Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.
Breaking 100 in golf is a huge milestone. In fact, a small percentage of golfers will legitimately break 100 each time they go out to play. Therefore, it’s pretty impressive when you can pull this off.
There is quite a bit of golf strategy involved in breaking 100. In fact, when you start to read through these strategies, you may be surprised by how much of this you have been missing.
Sometimes all it takes is one change in the way you approach a hole or think about your scoring to really see your average golf score start to drop.
How To Break 100 In Golf
To break 100 in golf, you must have some strategy in place from the tee, the fairway, and around the greens. This does not need to be complicated, and in fact, you will be better off keeping things simple.
However, there is some awareness here on the part of the golfer that needs to come into play. Let’s break down each of these categories so you can start breaking 100 in golf, not just once but on a consistent basis.
From The Tee
Tee shots help set up the hole for us.
If we hit a great tee shot, the overall chance of a good score is considerably higher. However, many golfers struggling to break 100 make many mistakes off a tee box.
The first one of these mistakes is not approaching the hole the proper way. From the tee box, you must plan what your shot will be.
This could be a stripe right down the center of the fairway, but you may also need to aim slightly left if you normally fade the ball. Play your typical shot but plan for it and aim properly.
In addition, you do NOT need to hit a driver from every tee box. So many golfers get hung up on the fact that the driver is the only club to use from the tee, and this is just not the case.
If you are confident with a hybrid or a fairway wood and the hole has lots of trouble, don’t be afraid to use this club.
The key is to avoid a tee shot that gets you into trouble; however, understanding what trouble will help you with this process. Trouble is not an extra chip shot to get to the green or hit a longer approach shot.
Trouble is when you have to take penalty shots, or your ball is so buried in the rough that you can barely see it. Trouble on the golf course leads to double bogeys, and this creates scores that go over 100.
All golfers should also create a pre shot routine for each of their tee shots that helps to ensure the same swing is repeated. The pre shot routine should include some mental and physical preparation.
This does not need to be a major process, something simple that allows you to get settled in for your golf swing and hit a solid shot.
The tee shot can be a great way to start out a hole, but you must also be able to adjust if the tee shot does not work out.
- Develop a pre shot routine to repeat each time
- Don’t be afraid to hit something other than the driver off the tee
- Play your normal ball flight
- Be smart about alignment
Most golfers that are right on the border of breaking 100 will try to do too much with their fairway shots. Players will get a bit too aggressive, and this can end up hurting your score.
If you are more than 150 yards out from the green, do you typically hit the green?
Chances are most players will say no, but they continue to try for it every time anyway. Golfers that want to break 100 will take advantage of those easy approach shots and be smart about the difficult ones.
Start looking at layup areas around the greens that would accept a shot that is a bit easier to hit. These areas should be away from sand traps and water hazards.
If you invest in a quality rangefinder or GPS, you will be able to learn about the distances you should be hitting to a perfect layup position.
For a golfer that has 180 yards into the green, it may make sense to hit a 130 yard shot to a safe location and then have a 50 yard pitch to the green. You will start to learn the shots that you feel most comfortable with and incorporate them into your game.
Start looking at the golf course as something that you have to tackle as opposed to something tackling you!
Don’t wait to get a 100 yard shot into the green. If you love that distance, create the 100 yard shot for yourself.
For fairway shots on a par 5 the layup distances are especially important to calculate and manage. In addition, it makes sense to start paying attention to all the trouble.
If a pin is tucked behind a bunker on the backside of the green, getting it to the front or middle will be just fine!
- Analyze all trouble around the green
- Decide if laying up is a better decision
- Try to consider green slope when approaching the green
- Choose a club you have full confidence in
- Invest in a rangefinder or GPS unit that gives you the proper distances to the hole
Chipping & Pitching
Chipping and pitching are where I would recommend investing most of my time if I wanted to break 100.
In fact, this is where you can invest your time if you want to break 110 or 90 as well.
Chipping and pitching can save the day on a bad hole and even help you score low on a hole that you have played smartly.
As we talked about with the approach shots, you won’t be able to hit every green in regulation. In addition, some greens you should not even try to hit in regulation as it is not worth the risk.
However, if you put yourself in a smart spot, your next shot can be on the green, and you may even one putt for a par.
Anytime you can make par as you are trying to break 100, you are getting yourself much closer to shooting lower scores.
With chipping and pitching, ensure you know how to hit high and low shots with your approach wedges. (50 vs. 52 degree wedge)
Chances are, you will need to have three or four wedges in your bag to be able to hit the different types of shots that you need around the greens.
I like to use a 56 degree wedge for better ball flight and a quick stop on the green; the pitching wedge and even nine iron are great for bump and run shots.
Many golfers that are trying to break 100 can get into a habit of using the same club and continues to try and hit pitches and chips.
Instead, try to expand the knowledge you have about the types of shots to hit around the green.
When you do this, your overall ability to score will be much better.
- Invest in more than one golf wedge in your bag (View 4 Types of Golf Wedges)
- Ensure you are working on several different types of shots
- Learn to hit both high and low shots
- Learn how to control distance with pitch and chip shots
- Spend the majority of your time practicing this part of the game
If you want to break 100 consistently, it’s best to avoid 3 putts at all costs. Three putting is most certainly what adds to the score, and it is truly unnecessary.
To make sure you don’t three putts, you will have to get good at both alignment and distance control. Using the best alignment sticks for golf can be helpful with this.
Practice putts from three feet so that you are comfortable getting to this range. Work on your putting grip and become really comfortable using your putter.
Once you know how to make a three foot putt, all you have to do is get your golf ball within that three foot circle.
Many golfers shooting higher than 100 are getting the ball only halfway to the hole or hitting it 7 feet past.
If you have a putting green available to practice on, try to set up a three foot circle around the hole.
You can even just put a few tees in to mark the area. Then start hitting putts into this circle from all around the green.
Sometimes just knowing you have a three foot circle to get the ball to as opposed to hitting the golf ball in the hole can be a mental release and make things considerably more manageable.
It’s much easier to hit a putt into a big bucket than it is to hit it into a hole.
Of course, there are times that even professionals three putts, and that will just happen.
However, too many players that shoot over 100 are taking three putts on every single green. The putting practice can also be done at home, as you should be able to do it on a large carpet as well.
Even if you take ten to fifteen minutes a day to work on your stroke, being more consistent and learning how to control these putts, your score will go down.
- Practice hitting long putts to a 3 foot circle around the hole
- Use alignment stick drills to improve
- Work on making three-foot putts with confidence
- Try to incorporate a few minutes of putting practice into each day
Hitting shots out of a bunker is one of the scariest things for golfers looking to break 100. The good news is that if you are just trying to break 100 and not break 80, your bunker shots don’t need to be pretty; they just need to get you out of the bunker.
The key here is to learn how to hit a bit of sand behind the ball to get the shot to launch into the air. Once you have figured out how to hit the sand, the chance of you getting the golf ball close to the hole is considerably higher.
Most amateur golfers make the mistake of hitting the ball only and trying to force it out of the trap. I can promise you this is not necessary, and it’s not a consistent way to get the ball out.
When you have a hard bunker shot in front of you, make sure you choose a club with plenty of lofts. Pick a spot just behind the ball to make contact with the sand and finish with the club up high.
Many players struggle with the bunker shot concept because there are not enough practice bunkers to work on the skill. If you can find an area that allows you to hit a few bunker shots, it could be very helpful.
If you want to ensure a bunker doesn’t lead to a double or triple bogey, learn how to get out in one swing, even if it’s not super close to the pin.
- Try to find a practice bunker to work on bunker shots
- Always get out in one shot; it doesn’t need to be close to the pin
- Take some sand when you hit the ball, so it doesn’t fly too far over the green
- Finish high and accelerate through the ball
Penalty shots need to be avoided if you want to break 100. Hitting the ball into the water (especially more than once) can likely be avoided. Many times when a golf ball gets hit into the water, it’s because of a poor decision a player made.
Luckily you can work on controlling this by learning how to manage the course a bit better. The great thing about breaking 100 is that you won’t need to hit the hero shots over water hazards just to try and get your score down.
Instead, you can play conservatively, layup, and then hit a chip over water to get to the green.
The key is to be smart about where the trouble is and then work on avoiding it. If you can get through a round without any wasted shots on penalties of hitting the ball out of bounds or in a hazard, it will certainly help your scoring.
In addition, make sure that you are smart about where you place the ball when you do get a penalty shot. Know the rules of the game so you can choose the best possible drop area that sets you up for a great shot.
Remember that taking an unplayable lie is sometimes the smartest choice if a ball is in a bad position. With an unplayable, you can move the ball to a proper position and then take another shot.
Of course, the unplayable lie costs a shot, but in some situations, this is the best and smartest choice to make.
- Make sure you know the rules and how they can help you
- Don’t forget an unplayable lie is an option
- Laying up to have a shorter shot over water hazards is a good idea at times
One of the most interesting things about the game of golf is the way that your mindset can impact your score. If you have the right mindset, it can be considerably easier to break 100.
The mindset that I believe works best for a golfer trying to break 100 is to attempt to make a bogey on each hole. Every time you can make a bogey, you are actually doing a bit better than you should be to break 100.
So many players work to make a par as that is what the game of golf is all about, but not everyone’s skill level is to that point.
Instead, try to work on making a bogey, which is one over par. This gives you an extra shot on each hole to get the ball into the hole.
If there are a few times you miss and you make a double, you still have a chance of breaking 100. Better yet, each time you can somehow par the hole, the chance of breaking 100 considerably.
Many golfers looking to break 100 will start by trying to par the par 3 holes. If you are playing from the correct tee box, these should not be all that far for you.
In addition, if you have practiced your chipping and lag, putting the chance of an easy par is certainly there for you.
Next, focus on trying to make a 6 on all of the par 5’s. Stop attempting a big fairway wood shot to get the ball close on your second swing. Hit a 7 iron from the middle of the fairway and put yourself in a great position.
This extra shot of playing the hole as a par 6 instead of a par 5 will change your mindset, eliminate some stress and make the game of golf that much more enjoyable.
If you bogey every hole on the course, you will shoot 90. This is pretty good golf and can be tough to imagine for many golfers looking to break 100.
However, if you can somehow learn to bogey nine of the holes, you can double bogey the other nine holes and still shoot 99.
Making nine bogeys and nine double bogeys may sound much more attainable than you ever thought. If you throw a par in there somewhere, you can break 100 by quite a bit or make up for a hole where you struggled.
- Work on making 9 bogeys and 9 double bogeys
- Try to change your mindset about par
- Focus on one hole at a time without getting overly worried about the total score
- Remember how important a par can be to saving your score
Last but not least, it is worth mentioning the equipment and how this impacts your chance of breaking 100. Golfers will tell you that you can’t buy a golf game, and that is certainly true, but it also doesn’t mean you should be playing with clubs that are not a good fit for your game.
The equipment you play with must match your swing speed, your height, and your ability level. Going for a custom fitting can be really helpful to determine which clubs could help you the most.
Read More: Can You Golf While Pregnant?
One thing to be aware of here is that more and more manufacturers are putting clubs on the market that are forgiving and easy to hit. If you still struggle to get iron shots up in the air, club options are likely to make this considerably easier on you.
The equipment you play with does not necessarily have to be brand new and top of the line to shoot in the 90s; it simply has to fit you well.
In addition, golfers should pay attention to the golf ball they are playing with. Many players with higher handicaps will choose the cheapest golf ball they can find.
The problem with many cheap golf balls is that they won’t spin much on the greens. The ball ends up rolling through the green with very low spin, and the short game shots are tough.
If you can afford it, find a good three-piece golf ball with a performance from the tee and the green. Although this won’t save you a ton of strokes, it can help improve awareness and make it easier for you to hit great shots.
- Get equipment that fits your game
- Choose the right golf ball
- Make sure that you are taking advantage of technology that can lower your scores
Can Anyone Break 100 In Golf?
Now that we have given you a recap of the best strategy to finally break that 100 mark, it’s worth addressing the elephant in the room. Can anyone break 100 in golf?
The answer is no.
There are some players that can go their entire lives without ever breaking 100, and many of them are fine with that. However, most golfers are determined to break that 100 mark, as golf can become much more enjoyable when the scoring is lower.
With the golfers I have coached through the years, I have seen that anyone that wanted to make a commitment to breaking 100 was able to do so. Players will find that if they invest the time in your golf game, the chance of breaking 100 is considerably higher.
Sometimes a golfer will be a brand new player and break 100 right away; other golfers will play for ten years before they see their scores start to drop.
In the end, if you follow our strategy and you work on the individual parts of your game that need attention, you can break 100 in golf.
Tips To Break 100 in Golf This Season
If this is your season to break 100 and you want to start working on it right away, here are a few tips that you can use to help you.
Of course, you don’t need to follow all of these at once, and many are covered in our main strategy, but sometimes all it takes is one little tip or mindset change for golfers to reach their scoring goals.
- Find a wedge you like and practice with it until it’s your favorite club in the bag
- Schedule time to work on your game, even if it is just two 30 minute sessions each week
- Practice putting at home
- Get your clubs regripped, so you have a firm connection
- Go for a golf fitting to make sure you are playing with equipment that works for you
- Start to read about the mental game and develop a strategy for the golf course
- Play golf with a rangefinder and be smart about the clubs you choose
- Try to play a few rounds of golf by yourself late in the day, and work on strategy
- Stop being scared of the bunker; just learn how to get out in one swing
- Play with the right golf ball
- Work on making a par on the par 3 holes
- Clean your golf clubs more often to get better results
The game of golf is hard. You can trust us that you are not the only one who struggles with this concept of how to break 100. It is difficult to be able to plan out 100 shots at the start of a round, so it makes sense to play each hole one swing at a time.
If you are smart about this, your chances of breaking 100 are considerably higher.
Start to slow things down and become a bit more analytical about the swings you are taking. Plan for a bogey on each hole, and your mindset will be better and more conducive to breaking 100.
There will be days when you just don’t have it in you to break 100, but there will also be times when your goal of breaking 100 will quickly shift to a goal of breaking 95!