Why Breaking 100 Has Nothing To Do With Making A "Perfect Swing"

Published 30/07/2012 07:28:00

Ah, that first milestone in every golfer's life; BREAKING 100! This is the Holy Grail amongst weekend golfers and legions of hackers. Chances are that if you are shooting below 100 at your local municipal or perhaps you are the only one in your foursome achieving this feat, then you are probably regarded as someone who knows what they are doing.

Most golfers dedicate a fair amount of their golfing lives above this scoring milestone. Well, chances are that if you are one of the many golfers reaching for this brass ring of breaking 100 then you probably have some fundamental challenges in your game and your swing (to put it politely.)


Breaking 100 - Pre-Swing Fundamentals

This is the first area that you need to check before worrying about such complicated concepts as swinging on plane or the proper release of the club. 99% of all golfers make their mistake before they even put the club in motion. Alignment, ball position, and club selection; one of these or a combination of all three of these fundamentals is being done poorly or even not at all.

Breaking 100 - Club Selection

Beyond the pre-swing fundamentals listed above, one of the most common mistakes you are making on the course is club selection. All of my students track their on-course stats as part of their improvement process, and one of things that I have them track is greens in regulation. If someone is not breaking 100, then I know for a fact that their greens in regulation percentage is always, I MEAN ALWAYS, extremely low (think one or two greens in regulation per round.) Of the greens that they miss, they are almost always coming up short. And yet, when asked why they chose a particular club for their approach shot, 100% of them tell me that they did not want to hit the ball too far and go over the green.

With the element of GPS technology and range finders, golfers at the "breaking 100" level should never look at the exact yardage to the flag stick! Rather, pay attention to the distance to the front of the green and then to the back of the green. This is your range to hit the ball into and most of the time you will find it to be 20 - 40 yards on most courses. That not only gives you a bigger target to think of hitting, but it frees you up to make a tension free swing.

Breaking 100 - Short Game

Why is it that the pros always seem to make par or better? Even when they drive the ball off of the planet, they all seem to recover and at least settle for a "lousy" par. How do they do this? THEY PRACTICE THEIR SHORT GAME SKILLS! They not only practice their short game, but they do it twice as much as they practice their full swing. Now, take the 100+ shooter and think about how many strokes are taken within 100 yards of the green. I guarantee that 85 - 90 percent of their strokes are taken on the "short game" - inside of 100 yards.

The Long and Short Game of it

Think of all the flubbed chips, 3 & 4 putts, chunked pitches, skulled bunker shots, and...well you get the picture. If you are shooting over 100, starting right now you should put down that driver and get off of the driving range. Now, go get your pitching wedge, sand wedge, and putter out of the trunk of your car and spend the next 6 months thinking of only the shots within 100 yards of the green. I know you have heard this advice countless times before, but for some reason you have chosen to ignore it. From endless conversations with my students over the years, I also know that you think if you could just get off of the tee everything would be solved. Am I right? Well, I hate to be a "buzz kill" but your driver or tee shots only account for 14 strokes (on a standard par 72 golf course) on your 100+ score. Now, try to tell me how important the drive is to your score. In the biz, we call short game and putting "score droppers" because cultivating these two skills has the most direct affect on lowering your score. Without question, if you want to break 100...WORK ON YOUR SHORT GAME!



1.  I'm always amazed that there are so many golfers who are not utilizing a GPS or range finder. Hitting more greens in regulation is one of the fastest ways to shave strokes off your scorecard.

comment by Scott Messner - 13/08/2012 20:05

Add your comment