How to Break 100 in Golf – Complete Guide for Beginners

Breaking 100 in golf is a huge milestone and one that should be celebrated! Scoring your first 99 or below feels amazing since you’re no longer in the 3 digit club. Breaking 100 in golf should be every golfers goal when you’re learning the game. Double digit scores just feel better than triple digits.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to break 100 in golf by outlining the proven steps that have helped many of our readers on their journey to breaking 100 on the scorecard.

With a little practice and some strategy you can quickly take that 105 or 110 score and drop it below 100.

In this complete guide to breaking 100 in golf you will learn:

  • The math behind scoring below 100 in golf
  • Course strategy to break 100
  • Best practice tips for breaking 100
  • Drills to improve your scores quickly
  • Mindset it takes to break 100 on the golf course

And you should definitely complete these practice plans if you want to break 100 quickly!

The Math Behind Breaking 100 in Golf

Scoring a 99 or lower for the first time on the golf course is a big milestone and feels amazing. To score below 100 on a golf course, you need to learn the math and what it will take on the score card.

There’s a cool rule of thumb in golf that is called 9+9 = 99. This means if you make 9 bogeys and 9 double bogeys, you’ll shoot a 99 and achieve your goal of breaking 100.

A bogey is when you’re one stroke more than par for that hole and a double bogey is when you take 2 strokes more than par to finish the hole. For example, a 5 on a par 4 is considered a bogey and a 6 would be a double bogey on the same par 4.

Most golf courses are par 72, so to break 100 you’ll only be allowed up to 27 extra strokes above par to still score 99 or below and break 100.

F0llow the 9 bogies + 9 double bogies to break 100. Here’s the math breakdown:

  • 9 bogies = +9 extra strokes
  • 9 doubles = +18 extra strokes
  • Total extra strokes = 27

Add this 27 extra strokes you took to the Par 72, and you get 99 as your score!

If you make pars or birdies during the round, this means you could actually score a few extra double bogies and still be okay. But set the mental limit in your mind that you’ll make no more than 9 double bogies and you’ll be just fine!

Course Strategy to Break 100

Green in Regulation + 1 Stroke Rule

Green in regulation means reaching the green in two strokes less than par. This way you have two strokes left once you are on the green to make your putts.

Instead of trying to reach the green in regulation, we are allowing you to take an extra stroke to reach the green. This helps you be less aggressive and take a more calm approach to the hole, which will help you score better!

Green in Regulation Breakdown:

  • On Par 5’s the GIR is 3 strokes.
  • On Par 4’s the GIR is 2 strokes.
  • On Par 3’s the GIR is 1 stroke (tee shot).

But when trying to break 100, we are resetting the GIRs. Instead of reaching the green in two shots on a Par 4, we are allowing you to reach it in 3 shots. Then take two putts to finish the hole and you have yourself a 5 (bogey).

GIR + 1 Stroke Rule:

  • On Par 5’s the GIR is now 4 strokes.
  • On Par 4’s the GIR is now 3 strokes.
  • On Par 3’s the GIR is now 2 strokes.

Club Selection

Taking the rule above to heart, the next tip to breaking 100 in golf is making better club selections and picking shots that have higher percentages of success.

Find a club you tend to be more consistent with and can get decent distance with. Use this club often or use a combination of clubs your consistent with to move the golf ball from tee to green.

Since you’re allowed one extra stroke to reach the green in regulation, there’s no pressure trying to force a driver to hit the ball as far as you can.

For example, I could use just my 7 iron only on a par 4, and reach the green in 3 shots no problem. It’s my most consistent club that hits the ball fairly straight and about 150-160 yards every time I swing it.

I can just hit my 7 iron 150 yards fairly straight, 3 times in a row, for a total of 450 yards which should easily get me from tee to green on most Par 4 holes.

Realistically, on the 3rd shot to the green I would switch down to a wedge or whatever club better suits the remaining distance left, but you get the point!

Picking proper club selection will help you play better golf and be more consistent.

If I hit my driver inaccurately, it could leave me with a tough next shot, so I’m fine taking the safer play of 7 iron rather than trying to blast my driver out of bounds or into the woods.

Remember, you get 3 shots to reach a par 4 green so reset your club selection and get creative with how you can use your most consistent golf clubs to reach the green.

Avoid More than 2 Putts on the Green

When putting, try your hardest to limit yourself to just 2 putts to get the ball into the hole. Use the first putt to hit the ball with speed control, getting it as close to the hole as possible so you can leave yourself an easy, short range second putt.

Putting is an area you can improve quickly to start scoring lower golf scores. Think about how many extra strokes you could save by limiting yourself to 2 putts or less on each hole!

If you have an occasional 3 putt on a hole, it’s not the end of the world. Remember, to break 100, you’re allowed to make bogeys and double bogeys so if you 3 putt, it turns a bogey into a double bogey which is okay.

What’s not okay, is when you 4-putt or 5-putt a green and this escalates your score to a triple or quadruple bogey, hurting your chances of breaking 100.

Try to Stay Positive and Pressure Free

Golf is just as much mental as it is skill. And you’ll find this out pretty quickly the more you play golf.

You probably started out playing golf socially with your friends and didn’t care much about score.

But after making some pars and bogeys you’ve gotten hooked on golf and now you’re starting to set expectations for yourself on the golf course like breaking 100.

This begins to add pressure to your game and you start to overthink each shot.

Instead, try to get back to playing stress-free. Use some of our mental strategies to clear your head before each shot and make better contact with the ball. Pressure can make you tense up and mishit golf shots.

Avoid Blow Up Holes

We’ve all been there before. Making a 10 on a par 3 or making a 12 on a par 5. These blow up holes in golf surely hurt your chances of breaking 100.

The less big scores you have on the scorecard, the less pressure you’ll feel to make par or bogey.

One of the causes of blow up holes, is pressuring yourself to make par and taking way too risky of golf shots.

Take Less Risky Golf Shots

Making a Par is a great feeling but too many beginners don’t have the skillsets needed to make pars yet and shoot themselves in the foot by trying to force a par that had little chance of happening.

The key to breaking 100 is avoiding blow up holes where you score triple bogey or worse! Set your expectations lower and play with less risk. Get comfortable that bogey is the new par for golfers scoring above 100.

Make smarter golf shot choices. For example, when you find yourself in trouble, hit back out into the fairway instead of trying to reach the green.

You know this stuff already, you just have to mentally stick to it and stop letting the hero shots creep into your mind.

Don’t Always Pull Out the Driver on Tee Shots

To break 100 in golf is pretty simple, but here’s where most golfers go wrong…they try to hit drivers and woods off the tee.

Instead, you need to use your most accurate “long golf club” for every shot until you get down near the green. This means choosing the golf club that you can hit straightest while still producing 100+ yards of distance.

Be okay with moving the ball 300+ yards in 2-3 shots instead of trying to do it in one shot. You’d rather play down the fairway than wasting strokes in the trees and rough.

Golf Practice Tips to Break 100

Test Yourself to Find Your Best Club

Imagine yourself on a tee box and you’ve got your driver, wood, hybrid, 5 iron, 6 iron, 7 iron all right next to you like you do on the driving range. Now imagine the fairway and any golf shot that misses the fairway gets disqualified.

After hitting one ball with each of these clubs, which club do you feel is most likely going to be the winner for hitting the ball the furthest while staying on the fairway? Which club will likely produce this result the most times if you hit 100 balls with each club?

For most golfers trying to break 100, it will not be your driver or fairway wood. Instead, the winning club that you consistently hit the fairway with and produces the most distance will likely be either a hybrid or your 6-iron / 7-iron.

Calculate how far you hit your consistent club and figure up how many shots it will take to reach the green using just that club.

For most golfers, hitting a 7 iron 130-140 yards can get you down to the green in 3 shots, giving you a chance at a par or bogey, worst case double bogey.

But this is much better than your current experience making triples or worse from using driver off the tee.

Resource: Try our golf training plan to quickly lower your scores

Get Really Good at Pitch Shots in Golf

The next step to breaking 100 in golf is fixing your short game. Practicing your Short Game is super important if you have dreams of making pars and bogeys on a consistent basis.

Using the golf tips above, we’ve already helped you get yourself within 100 yards of the green after two shots on most Par 4 holes. Now your short game takes over as you finish out the remaining shots inside 100 yards.

For this, you’ll need to become great with your pitching wedge. Most golfers can hit their pitching wedges in excess of 100 yards so it’s the proper club selection when you find yourself getting within 120 yards or closer to the green.

Practice hitting 20, 40, 60, 800, 100, and 120 yard shots with your pitching wedge on the driving range. Buy an entire bucket off balls where the only golf club you’re hitting is your pitching wedge.

I promise, if you do this for a week straight and hit 500+ balls, you’ll see quick improvement with this scoring club.

At the same time that you’re learning how to hit this club straighter and straighter, you’ll also be getting more skilled at distance control by breaking up your bucket of balls and hitting 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120 yard pitch shots with it.

And yes, it will require learning how to hit half swings and three quarter swings to adjust for different distances. But this is how you gain control and hit straight, by making less than full golf swings.

Short game is about finesse and control, not how far you can hit the ball so a full swing isn’t necessary with your pitching wedge. Become great at these controlled distance swings.

Check these out:

Practice Chipping to Break 100 Quickly

Step 3 is becoming great with your chipping wedge. Once you’ve smacked a few 7 irons to within 100 yards and followed that up with an 80 yard pitch shot, you’ll need to have a chip shot on hand to get the ball close to the hole.

Hopefully you were able to get on the green in 3 shots by hitting a controlled pitch shot, but for times when you miss the green with your pitching wedge, you’ll need to be prepared to get up and down with chipping.

The best way to improve your chipping is to practice again with just one wedge. Too many amateur golfers, try to use multiple wedges (54 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree).

See the theme here? Master your 7 iron, your pitching wedge, and your chipping wedge and you’ll be able to break 100 in golf pretty easily with these 3 consistent clubs.

Learn the Bump & Run Chip Shot

The first short game shot to get really good at is the bump & run chip shot. This is a chip shot you hit lower with more roll, less spin. The goal is to treat it like a putt where you get the ball on the green sooner so that it rolls the majority of the distance.

The reason the low runner chip shot is best for beginners trying to break 100, is that it’s easier to control. You’re less likely to hit it fat, shank it, blade it, etc. because you’re only hitting it a short distance and keeping the ball flight lower.

On flop shots, you have to make a harder, faster swing to hit the ball further and higher, which can lead to lots of error possibilities.

The best club to use for a low runner chip shot is a pitching wedge or another lower lofted club like a 9-iron.

Irons are easier clubs to hit chip shots with and less likely to dig “fat shots” compared to wedges due to the club face design. But they have low spin, and more roll so they’re not ideal in situations where there isn’t alot of green to work with for rolling chip shots to the hole.

In these cases you may need to flight the ball higher with a traditional wedge (56 or 60 degree loft).

Putting Tips to Break 100

Putting is one of the easiest ways to improve your golf score and quickly break 100.

The two areas you likely struggle with most are long putts outside of 40 feet and short putts inside of 10 feet, which both lead you to more 3 putts and 4 putts than you’d like to admit.

Imagine how many short putts you miss per round that you wish you would have made and know you should have made.

Subtract these strokes off your score and I bet you improve at least 5-10 strokes per round, which could be the difference to breaking 100 or even breaking 90 soon.

Circle Putting Drill:

The first drill you should practice is the circle putting drill. It involves setting up multiple tees around the hole in a circle and putting balls from each of them.

Measure out 3 feet to start and once you can go around the circle sinking all putts in a row, then move the tees back to 4 feet away from the hole and repeat.

Distance / Speed Control Putting Drill:

Your next best putting drill to practice is the long distance putting ladder. Set up putts from 20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, and 60 feet by marking them with tees or ball markers.

We call it a ladder because you’ll be hitting putts from different distances in a straight line, so each putt is it’s own rung on the ladder as you move higher and higher on the ladder (further and further) away from the hole.

Try to keep a similar tempo when putting from long distance but let the length of your backstroke determine how much power each putt is struck with.

Practice both of these drills by hitting 200 putts for each drill, 400 putts combined in one practice session. Repeat this practice session every day for 2 weeks and you’ll see much improvement.

Think that’s overkill? It’s no different than LeBron James or Michael Jordan shooting 1,000 jump shots in one practice session, every day, day in and day out. Aim for 400-500 putting reps per practice to improve your putting skills quickly and this will help you break 100 in golf.

Golf Putting Plan – Download your copy here.

Best Golf Tips to Breaking 100

Tee Shots

Focus on hitting more fairways and less on how far you hit the golf ball. We’re not trying to reach the green in regulation on Par 4’s and Par 5’s. Instead, we need to reset your expectations and consider a bogey a par.

This means hitting 3 shots to get onto the green on Par 4 holes instead of reaching the green in 2 shots. Give yourself that extra stroke to remove pressure and lower your expectations of trying to make par every hole.

Find your longest, most accurate club to use for tee shots which likely will be your 7 iron or possibly a high lofted hybrid club.

Approach Shots

Don’t aim for the flag. Aim for the center of the green. Also beware of trouble around the greens like bunkers and water and aim your shots away from these hazards that will add penalty strokes to your score.

In addition, consider the position of the pin and where the best location to miss the green would be, giving you the best angle for your chip shot to hopefully get the ball close for a one putt save.

Pitch Shots

Master your pitching wedge club. Become skilled at hitting it different distances so that you can take pressure off your long game knowing that once you get inside 100 yards, you’re money.

Spend entire range buckets just working on your pitching skills and distance control as you’ll face a wide variety of distances out on the golf course.

Play the Bend

Most beginner golfers have either a slice or hook in their golf swing causing the golf ball to bend during its ball flight. This is why we recommended above using a higher lofted club to hit the ball straighter like a 7 iron instead of driver.

The 7 iron will have less bend and ball curve due to the higher loft, making it easier to hit straight and maximize distance. But for shots that you know are going to bend, compensate for it in your set-up.

Aim yourself left of the fairway if you know the ball will slice back right.

Practice With Purpose

When you head to the golf course to practice your golf game, you should already have a plan to follow. We created these practice plans if you’d like to use them to guide you.

Each practice rep needs to be struck with purpose. Understand clearly what you are trying to accomplish and how the practice session is helping you improve. Otherwise you’re not practicing, you’re just wasting time.

Identify Your Golf Swing Faults

Having a correct golf swing is the most crucial part when it comes to lowering your score. You should extensively work on identifying the faults in your swings and learn more about the causes and how you can fix your swing faults.

Then develop a practice routine to deliberately work on your golf swing to improve it. Take this new and improved swing to the golf course and start putting it to play.

Work On Your Weaknesses

Practice the shots that you feel are your weakest. This is how you’ll get better at golf quickly and build confidence. Use your practice time to work on weaknesses that you’ve identified from playing rounds of golf.

Always be analyzing your game and learning what you’re good at and what you’re weaknesses are so you can tweak your practice routines to address these areas of play.

Master the Golf Swing Basics

Practice is the key to success at any game. When it comes to golf you need to make sure your golf swing is dialed in and it takes many hours of practice to fine tune a great golf swing.

Grip – learn the different variations for gripping a golf club and pick the one that feels most comfortable to you.

Stance – practice how far to stand from the ball to make a comfortable swing as well as how wide your stance needs to be to maintain balance, control, and still generate power.

Posture – this will be key in making a proper golf swing. Starting off the swing with incorrect posture can lead to you trying to make adjustments during the swing and this tends to cause errors and develop swing faults. Here is our guide on posture in the golf swing.

Alignment – get yourself aimed properly to your target and you’ll hit more accurate golf shots. Many beginners don’t align their stance properly and this creates swing faults over time.

Speed – lastly, practice drills that help you improve swing speed and you’ll find yourself hitting the golf ball farther with more power. Swing speed is the factor that determines how far your ball flies. This doesn’t mean swing harder, but instead getting the swing to be in a smooth, rhythm motion that is effortless and controlled.

10 Best Golf Drills For Beginners To Break 100

Drill #1: Using The Same Club To Hit Different Distances.

This is one of the best drills to improve your accuracy. Use one club and try hitting different distances.

Let’s say you take a 5-iron club. On your first hit, aim for a 200 yard distance. Then the next swing aim to hit the club to a 175 yard target, then 150, 125 so on.

This practice drill will help you develop better control over the ball, learning how to hit certain distances that you’ll face out on the golf course, and you’ll also drastically improve your accuracy.

Drill #2: Impact Location Drill

When playing golf, you’ll find that it’s very hard to hit the ball on the center of the club face. But the times that you do achieve this, it will feel sweet, hence why it’s called the sweet spot.

To work on improving your ball striking and making better contact with the golf ball to the club face, try practicing the following swing drill.

Take a towel and set it behind the ball on the ground a few inches. Work on striking the golf ball without hitting the towel. This will ensure the club is bottoming out at the right point in the swing and not too early.

If the clubhead makes contact with the ground too early, it chunks the ball, hitting ground well behind the ball before it reaches the golf ball.

You can also find out where on the face you’re making impact by spraying the clubface with a foot spray or buying impact stickers that stick to the clubface.

This will help you with the feedback and give you an idea regarding where you need to improve.

Drill #3: Using Three Different Clubs For The Same Distance

This is a great practice drill to help you in developing better control over distance. In this drill, you can pick out 3 different golf clubs and use them to hit golf balls at a selected distance of choice.

For example, hitting to a 120 yard target on the driving range with your 5 iron, 7 iron, and 9 iron. This will train you how to hit the same shot with 3 different clubs so you can have options if you ever face trouble on the golf course.

You may find that you have tree branches in the way, so you won’t be able to hit your normal pitching wedge 120 yards on the golf course. But fear not, you’ve mastered hitting a low 7 iron shot 120 yards thanks to this drill so you can choose this option instead to avoid the trees.

Drill #4: Putting Distance Control Drill

For this putting drill, you will hit 3 putts 3 different distances trying to focus on your control over distance. We won’t be trying to make any putts in this drill.

Start by picking a distance you want to hit the first putt, such as 15 feet. Try to hit the first putt 16 feet so it rolls past your target 1 foot or less.

Next, hit a second putt trying to roll it 14 feet, a foot short of the target.

Lastly, hit a third putt that stops in-between these two putts so that you master distance control.

It’s a challenging drill but you’ll gain feel for putting and distance as a result!

Drill #5: Variation in Grip Tension

When playing golf under a pressure situation your grip might become more tense or vary from shot to shot. It’s important to develop an understanding of what happens when there is a change in the grip tension.

To learn how grip tension affects your swing, hit 3 different shots using 3 different grip tensions. Start with a normal grip, then use a tight grip, and then try the loose grip.

Analyze how each grip feels and the resulting swing. Notice how far or short the ball flies and how accurate it is compared to normal grip tension.

Drill #6: Towel Swinging

This is a fairly simple drill for beginners that can be done easily at home without the use of a golf club or any golf equipment. To do this drill all you need is a towel that should be rolled up, with a knot at one end.

You have to treat the knotted side of the towel as the clubhead and grip the towel from the other end.

With the knotted end of the towel hanging towards the ground, you should take the golf stance that you might take before playing any shot. Then attempt to make a golf swing complete from beginning to end using the towel as the club.

To successfully do this drill you will have to move slowly with a steady tempo. You have to control the swing with the movement of your body.

Doing this drill regularly will help you develop better control over the club and increase your accuracy by many folds.

Drill #7: Spot Chipping

This drill will help you improve your chipping skill. In this drill, pick a spot on the green as a target instead of a hole.

You should select the spot on the green based on the expected bounce and roll of the shot you’re about to play so that the ball would end up close to the hole once finished rolling.

Mark this spot on the green with a ball marker. Aim your chips at this spot and try your best to hit with distance control so the chip shot lands on or very close to this marker.

Then analyze how the ball rolls after and see if you can get the balls to stop close to a hole on the green. Adjust the spot marker as needed until you find a chip shot that gets the ball within a few feet of a hole on the practice green.

Drill #8: Alignment Drill

Alignment is one of the key things to consider if you are trying to lower your score in golf. Many beginners end up aiming their feet to the target instead of the club aiming to the target. This drill helps you improve exactly that.

To do this drill you need two alignment sticks or golf clubs laid down parallel to each other. One of the sticks should point towards the target and the other just left of the target but lying parallel to each other.

Now try hitting the ball with your feet aligned with the alignment stick closest to you. This drill will help improve your alignment and do wonder with your skills.

Drill #9: Improving Posture Drill

Good posture with a balanced stance will drastically improve your golf swings. You can do this drill with or without the golf club. You need to stand straight with your feet firmly on the ground parallel to each other and your hands on the sides.

Now, spread your legs to shoulder width and roll up your toes to jump up. As you come down bend your knees to absorb the impact of landing.

This will give you a perfect knee bend and weight equally distribution among your feet. Now hinge your upper body forward by bending through your hips to achieve a good spine tilt forward for correct swing posture.

This will help you get into the perfect stance with ease. Practice this drill regularly to improve your stance and posture.

Drill #10: Putting from 6 Feet Drill

The putting shots drill will help you in making key improvements in your game to help you break 100. To perform this drill, you need two alignment sticks, aligned parallel to each other on the ground.

Set this up about 6 feet away from your target hole. You should set the width of the stick wide enough for the putter to move freely. Now practice hitting putts while trying to keep the putter between the sticks.

This drill will help you with improving the path of your putting stroke and increasing your accuracy with each putting stroke. Try to sink 50 putts per day from 6 feet, using this golf putting drill.

Overall, take this entire guide and all of the golf tips discussed and you’ll become an improved player and starting breaking 100 in golf sooner than later.

If you’re scoring 120 or above, set a short term goal to achieve scores around 105 and once you get here, then go for breaking 100! Good luck.

Golf Practice Plans (Follow these Programs)

Golf Video Courses

Don’t miss out on these amazing training programs. They’ll help lower your golf scores.

Or hop onto our email newsletter and get the free weekly golf tips we send out to our community plus updates and other announcements you don’t want to miss!

Golf Practice Plans (Follow these Programs)

Golf Video Courses

Don’t miss out on these amazing training programs. They’ll help lower your golf scores.

Or hop onto our email newsletter and get the free weekly golf tips we send out to our community plus updates and other announcements you don’t want to miss!