Breaking 80 Before 80

More people break 80 than 70, but that does not mean breaking 80 is an easy task. Only 5 percent of adult golfers can get their scores below 80! It is certified rare!

You might think it will take a certain number of hours to get under 80 or it will take you perfecting your putting. While practice is a big part of it, many aspects go into scoring under 80. If you are first starting, it will take a few years of consistent golfing to get there. For some, as long as a decade, others, four years.

Have patience if you have been golfing for a while and are not getting the results you want. I know how frustrating that can be, as I hit 85-80 for years before getting there. I'll lay out the best advice we have for finally breaking 80.

How to break 80

Misconceptions

Breaking 80 doesn't have to be one thing. There are many ways to score under 80 because of all the combinations of bogey, par, etc. I broke 80 suddenly one day because I putt perfectly while consistently butchering on the fairway.

The inverse can also be true. You could have 40 putts while absolutely mastering shots. It isn't true that you need to make every birdie. In fact, you can miss every birdie and still end up under 80. You can also miss around half of your fairways! Breaking 80 doesn't mean perfection; it means consistency and keeping big mistakes at a minimum. 

-Hit around 7 bogeys— and no double or triple bogeys

-avoid more than 3 putts 

-get out of the bunker on the first try

Be adept at everything or master one thing

I would say it takes a well-rounded player to get lower scores, but that hasn't been the case in my experience. Be aware of your limitations and things you need to work on, but don't spend all your time on the driving range just because you need more distance. If you don't hit as far as you'd like, but have a killer short game, there is no reason you can't make it. Distance is helpful but not necessary. Hitting over 230 combined with a decent short game can get you there. 

You might be the kind of player who is equally good at everything—fine at hitting drives, decent with wedges, and proper form at the hole. This is great! If you find there isn't one thing that is better than the others, focus on greens. This can be a long process and involves improving your stroke, but it is very beneficial in the long run. Cutting a few strokes off in one area will set you ready to hit under 80 every time. 

Follow your instincts

Feel out which shots you hit best and with which clubs. If you are horrible at using a driver and it adds a stroke, don't use one! Most golfers who break 80 have a consistent tee-off. Find your groove and stick to it, whether it be a driver, three wood, or driving iron. 

Putting

The quickest way to break 80 is to get good at putting. I think putting is the easiest to improve because you can do it anywhere. Anywhere you can put a cup and hit a putter is fair game to be a practice area. Make sure you use a variety of distances. Most pros recommend practicing at 5-15 feet as well as 25.

"A good player who is a great putter is a match for any golfer..."

Take the pressure off

Stop thinking about breaking 80! Yes, it's a worthy goal, but that doesn't mean it should be the only thing motivating you. Golf is a mental game, and you can't be putting that much pressure on yourself.

Try this instead: at every stroke, only focus on that moment. Don't think about how this stroke affects the next, etc. 

Use positive self-talk. It is easy to focus on the negative every time you mess up, but this won't make you a better golfer. Breathe deeply and allow yourself grace.

Let's say you miss a putt. Instead of saying, "I just can't putt today!" reexamine the situation. How can you self-correct? Change your inner monologue to "How can I fix this," and you'll have a clear head. 

Conclusion

In the end, the best thing for breaking 80 is time. Don’t rush your progress and be proud of how far you have come. Even if you are breaking 90, you are in the top for amateur golfers.