How to Break 100 in Golf: 7 Strategies

Golf Course

Are you ready to break 100 in golf and finally start shooting in the 90s (or better)?

If so, this is the article for you. 

Breaking 100 is a big deal for most golfers as it signals that your game is trending in the right direction. This is a great golf goal for new players to set early in their career and will likely lead to wanting to break 90 and shoot in the 80s next.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on shooting in the 90s first. With some equipment changes, basic course management tips, and more efficient practice, this goal can happen sooner rather than later. 

How to Break 100 in Golf

If you’re like most new golfers I’m sure you’ve asked, “How do you break a 100 score in golf?

Let’s review seven tips and tricks to break 100 quickly. 

1. Invest in a Forgiving Set of Clubs

Golf has the steepest learning curve of any sport I’ve ever played. It’s why a lot of golfers become obsessed with the game while others quickly leave the sport – it’s hard, but a great challenge. 

To make golf a little easier, it’s crucial to play the right set of golf clubs. If you play golf equipment that is too heavy and use the wrong shaft, it’s going to make the game 10X harder.

Step one is to buy golf clubs that match your current ability and are easy to hit. Here are three things to think about when buying a set of golf clubs.

  • Forgiving clubheads: Buy a set of clubs that is super forgiving above all else. These clubs are meant for beginners and will improve bad shots dramatically! 
  • Lightweight shafts: You need to play lightweight and regular flex shafts as a beginner golfer as you don’t have the clubhead speed for more advanced clubs (yet).
  • Putter with good alignment aids: Finally, make sure your putter is larger than a blade that helps with mishits and also improve your alignment too. 

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2. Get Your Grip Right

Having the right equipment is half the battle when it comes to breaking 100 in golf. The next step is to master the fundamentals on the driving range so you can hit the ball consistently. You can do this two ways; hire a golf coach to master the basics or use YouTube and coach yourself if you want to save money. 

In a perfect world, I’d suggest hiring a coach even if it’s for one lesson as some players can get overwhelmed with YouTube. It’s easy to watch an excessive amount of golf swing videos and get confused on the driving range. But some players like to teach themselves so go with what works best for you.

In the beginning, master your grip above all else. 

Since it’s the only part of your body in contact with the golf club, it plays a pivotal role in your swing. If your grip is off in the beginning of your golf journey, it can lead to major issues and tons of bad habits down the road.

You can also buy a grip trainer on Amazon to easily feel the perfect grip. Or, use a training aid like the Momentus (a classic swing trainer) that will help with tempo, momentum, and also has a built-in grip training aid too.

3. Build a Solid Setup 

If you can get a strong grip on the club, you’re on the right track to shooting in the 90s. Next, you’ll want to build a solid setup by working on three aspects of the swing.

  • Stance: First, make sure your stance is athletic and changes for each club. The longer the club, the wider the stance to account for the bigger swing. With wedges, you’ll want your feet slightly less shoulder width apart and just under your shoulders with irons. For the driver you want an even bigger stance to allow plenty of rotation and power. 
  • Posture: After you build a good stance, don’t forget about your posture either. As Dave Phillips said in Golf Digest, “Golfers who don’t hinge enough from their hips will often compensate by rounding their upper back, which will limit their ability to turn on the backswing and cost them power.” The key is to get into a good posture and try to minimize any changes throughout the swing to make better contact. 
  • Ball position: Lastly, don’t forget about getting the ball in the right position in your swing. Your ball position changes based on the club you’re hitting and can learn more about it here

4. Spend More Time on Your Short Game 

Once your full swing starts to become more consistent, it’s time to work on your short game too. One of my early golf coaches once said, “Practice shots inside 100 yards twice as much as your long game and you’ll exceed your own expectations.” After playing golf for more than 20 years, I can say hands down this is some of the best advice ever!

Golfers get so excited about hitting full shots on the range they forget the old saying, “Drive for show, putt for dough.” While learning to hit a driver consistently is important for your long game, you can’t neglect the short game either. There’s nothing worse than hitting great drives, only to struggle and waste shots inside 100 yards.

Use my old golf coaches advice and work on your short game as much as possible. At the driving range, hit 30-50% of all shots with different wedges to improve your ball striking from close range.

At the chipping green, spend time on a few basic shots like the bump and run. Learning how to chip when you miss the green is really important for beginner golfers. Also, don’t forget to practice in the bunker to overcome your fear of the sand as well. 

5. Learn to Putt 

While learning to hit bunker shots and basic chip shots is key, putting is arguably even more important. But the real benefit to putting is that it doesn’t take nearly as much time to create real change in your game. Swing changes might take months or even a year to feel comfortable but putting changes happen quickly. 

To master the basics with putting I suggest buying the Back to Basics Putting Mirror. It’s one of the most highly-reviewed training aids in golf and used by top golfers like Cam Smith (one of the best putters in the game). 

What’s great about this putting mirror is that you can learn proper eye and shoulder alignment thanks to the instant feedback from the device. Use it before every round and keep it in your bag for putting practice days and watch your confidence soar on the putting green. 

As a beginner golfer, work on your short putts inside five feet more than anything else. 

Sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella said in his book, Putting Out of Your Mind, “If you’re solid from, say, two to five feet, it makes it so much easier to make your longer putts. You can stroke them more confidently when you know that if by some misfortune you do miss, you’re a cinch to sink the next one.” 

Becoming a consistent putter is one of the most important things you can do to start breaking 100 fast! 

Related: Lag Putting for Beginners

6. Play More Golf 

If you’re new to golf you’ll learn pretty quickly that golf on the course is quite different from practice on the driving range. 

A driving range has perfect lies, no penalty for bad shots, and allows you to hit shots repeatedly and easily get in a groove. But on the golf course you rarely have a perfect lie, penalty areas are everywhere, and you wait for 5-10 minutes in between shots. 

Needless to say, playing golf vs. practicing golf is very different; stop spending so much time on the driving range and start playing more golf. This will help you learn about course management, managing your emotions, and learning how to hit different shots.

Plus, the more you play, the easier it will be to learn your weaknesses and then address them the following week in practice. 

7. Play Golf With Better Players

The final golf tip to break 100 sooner is when you do play golf, try to tee it up with better players. Anytime you can get around more accomplished golfers, you can learn vital lessons that can dramatically improve your game. This is true with golf and any other sport – success leaves clues! 

For example, if you’re a runner, start running with faster and more experienced people to learn how to run faster or longer. The same thing goes for golf too. 

As you continue on your golf quest to break 100, 90, and 80, play with better golfers. As long as you don’t slow them down (aka maintain your pace of play), they will usually allow you to join the group. Use these rounds to learn from them and watch how they think/operate to speed up your learning curve.

Also, if you ever have a chance to go to a professional golf tournament near you, it’s worth the money. Not only is it great entertainment but it’s a great way to see how the best players in the world manage their game and get some ideas for yourself too. Plus, you’ll see that even great players still hit bad shots but can still score low. 

Top Questions About Breaking 100 

Do you have more questions about shooting in the 90s? If so, keep reading our top questions and answers to start shooting lower scores fast.

How long should it take to break 100 in golf?

Every golfer is different in their quest to break 100. 

I’ve known some golfers to accomplish this feat less than 60 days after picking up a club for the first time (he had a lengthy athletic career beforehand). While others might take a year or several years depending on how much time they have to practice and play.

One thing I’ve learned in my golf career is to only compare your game to your previous game. It’s easy to get caught up comparing yourself to everyone else on the driving range or in your group, but it doesn’t help much. Instead, focus on your growth as a golfer and focus on your goals only. 

Is it easy to break 100 in golf?

For some golfers breaking 100 will happen every single round without question. These are known as scratch golfers and have been playing the game for years, if not decades. While other everyday golfers can still break 100 with ease but might shoot in the 80s or 90s. 

But yes, I think if you put together a plan and can practice a few times per week, breaking 100 is easier now more than ever. Thanks to more forgiving equipment and endless golf advice on YouTube and social media, it’s easier to shoot in the 90s. Make sure to set a clear goal, create a practice plan, hire a golf coach if needed, and soon enough you’ll be a double-digit golfer. 

What percentage of golfers regularly break 100? 

According to the USGA the average handicap for male golfers is 14.2 and the average female handicap is 27.5. But the world handicap doesn’t directly correlate with score as it uses your “best” scores to calculate your handicap. However, according to GolfSpan, about 55% of golfers surveyed can break 100 regularly. 

Wrapping Up 

Shooting in the 90s is a huge accomplishment for beginning golfers and can lead to a great golfing career. Once you break 100 you’ll want to then break 90, break 80, and maybe even become a single digit handicap. 

While I hope these tips speed up the steep learning curve with golf, don’t forget that the sport is 90% mental – according to Jack Nicklaus. Playing the right equipment and improving your swing is key to shooting lower scores, you can’t forget the mental game either.

Golf requires an insane amount of patience, discipline, and consistency for the Golf Gods to reward you. As Payne Steard once said, “A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.” Check out some of our best mental golf tips here to become a more complete player and break 100 even faster. 

What’s your best tip to breaking 100 in golf?

Let us know in the comments below. 

Picture of Phil Grounds

Phil Grounds

Phil is an avid golfer, and the creator of The Golfers Gear. He’s been playing golf for 30 years, and is obsessed with improving his game and sharing his experience helping fellow golfers score better.

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