One of the greatest golf players in the history of the game, Ben Hogan, believed every single golfer had the ability to break 80. While it’s not easy, you can make it happen if you set your sights on a few key targets.
How to Break 80 on the Golf Course
1. Stop Making Basic Errors
An easy way to limit unwanted strokes is to focus on mental errors. Focus on these basics:
- Mind the wind and slope before pulling a club
- Heed the tee box markers
- Pick a target off the tees and align to it
- Be realistic about club distances and whether you can get there in two strokes
- Maintain adequate loft to get out of bunkers
- Line up your putts with special attention to your feet and shoulders
- Take the time to read the green from at least four angles
2. Choose Accuracy Over Distance Off the Tee
Hitting greens and getting up and down is much easier when you’re laying in the middle of the fairway. If your approach is strong, trade off distance for accuracy to increase your chances of hitting the green sooner.
3. Play High-Percentage Shots
It takes smart decisions and consistency to break 80. Choose clubs you’re comfortable with and take the shots you know you can make. Going for a low-percentage shot adds the risk of going out of bounds—and there is little wiggle room for penalty strokes when you are aiming for 79.
4. Sharpen Your Short Game
Your ability to score from 100 yards and closer is crucial to your mission of breaking 80. Spend time studying the ball’s movement for the basic shots you encounter on and around the green, including standard bunker shots, bump and runs, 20-40-yard pitch shots, lag putts, putts going against the grain, putts going with the grain, uphill putts, and downhill putts.
5. Find and Understand Your Shot Shape
If you’re missing shots left and right, it is difficult to recover and hit fairways and greens. It is much more manageable to consistently miss in one direction, rather than dealing with two-way misses. Mold your game around that one shape and tackle the course accordingly.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
The quest to breaking 80 can be stressful, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Begin by chipping away at the tactics that will help get your there. Celebrate your progress and enjoy the game.