trying to pitch the ball out so that you can effectively restart the hole and scramble for a double bogey.
Notice that at the 200-yard mark, the golf course designer has given you the widest area to drive the ball into. No, the fairway isn’t any larger there, but you have more area between the trees that line the fairway. At 250 yards, area between the trees narrows considerably.
The fact is that many golfers who struggle to break 100 put themselves in position to do just that, struggle, that is. They always pull out the driver, which is more difficult to control than a 3 or 5 wood, regardless of the hole design. After a miss-fire, the rest of the hole is spent recovering.
On the Green in 1+Regulation
Here’s my strategy for you. I want you to pick your spots around the course with the goal of positioning yourself to get onto the putting surface in one stroke more than regulation. On a par 3, get the second shot on the green and 2 putt for bogey. On a par 4, hit the green with your third shot. And on a par 5, play your fourth shot similarly. This approach allows you to take much less risky shots and, if done correctly, could give you 18 straight par putts. Realize that if you 2-putt each hole, you’d shoot 90 on a par 72 course. But people, you gotta make one of ‘em don’t you? But wait, there’s more. You are going to have some shorter holes where you can hit the green in regulation. And you just might make a few pars: Uh oh, now were on our way to the mid-80’s!
Scrimmaging your game plan
Now, here’s the thing, I want you to practice. I want you to scrimmage-play imagined holes-at the range, driving with something that will get you somewhere around 180 – 200 yards off the tee. Yep, on a 400-yard hole, that would give you a 200-220 yard approach shot. Nope, you are not going to hit the green very often from that range, but we don’t need to. Just hit the next shot safely within 50 yards of the green, taking out of play greenside hazards. From there, pitch the ball onto the green and give yourself a chance at par. Let’s do the math: Shot 1: 400-200=200yards. Shot 2: 200-150=50yards. Get it? It’s like hitting 2 approach shots each hole. You will have to develop a reliable pitch game that can get you on the green from 100 yards and in, and you will have to master 2 putting from as far as 60 feet away from the cup, but I’m telling you, you can do it! Last season, I took 2 of my high school girls out and showed them how to break bogey golf with just a 7 iron, sand wedge, and putter. I wasn’t allowed to hit more than 150 yards with any shot. We played from the forward tees. I shot 5 under bogey golf for 9 holes and only hit one green in regulation-a short par 3. I was in play with the first shot: In position to wedge onto the green with my approach shots. Hit the green every time. And either one or 2 putted each green. Easy stuff! One last big deal: when hitting your “first approach,” don’t simply hit your shot as close to the green as you can, hit it to the easiest spot from which to pitch the ball.
Many golfers don’t play the position game the way I’m trying to describe. They just hit it, find it, and hit it again until they run out of balls or holes. Plot your way around the course and your scores very quickly.
Hit ‘em great!