For many golfers, the quest to break 100 in golf can be an arduous and disheartening journey. You may have been close once or twice, but that elusive number can slip past as easily as that four-footer you had on the 18th green. Well, despair no longer as we have tasked Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott, along with our own Neil Tappin, to share 10 top tips to help you finally break 100 this weekend...
10) Relax Between Shots
Golf is stressful. Trying to build a good score when any number of things can go wrong is possibly the biggest challenge of the game.
However, it is important that you relax between shots. Allowing your focus to drift away from the game during these periods is vital, as concentrating for over four hours is almost impossible. You could talk to your playing partners between shots and then switch back into concentration mode just before you hit. It may seem odd to suggest diverting your attention to remain focused, but this is the best way to get results when it matters.
9) Lag Putting
Clearly, we all want to drain 100ft putts to the screams of adoring fans on the local clubhouse balcony - but lag putting is a realistic way to help you lower scores.
It might not sound like the most glamorous part of the game but good lag putting can help you avoid those costly 3-putts. In practice, place three alignment sticks around the hole (the video with this article shows exactly how to do this) and hit some putts from long range.
The idea is to get the ball into the box without it going too far and hitting the sticks. This is one of the best putting drills for distance control and a great pre-round drill to get you dialled in.
8) Develop A Fairway Finder
This shot is a must-have for every golfer. We all face holes on the course we don’t like so it is vital you prepare for this in practice. This is all about picking a club that you feel comfortable using and a swing thought you know works (Alex simply tries to repeat his 7-iron rhythm) and then, crucially, heading to the range and repeating this swing to build your confidence. If you can depend on a shot that you know will deliver results, you will be breaking 100 in no time at all.
7) Bag Line-Up
If you are looking to break 100 in golf, your equipment choices can really help. The simple advice here is to carry a 5-wood instead or a 3-wood (more loft, shorter shaft) and hybrids instead of longer irons. That’s it. This will make your bag line-up more forgiving and let you get away with the odd bad swing!
6) Aim Small
Getting the address position basics right lies at the heart of how to swing a golf club correctly. When you’re on the course, or practicing on the range, don’t rush it. In particular, pick as small a target in the distance as you can. If you can aim small (and concentrate on aligning yourself correctly), you can miss relatively big but still hit the fairway!
5) Club selection
When hitting into a green, think about where the majority of the danger is? Usually, it lies short of green.
Understand that it is key to avoid coming up short and that your cold weather yardages will be different to your warm weather distances. Once you know what it is to carry the front of the green, make sure you choose a club that comfortably gets you past that point.
4) Develop The Punch
This is a must-have shot for anyone looking to break 100 in golf. But how do you play the low punch shot? Start by clubbing up so you have less loft in your hands. Move the ball back in your stance at address and grip down on the club.
Then, all you need to do is keep your weight on your lead side throughout the swing and keep the rhythm smooth. This will deliver the low flight you’re after - as demonstrated by Alex in the video.
3) Reset Your Alignment
There is a good reason why the best players in the world work on their alignment regularly. Good alignment not only makes it more likely that you’ll deliver the club square to target through impact but it will also give you a better chance of swinging the club on a good path.
In practice, lay an alignment stick down pointing at your target (starting a couple of feet closer than your ball, this picture shows how) and then set another alignment stick down parallel to the first. This will help you check that both your club face and body alignment are perfectly square.
2) Escape Bunkers
A lot of golfers struggle with bunker shots, and it stops them from breaking 100. The key for how to play bunker shots lies in the set up. Take your most lofted club and open up the face slightly. Flex your knees at address, and aim to feel as if you are sliding the club underneath the ball through impact. This will give you enough loft and good distance control.
1) Break Your Round Up
The thought of shooting a good score over 18 holes can be overwhelming, so try dividing your round up into six, three hole sections. If you set yourself a scoring target for each section, you can track your progress in a more manageable way and before you know it you will be scoring better.
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In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf.
Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
- Alex ElliottTop 50 Coach
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