10 Key Tips That’ll Finally Help You Break 100 in Golf
Written by Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.

Updated on December 12, 2023

If you are new to the game of golf, a great milestone to shoot for is to break 100. 

It can take some time and patience, but with the right tips, any golfer can start to break 100 on their scorecard regularly.

 

How Long Does it Take Most Golfers to Break 100?

According to multiple statistics, it can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years for beginner golfers to break 100. Some talented beginners may be able to break 100 within a few months, but only if they commit to a rigorous practice schedule.

Did you know that only 55% of all golfers break 100 consistently? That’s why setting a goal to break 100 on your scorecard is a great place for amateur golfers to start.

 

10 Key Tips You Can Start Using Today to Finally Break 100 in a Round of Golf

1. Take Lessons from a PGA Teaching Pro

If I could change one thing about my golf career, I would have taken lessons from a professional instructor right away. 

Most golf courses have a PGA teaching pro on staff who can help teach you the basics of the game like the proper grip, stance, and setup. Taking lessons from a pro when you are first learning to play will help you learn the proper mechanics of the golf swing before any bad habits get ingrained into you.

Many folks have been able to shave 10 strokes or more off their score by simply getting a few key pointers from a professional instructor. A private lesson will usually cost anywhere from $60 to $125 an hour, but most instructors will normally give you a nice bulk discount if you purchase a set number of lessons. 

I was amazed at how much my game improved after only six lessons with a PGA teaching pro.

2. Get Fitted for Golf Clubs

Did you know that even if your swing mechanics are fundamentally sound, your golf clubs could be keeping you from breaking 100? A professional fitter can conduct a lie board test to determine what type of lie to give your irons. This simple adjustment will make it so much easier to hit your approach shots straighter.

A professional fitter will also make sure each of your clubs has the proper amount of loft. This will give you more control over your distance, which will greatly increase your chances of breaking 100.

Getting fitted for golf clubs can cost up to $400. However, some club fitters will either waive or severely reduce the fitting fee if you buy the new clubs from them. If you are going to pay top dollar for new golf clubs anyway, you might as well have them tailored to your own personal swing type.

3. Improve Your Putting with The Gate Drill

Did you know that most of your strokes on the golf course come on the putting green? Think about it. If you two-putt every hole, that’s 36 strokes. If you three-putt every hole (which is not uncommon for newbies), that adds up to 54 strokes. 

The fastest way to improve your score and break 100 is to learn the correct putting technique. The gate drill will make sure your putting stroke stays on a consistent “straight back and straight through” plane. This will help you make more birdies and pars.

Tiger Woods has been using the gate drill for several years. This drill is perfect for making sure that the putter face stays square at impact. Here is how it works:

  • On a practice putting green, stand about 4 feet from the hole.
  • Place two tees in the ground that are barely wide enough for your putter head to glide through.
  • Now practice your putting stroke without making contact with either of the tees.
  • Now that your putting stroke is more fundamentally sound, you should notice a big improvement on your scorecard.

4. Get Better at Lag Putting with the 40 / 50 / 60 Drill

A key to breaking 100 is learning how to avoid three-putts at all costs. The best way to do that is to improve your lag putting. This will especially come in handy on greens that are exceptionally large and fast.

Phil Mickelson is one of the best left-handed golfers in PGA Tour history. In the video below, Mickelson talks about how the 40/50/60 drill has helped his lag putting. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Set three golf balls down 40 feet away from the pin.
  • Do the same thing at 50 feet and 60 feet distances.
  • Hit three lag putts from each distance while trying to get each ball to within five feet of the hole.
  • Hit each lag putt with maximum force and aggressiveness but experiment with how far back you take the putter at each distance.

5. Try the Best Chipping Drill Ever

Let’s stick with short game tips and talk about hitting better chip shots. It’s amazing how many golfers neglect chipping during their practice time. That won’t cut it if you’re trying to break 100 on your scorecard.

The below video from Craig Hanson is a fantastic way to practice hitting quality chip shots. The cool thing is you don’t even need to be at the driving range to do this drill. You can perform it just fine in your backyard.

  • Use 6 golf clubs to make 5 corridors.
  • Each corridor should be spaced about 5 yards apart.
  • Set a pile of golf balls 5 yards away from the first corridor.
  • Practice landing your chip shots into the first corridor.
  • Once you land one in the first corridor, proceed to the second corridor, third corridor, etc.
  • Continue in order until you land a golf ball in each corridor.
  • Now work your way back from corridor #5 to corridor #1.

A key to hitting good chip shots is being able to land the golf ball where you want it. This drill is one of the best around for helping golfers with their chipping accuracy.

(Bonus Tip: Practice your chip shots with your left hand lower on the golf club. This will help give you a better feel of the clubface.)

6. Dial In Your Driving Accuracy with the 4 Tees Drill

Nothing will keep you from breaking 100 faster than hitting inaccurate tee shots with your driver. Hitting your golf ball into water hazards or out of bounds (OB) isn’t just annoying, it costs you a penalty stroke every time.

The most common mistake that most rookie golfers make with the driver is overswinging. Lots of folks immediately try to kill the golf ball once they get the driver in their hands. This leads to way too many wayward tee shots and lots of lost golf balls.

The drill outlined below is perfect for teaching golfers how to make a more relaxed swing with the driver. Here’s how to try it out:

  • Put 4 tees into the ground in a horizontal pattern without golf balls on top of them.
  • Make a smooth, relaxed swing while simply trying to knock the tee out of the ground.
  • Repeat the process until all 4 tees are out of the ground.
  • Now tee a golf ball up and make the same type of smooth swing (you should notice that you probably made good contact with the sweet spot on the driver’s face).
  • Hold your finishing pose for at least three seconds to ensure that your golf swing has plenty of balance.

7. Improve Your Bunker Play with the Best Bunker Drill Ever

Bunkers can ruin a good round of golf in a hurry. Bunkers can also keep you from breaking 100 if you don’t know how to get out of them safely and quickly. 

It’s not uncommon for some amateur golfers to cost themselves three or four strokes if they get caught in a particularly tough bunker. This can lead to lots of unwanted double bogeys and triple bogeys. Those big scores can make breaking 100 almost impossible.

In the video below, Zach Allen goes through a great drill that will help all golfers improve their bunker play. Here’s a brief description of how it works.

Take your sand wedge and dig it into the sand about one inch behind the golf ball. Now, make an aggressive swing and try to spank the sand. This will help you get used to what a good bunker shot should feel like and sound like.

(Note: During a live round of golf, you cannot ground your golf club into the sand. Doing so will result in a two-stroke penalty)

8. Smoke the Ball with Your Fairway Woods

Most beginner golfers and even some average golfers have a tough time hitting their fairway woods. This is because the fairway woods are longer and they have a straighter face. 

It can be incredibly difficult to get the ball off the ground with a 3-wood. For this reason, most high handicappers should opt for a 5-wood or one of their hybrids instead of the 3-wood. The extra loft from these clubs helps get the golf ball in the air.

Here are a few tips that will help you hit your fairway woods a bit better. This will help you shoot lower scores, especially on the longer Par 4 and Par 5 holes.

  • Choke down on the club by an inch or two (this will give you more control of the clubface).
  • Never try to scoop the ball up off the ground.
  • Aim a little bit to the right and try to hit the ball to the left.

9. Hit Better Approach Shots with this Iron Drill

A great way to lower your handicap and start breaking 100 consistently is to improve your iron play. While hitting the driver accurately off the tee is very important, hitting a quality second shot will help you avoid the bogey blues.

Chris Ryan explains in the below video how to do his favorite iron drill. This drill will give you immediate feedback after each golf swing. Here is a brief guide to how it works.

  • Take a can of white spray paint and spray a straight line in the fairway.
  • Place a golf ball on the far side of the line.
  • Take a 7-iron and address the golf ball while placing the clubface on the near side of the white line.
  • Make several practice swings while focusing on hitting the left side of the line (target side).
  • After all the practice swings, look down at the white line and study where you’ve been making contact with the ground.
  • Now line up and hit the golf ball.

10. Perfect Your Pitch Shots with These 3 Tips

If you are going to break the 100 milestone consistently, you’ll need to be able to execute quality shots with your pitching wedge. Pitch shots are tough to execute for most amateur golfers because they are usually considered to be “in-between” shots. 

If your golf ball is too far for a chip shot but too close for a full shot, you are in prime pitching distance. A key to hitting good pitch shots is to focus on finesse and accuracy. In the video below from Alex Elliott, you’ll learn these three pitching fundamentals.

  • Match your setup and length of your swing to the length of the shot. For shorter pitch shots, you want to use a more narrow stance. For longer pitches, consider spreading your feet out a bit more. It also helps to choke down on the golf club and open up your left foot a tad.
  • Keep your arms in sync with your body. Focus on making a U shape from one hip to the other hip. This will keep you from getting too steep in your backswing.
  • Complete a nice follow-through with your belt buckle pointing toward your target. This will help improve your balance.

 

Master these tips and you’ll be on your way to breaking 100 (and then 80) in no time.

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Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.