Achieving the Sub-90 Dream: How to Break 90 in Golf

Achieving the Sub-90 Dream: Quickest Way to Break 90 in Golf

Be honest with yourself; what's your current score? Most hobbyists that have been playing for a few years are capable of getting their score down to the mid-90s. Good, but not quite there.

There is something elusive about that sub-90 score- something that shows you mean business and are a force to reckon with.

The best part? It isn't even very difficult to achieve this. By scoring just one hole on par, and the other 17 as bogeys this can be done. Simple enough right?

If you aren't quite in the 90s, these are still actionable tips that you can use to bring that score down in a pinch.

Master Chipping, Putting, and Your Short Game

When it comes to achieving a sub-90 score in golf, the importance of having a strong short game really can't be overstated. Putting and chipping may seem fairly simple compared to other aspects of golf such as swinging the club or driving off the tee but are actually much more complicated than they appear.

short game practice

Make no mistake that a strong short game makes or breaks players. Anyone can hit a driver for maximum off of the tee. But the finesse of a good short game eludes many of us.

An effective putting and chipping stroke will give you control over not only speed but direction as well.

Having quick reflexes and a good aim for one-handed chips requires an ability to think on the spot while reading greens for longer putts is something that comes from experience.

The short game requires patience, focus, consistency, and accuracy – all attributes that need to be honed in order to make a substantial difference to your handicap.

A great way to practice is by playing "catch up" with your buddies — trying to complete each hole before them, then competing for par or better with whatever handicap strokes you noted before you started.

Setting up various kinds of shots around the green can also improve both chipping and putting correctly; this kind of practice can help you understand not just the mechanics of chipping and putting but also how different pieces of equipment — such as wedges or putters — can play into these situations.

Mastering these skills separate the men from the boys, figuratively speaking.

Equipment Matters

While having a set of golf clubs that are properly fitted for your swing can certainly help you play better golf, they alone may not be enough to guarantee a sub-90 score. It's important to remember that golf is a complex sport that requires a combination of physical and mental skills, and the clubs you use are just one piece of the puzzle.

That being said, having clubs that are well-suited to your swing can certainly help you play better golf and may even make it easier to achieve that elusive sub-90 score. Properly fitted clubs can help you to hit the ball more consistently, with better accuracy and distance. This can result in fewer missed shots and penalties, which can ultimately lead to a better score.

Additionally, using the right clubs for different shots and situations can also be beneficial. For example, using a hybrid or fairway wood instead of a long iron for a problematic shot can help you to make better contact with the ball and hit it more accurately. Choosing the right club for a particular shot can also help you to avoid hazards and hit the ball closer to the pin, making it easier to make par or better.

Minimize Penalty Strokes

A penalty shot in golf is an additional stroke added to a player’s score for violating specific rules of the game. These violations may range from hitting first from a tee other than the specified one, incorrect ball placement during putting, moving or touching the ball during play, and many more.

man frustrated by penalty

As such, it is important for golfers to work hard at understanding and to adhere to all of the rules that come with this sport, as any mistake can be costly when trying to achieve a sub-90 score. You absolutely need to minimize these "giveaways".

Penalty strokes may be especially damaging for golfers on particularly long courses which require high levels of accuracy; an avoidable violation can quickly lead to frustration and disappointment with their score no matter how well they have played up until then.

It is also important to recognize that penalty shots aren't the result of infarctions only, per se.

penalties come in many forms, including hitting a ball out of bounds, losing a ball, or even hitting into a hazard or water.

To really push towards achieving a lower handicap, taking extra care of overall penalties must become second nature.

Having knowledge alone is not enough; continuously practicing challenges and trial scenarios can help golfers learn how to remain in full control and ensure that they do not shoot a round of 90 or above due to careless mistakes.

One effective way to avoid penalties is to play conservative shots, focusing on accuracy rather than distance. By doing so, a player can prevent hazards and keep the ball in play, reducing the risk of penalty strokes.

Yes, an aggressive game might seem attractive, but it often is not worth it unless you are very confident in your abilities and have full control of the ball.

Up Your Fitness Level

Overall fitness level is an important factor in achieving great scores. Golf requires a combination of physical and mental fitness, as they lend themselves to your performance on the golf course.

Firstly, your cardiovascular fitness is essential in golf, as it helps to maintain your stamina and energy throughout a round. Walking the course and carrying a golf bag can be physically demanding, especially in hot weather.

A good level of cardiovascular fitness can help a golfer stay focused and alert, making it easier to make accurate shots and avoid mistakes that could lead to penalty strokes due to fatigue.

Secondly, flexibility is also critical, as it can help you to generate more power and a better range of motion in your swing. You require a full range of motion, and a golfer with good flexibility can achieve a greater turn in their swing, resulting in more power and distance. Additionally, better flexibility can help you avoid injury and recover more quickly from the physical demands of playing a tough round.

Lastly, don't underestimate the need for core strength. A strong core can help you stay centered and assists with the transfer of power from your lower body to your upper body, resulting in a more consistent and powerful swing.

Keep A Focus On Nutrition

If you are trying to make a sub 90 score, nutrition can certainly play a role in your ability to achieve this goal. Golf is a physically demanding sport that requires a combination of endurance, strength, and mental focus, and proper nutrition can help to support these needs.

To perform at your best, it's important to consume a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help to prevent fatigue and maintain mental focus throughout a round of golf.

Eating a healthy meal or snack before and during a round of golf can also be beneficial for you. Carbohydrates can help to provide the energy that you need to sustain your performance, while protein can help to maintain muscle mass and support recovery. Snacks such as fruit, nuts, or energy bars can be convenient options for you if you need a quick source of energy between holes.

Better yet? Grab a delicious and nutritious Whole In One Bar. These bars ensure that your performance is up to par with what your game will be like!

Moreover, avoiding foods and drinks that can negatively impact your performance is also important. Consuming excessive amounts of fast-acting sugar can lead to jitters or a crash in energy levels, which can negatively affect your performance in the long run.

Aim For The Back Of The Green

If you are aiming for a good score, it's generally better to aim for the back of the green instead of the front. Why?

This is because a shot that lands at the back of the green is less likely to result in a penalty stroke and can give you a better chance at making par or better. This strategy can help you achieve a sub-90 score by minimizing the number of penalty strokes and missed shots.

golf greens

By aiming for the back of the green, you can use the natural slope of the green to your advantage. If your shot lands at the back of the green, it's more likely to roll toward the hole, giving you a better chance at making a birdie or par.

In contrast, if your shot lands at the front of the green, it's more likely to roll off the green or into a hazard, resulting in a penalty stroke.

Moreover, aiming for the back of the green can help you to avoid hazards and difficult pin placements. By aiming for the middle or back of the green, you can play a more conservative shot and reduce the risk of hitting into a hazard or out of bounds. This can result in a better score overall, as penalty strokes can be costly and add up quickly.

Then there's the fact that most people overestimate how good they are. By aiming for the back, you might only achieve the front!

Avoid 3 Putts With Better Putting Speed

As you master your short game, you need to pay close attention to your putting speed.

Putting is a crucial part of golf and can make or break your score. Good putting can help you save strokes and get closer to that coveted sub-90 score.

The key to good putting is the speed of your putt. If you hit the ball too hard, it may roll past the hole or into a bunker. On the other hand, if you hit it too soft, your ball may not make it to the hole.

The dreaded 3 putts can add several strokes to your score, so practice controlling the speed of your putts.

What Percentage of Golfers Can Break 90 Consistently?

According to various sources, including the National Golf Foundation, approximately 26% to 33% of golfers are able to consistently achieve a sub-90 score on a full 18-hole course. This means that the majority of golfers typically shoot around 90 or above on a full round, or very scarcely achieve below that.

It's worth noting that the ability to achieve a below 90 score is not solely determined by one's handicap or skill level, as there are many external factors that can affect a golfer's performance as well, including course conditions or weather.

Can I Break 90 without A Driver?

It isn't correct to ask if you can break 90 without a driver per se, as that initial shot off the tee will always be important. It's just a fact that more golfers are capable of hitting big yardage than they are at playing an effective short game.

Final Words

Achieving that sub-90 score is definitely on the cards for you. While you may not quite be within striking range as yet, there's no better time than now to really start bettering your game. In a year or two when you're in the 80s, you'll look back and wonder who was that person that couldn't make 90 when you routinely crush it!