How to Break 80 In Golf: The Dummies Guide

Are you going for the infamous break of 80?

Well, it is a task much easier said than done, but today, we’ll be offering you a guide on how you can hit this landmark with ease.

There are quite a few factors that will affect this, which we’ll dive into more a bit later.

For now, let’s discuss how the course itself is a factor into whether you will be breaking 80 on the course or not.

The percentage of golfers that break 80 is just about 2 percent. The number is intimidating, but certainly not impossible.

This ultimate breaking 80 golf plan will analyze what it takes to accomplish the goal, as well as specific mechanics that will help you along the way.

How Difficult is it?

Before we dive into breaking down all the factors of how to hit under 80, let’s discuss just how difficult the challenge is.

For starters, there are quite a bit of rumor that circle around breaking 80, such as needing all birdies, hitting long putts, playing in the fairway on most hits, and more.

The truth is, near-perfect rounds are not needed to accomplish this feat. Here are the real things you’ll need to do in order to be successful in hitting under 80.

  • No major mistakes (just a few at max)
  • Play into your strengths
  • Making sure you hit green consistently
  • Have tee shots always in play

With that little introduction into the truth about hitting 80, let’s dive into some factors and how you can implement them to structure around your game.

Course

The course itself plays a huge factor in the score. From the terrain to weather, it all plays into just how successful your play will be on that particular course.

It should be something you heavily consider.

To see if breaking 80 on the course is a difficult challenge, look at the average scores that are played on the course and determine that from there.

This shouldn’t stop you from playing more difficult courses though, as it won’t be impossible, and adds another element of difficulty to the challenge.

If you are craving that feeling of just breaking 80 no matter what though, it may be best to find and play on an easier course. If you are new to golf as well, I’d recommend this path anyway.

Pars Set the Bar

The pars on the course are also a factor in determining just how difficult hitting 80 will be.

Par ties in with both difficulty and yardage of the course, determining how many strokes it should take the player to reach the hole.

In determining just how difficult the pars are on a course, looking at averages and distances are your best bet.

For playing into pars, you’ll want to gain as much distance on the green as possible in the fewest number of strokes possible.

This video below does a fantastic job of explaining how to keep the ball in front of you and stop it typically on one bounce.

This is crucial as you’ll need to learn how to constantly control your hits to keep them straight and on the green.

With maximizing your distance and limiting strokes, you’ll gain quick ground and allow yourself a bit more cushion for the short game, which can always be tricky.

Playing Your Strengths

Realizing what you are best at will be a crucial element in breaking 80.

Although it is important to learn and become good at all areas of the game, it takes quite a bit of time to evolve in the world of golf.

For example, if you have a great short game but aren’t great on your distance, your focus point should be getting to that area as quick as possible.

If reversed, your focus should be on positioning the ball where you feel will be easiest to work within the short game.

So, whether you are an animal at smacking the ball down the fairway or a putting expert, make sure you are setting yourself up for success in the strong areas of your game.

At Least Half of Hits on Fairway/Green

In order to break 80, you’ll need to keep at least half of your hits within regulation. A key to this will be consistency. Here are some tips that will help you find the fairway and green most of the time.

  • Create a rhythm- With a rhythm you’ll have more power and most importantly, create consistency.
  • Survey the land- Make sure your eyes scan the area and where you are trying to land the ball.
  • Tightening your swing- A long, wild swing will create slower ball speed and overall, reduce your accuracy. Tighten up your swing with a shorter backswing.

Here is a great video that explains how to create consistency a bit more in-depth:

Keeping the ball inside the playable area from the tee is a key ingredient to breaking 80. If you are able to do this, you should find yourself with a lot more wiggle room than once before.

After you’ve minimized the number of mistakes you make it hit the ball out of regulation, the next focus should be your aim.

Here’s an article that I covered about “Swing Tempo“, it might help you improve your swing tempo.

Direction

Deciding where to hit the ball is much easier said than done.

There are endless possibilities on where to hit the ball, and each hit comes with its own set of pros and cons. There are many factors to include when directing your hit.

Some of these factors include:

  • Speed
  • Height
  • Spin

For direction, you’ll want to be able to control the ball from the start. Meaning, right off the tee, you should have a grasp on where the ball is going, and how far it is going to travel.

Ultimately, learning where to strike the ball itself will also have a serious impact on direction. Also, where we hit the ball with the face of the club, and the swing itself, are factored into this as well.

The Center

The word “center” is key for the direction of the ball. The direction is chosen by where exactly you make contact with the club to ball.

It may seem complicated at first, but it isn’t. The rule of thumb is if contact is made from the heel, it will shift right, and if it is hit off the toe, it will go towards the left.

To understand how this impact works, you’ll need to know how to face your club’s direction properly. To have total efficiency, you’ll want to make sure that the impact and swing pattern has the clubface to be an open target line as opposed to closed.

Mastering these hits will take time, and only practice will aid in helping you in consistency and help take these breaking 80 tips into full stride.

Also, one thing to watch out for when aiming is hunting for that flag, as that often gets many golfers in trouble. Instead, you’ll want to do your best in aiming for the largest part of the area you are wanting to hit in.

This helps in securing you won’t get in too much trouble off the hit and adds an extra bit of forgiveness to your swing. It also helps with mentally setting up shots easier as well.

To master your swing, a golf practice routine will help you tremendously settle into your groove, and ultimately improve your game.

Here is another great video that demonstrates how to control direction effectively on your hits.

This video goes much more in-depth in aiming your hits, including many great tips.

Swing Direction

To aid in supporting direction, your swing pattern/direction needs to be on par as well in order to take complete control over your hits.

For the swing to match up equally to create the “perfect” hit for control, you’ll need to line up the face’s path correctly and you’ll need to be centered.

This starts with your stance, which should knees bent and shoulder-width apart. As with anything, a golf practice routine will do wonders in perfecting your stance as well.

You can learn more about the swing and your stance in this awesome video:

Plan Hits

In order to be truly successful in getting the best score possible, you’ll need to layout each hit before doing so. Sure, hitting on the green is great, but you want to be on the best part of the green to set up your short game.

Each hit has a cause and effect added to it and understanding what each hit do for the next swing will increase your chances tremendously of breaking 80.

Also, deciding what club you choose to use will go into the planning aspect as well. You’ll want to make sure that the club you choose is giving you the exact precision and distance you are wanting. Don’t settle on something that may hit too long or too short, find what will work just right.

Mental Aspect

An important aspect of the game of golf is all mental. A strong mental focus will ensure consistency. There are many tips to having a mental edge when heading into a course.

Music, medication, or whatever it is you do to lock yourself in should be done before play. When playing as well, make sure you are playing one hole at a time.

Thinking Golfer 06/11/15, TL Building CREDIT: Jesse Reiter

If you are too busy looking at the big picture, you may find yourself overthinking the plays ahead, and ultimately throwing your game off.

We should focus on just one hit at a time, not only will it simplify the game. It will also do a good job of making sure you are playing with a clear head.

If you start to play bad or make a mistake, don’t panic or try to make a huge play to make up for it. Stay calm and think out logically what should be your ideal next step.

If the mistake is made early on, don’t sweat it. There are plenty more holes ahead of you where you can naturally catch up.

If you are near the end of the course and made a crucial mistake that will set you back a few strokes and you are on the edge of breaking 80 however, you may need a power play in order to accomplish the goal.

Prep

Last but not least, you need to prepare correctly if you want to tackle the task that is in front of you. If you have yet to break 80, then you’ll need to revamp your preparation, even before your first swing.

One of the best things you can do is warmup and stretch. This will loosen your muscles and get your motions up and firing so your first hit is as smooth as can be.

Check out this video for a great warmup and stretch:

After you have completed your warm-up, practice swings and so on will be important as well in order to have as much success as possible, but don’t overcomplicate it, as you’ll want to be fresh on the first swing.

After the complete warm-up it is time to settle in mentally. As we mentioned above, the mental is just as, if not more important than the physical aspect.

Once you’ve prepared, its time to tee off.

Closing Notes

Remember, when going out there to break 80, be confident, loose, and determined. It is all about finding consistency in your play and focusing on setting yourself up for success.

Play into your strengths and gain as much ground as you can as early as possible. Creating a cushion for yourself will only give you confidence and take some of the pressure that may be on your shoulders.

Also, make sure you start consistency from the first tee. If you are able to get off your rhythm from the start and hit the fairway and green over half of the time, you should be perfectly fine.

When it comes to the short game, be patient and set yourself up to where you know you’ll have the best chance of minimizing your strokes.

Now, with all of your breaking 80 tips, go out to the course and accomplish your goal with a full steam of confidence ahead!