Although there are no confirmed figures to say exactly how many golfers regularly achieve this mark, it’s believed to be around 25% who manage it. Even then, it’s unclear as to how many of these do so on a regular basis. What is clear is that a large majority of players aren’t getting round the course in 90 shots or less.
Onwards and upwards, as they say. The good news is that whilst there may be plenty of room for improvement in your game, by taking the right action, you can start to enjoy consistently better scoring. Given that most regulation and championship golf courses have a par of 72, that means being equal to or bettering an 18-handicap performance level.
Here are some simple techniques that you can use to help set you on the path towards that goal. And, before we go any further, it doesn’t mean acquiring the perfect swing to do so!
6 things you can do to help you shoot 90 in Golf
- Sharpening up your Short Game
Golf is not all about being able to hit the ball miles. Being a canny chipper and putter can mask other shortcomings in your game – and help reduce your overall score. Getting up and down is a skill in itself and focussing on this area of your game will pay dividends. Whenever you can, practice hitting approach shots to the green off the fairway, from the apron or from tricky lies, as well as out of the sand. And putt, putt, putt! When you are on the green, two putts are the desired target, however far from the flag you find yourself. Holing from 30 feet is always going to be a bonus, but make sure that first long putt is close enough to make the second putt easy.
- Go for Good Golf Equipment
There’s a saying that a bad workmen will always blame his tools. And, to an extent, the same is true for golf. “If only I had a better driver, I’d hit the ball straight.” Or, “I need a decent fairway wood because I can’t get any distance with these irons.”
Do your current clubs reflect the level of player you are? We aren’t suggesting that you go out and buy the latest state-of-the-art driver or putter. But are there clubs in your bag which you feel are genuinely holding you back and could do with upgrading. This might include clubs that you use most frequently. Go for brand name clubs – they don’t have to be hot off the press, last year’s models should be more than adequate. But having a range of clubs in your bag that are best suited to your game is vitally important. If you are unsure, take advice and do research into what’s available, to match your budget. And whilst you are at it, keep an eye on the accessories in your bag Accessories – GolfBays – towels, gloves, even your wet weather gear. Do you have everything you need each time you go out on the course? Equipment-wise, anything you can do to keep yourself calm and focussed will all contribute to improving your score. Fine margins!
- Practice makes Perfect
It may sound tedious – but if you want to improve, you’ve gotta put in the graft! Yes, heading off to the practice range can feel like a chore but if you can incorporate it with a round directly afterwards, then this can help. Of course, this all takes time – which is where a practice-at-home golf simulator in your own golf studio Custom Simulator Setups – GolfBays can make all the difference. You can practice anytime you have some spare time or when the weather is lousy and you don’t fancy playing outdoors. Above all, it pays to structure your practice time – set yourself objectives.
- Improve your Fitness
Good physical conditioning can make a big difference between consistently improved scoring and a round that loses its way. Greater agility, suppleness and mental alertness can all contribute, in the quest for a score of 90 or better. Are you properly warmed up when you begin your round? Do you find yourself getting tired over those last half dozen holes and find that you lose concentration at key moments? Today’s top golfers are fitter than ever before – in his heyday, Tiger Woods certainly set the standard. And whilst you don’t necessarily need to be as dedicated to fitness as he was, staying trim and developing a good workout programme would be a smart move.
Basic stretching exercises, grounded in yoga/pilates, will improve the general suppleness of your central core, neck and shoulders – very important for flexible rotation and balance. This will also help reduce risk of injury.
- Be Smart at Course Management
Breaking 90 is all about focussing on pars and bogeys. So, if you find yourself in trouble, e.g., in deep rough, extricating yourself from a wooded lie, take the safe option. Instead of trying to make a spectacular recovery shot which could end up putting you in even bigger trouble, ensure your next shot gets the ball back onto the fairway. At least then you are back in control and best placed to limit any unnecessary damage. Play safe, rather than risking it with a heroic shot.
Keep penalty strokes off your card. They can absolutely destroy an otherwise good round. If you find yourself losing too many shots due to going out of bounds, finding water or lost balls, you may need to think a little more tactically. Often, it’s poor driving that does the damage. If so, instead of hitting the paint off the ball with that big driver, take a 3 wood or longer iron instead. It might help you find the fairway more often – a must if you are to make improvements to your score.
- Keeping Track of your Game
If you are aiming to break 90, then the likelihood is you’ve been playing the game long enough to know where you are losing shots. But rather than just writing a number down on your scorecard at the end of each hole, it could pay to go into more detail as to how you arrived at each score. How many fairways are you hitting in regulation. How many penalty strokes did you incur. Whether it be a par 3,4 or 5, how many shots did you take to reach the green. And how many putts are on the card?
You can use a phone app to help you track this sort of data – and it could be a great way to see where the strengths and weaknesses are in your game. This will enable you to focus your practice and help you make more informed choices during your round. The more you understand your game – and the areas where you need to make the most improvements, the easier it will be to break 90.
With golf, there’s so much that can go right and wrong! That’s the beauty of the game. Elevating and frustrating in equal measure. These six tips should help you elevate your game and reduce the frustration. Above all, keep at it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel disappointed with your score. Use it as an opportunity to focus on making improvement, whether through practice, data analysis or simply seeking out good advice.
By taking the right course of action, you may well surprise yourself how quickly you join the 25% of players who do score 90 on a regular basis. And, if you do, you can reset your goals to shoot even lower scores. There’s always something to aim at – just ensure you enjoy your golfing journey.
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