Only between 2% – 5% of golfers in the world can break 80. If you learn how to break 80 in golf you can safely say that you’re amongst the greats.
But striving to break 80 is a difficult goal. It is hard to accomplish – but not impossible.
Breaking 80 won’t happen overnight. If you have this goal in your golf routine, we’ve got to assume that you have been playing golf for several years.
This advice is geared towards those who take the game seriously with lots of experience.
Before you make breaking 80 your golf goal, we recommend you to have a golf handicap of around 15 or lower and that you’re able to consistently shoot in the mid-80s – and of course, that you’re willing to spend time practicing.
Does this sound like you? Let’s get started!
4 Tips On How To Break 80 In Golf
Breaking 80 won’t be easy, but with these tips, you can do it. Be patient, stay dedicated to your game, and don’t get frustrated.
Related article: Learn How To Break 90 In Golf With These Six Tips.
#1: Eliminate Penalty Strokes – Keep Your Ball In Play
Do you want to learn how to break 80 in golf? The first lesson – you can’t waste strokes.
Hazards (penalty areas) and “unplayable lies” will typically cost you 1 penalty stroke.
Hitting a shot out of bounds will cost you “stroke and distance”, which is effectively 2 penalty strokes.
Adding strokes to your score without even taking a swing hurts your scorecard and can hurt your positive momentum during a good round.
If you consistently have penalty strokes when you play, you may need to improve your on-course decision-making.
Learn when to be aggressive and when to play smart. In other words, improve your course management.
#2: Tighten Up Your Short Game
Scratch golfers and professionals save strokes with their short game. Anytime you get “up and down” or 1-putt you are saving strokes.
If you want to learn how to break 80 in golf, you need to turn your short game into a weapon.
Do you track your stats when you play? How many putts do you average per round?
Breaking 80 is nearly impossible with 36+ putts. Work to push this number down closer to 30.
The best way to improve your putting stats is to chip the ball closer to the hole. We are fairly certain that you make more 2-foot putts than 15-foot putts!
#3: Learn To Play Your Misses
Dr. Bob Rotella wrote a book titled “Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect” and this perfectly describes your quest to learn how to break 80 in golf.
Breaking 80 isn’t about hitting great shots all the time. The key is being able to play your misses.
Your bad drives end up in the rough instead of going out of bounds (OB). You can save par from the rough but will make at least double bogey when you hit your drive OB.
Your poor iron shots finish just off the green instead of in the deep sand trap. Your bad putts stop 1-foot short instead of racing 10 feet past. These are all ways to play your misses.
Learning how to break 80 in golf is all about this – keeping your wild shots being less wild.
#4: Save Bogeys
A common misnomer amongst amateur golfers. To break 80 you need to make more birdies. False.
Sure, birdies are helpful and can help offset other mistakes, but you don’t need them.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. The typical golf course is a par 72. If you shoot +7 you break 80 (79).
This means you only have to par 11 holes (61%) – you can have 7 “bad” holes as long as you save bogeys.
Learning how to break 80 in golf is less about making more low scores and more about making fewer big numbers.
Double bogeys and triple bogeys will kill your round when trying to break 80.
What is the best way to save bogeys? It comes down to course management and playing smart. Let’s go through a couple of examples.
Say you hit your drive into the woods. You are faced with two options. Try to punch it towards the green or chip it back to the fairway.
The punch shot could help you save par, but is risky and could lead to a double bogey or worse.
If you chip it back to the fairway, you can make an easy bogey.
You struggle on a hole and are standing over a tricky 25-foot putt for par. You can be aggressive and risk 3-putting or lag it close to the hole for an easy bogey.
Take your medicine. Learning how to break 80 in golf can be as simple as being okay with making a bogey.
Failing to Break 80 Is Not A Failure
Nelson Mandela famously said, “I never lose. I either win or learn”.
Every time you shoot above 80 it is an opportunity to learn. To understand more about your golf game.
If you want to learn how to break 80 in golf, you need to determine what is holding you back.
Why do you shoot 85 instead of 78?
Take a few minutes in the 19th hole at the end of your round. Consider the 4 tips we listed above. Why was today not the day you broke 80?
Did you have any penalty strokes? How did the short game perform? How wild were your wild shots? How many times did you score worse than a bogey?
The answers to these questions tell you how to break 80 in golf. Perform this assessment following each round and you will reach your goal.
One Shot, One Hole At A Time
We haven’t covered potentially the most challenging part of learning how to break 80 in golf. It is the mental side of trying to achieve this goal.
You reach the 18th hole and you need a par to shoot 79. Can you play the hole as you normally would or are you going to make tentative swings?
Do your best to stay in the moment. One-shot at a time. Stay cool and don’t let your mind wander to what will happen if you hit a good or bad shot.
Concentrate on your next swing. Execute and accept the results.
Learn to stay in the moment and one day your scorecard will add up to 79 (or maybe 78)!
Good luck with your quest and let us know how it goes in the comments section!