How to Break 70 in Golf
To break 70 in golf you need to be sharp in all areas of your game. No surprise right?
Today we will dive into each specific skill area and I will outline some statistics I believe you should strive for on your road to breaking 70 in golf.
Watch this video to learn the 9 shots types you must master on your way to breaking 70.
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I want to be clear though that there is no clear cut solution. You could fail to pass my standards I set for you today yet still go out and shoot a 70 or better.
These are just bench marks I recommend you aim for so that you have goals to motivate you and push you in working to better your golf game.
To help you hit these statistical bench marks in the different areas of your golf game, I recommend completing our 12 week practice program which comes with step by step practices outlining the drills and reps to complete to break 70.
How to Break 70 in Golf – Practice Milestones to Hit
Golf is a long term game but you can make great strides in a short amount of time. It took me only about 2 years to get my scores down to under par even though I was a complete beginner having never played golf much.
I did lots of skill analysis tests each month to see how well I could chip, putt, swing a golf club, etc.
I recommend to you the same. Have a few go to drills you can use to test your skills each month and see how you’re progressing. You can start with our Golf Skills Assessment we built if you’re not sure where to start.
Now let’s begin talking about how to break 70 in golf on a skill by skill basis.
What is the Scoring Mindset to Break 70?
In order to break 70 in golf, you need to consider what course you’re playing first and then figure out the needed pars and birdies. For example, if the course is Par 70 then you would need just 1 birdie and 17 pars to shoot 69.
However, since most courses are Par 72, you’ll likely need to make at least 3 birdies and score par on the rest of the holes. Easier said than done though!
To break it down mentally, your typical golf course has 4 holes where par is 5 strokes. These are going to be your best opportunities to get your birdies in. If you can birdie 3 out of the 4 holes, you’ve got yourself a chance to break 70 if you can hold par on all other holes.
If you can birdie all 4 of the par 5 holes or perhaps make eagle on one of them, you’re giving yourself a little room in case you make a bogey or two in your round. Par 3’s are another area to aim for birdies. You get a nicely tee’d up shot which improves your odds of hitting the green and making the birdie putt that follows.
To help you make more pars, try to make a game of it. See how many pars in a row you can make and keep track of your streak, trying to beat it every round you play. If you finish your round on a par streak, continue counting it the next time you play another round.
Lastly, if you make a few bogies in your round you’re okay!
You can still break 70 but you’ve got your work cut out for you. The easiest way to break 70 is to have as clean of a round as possible, and definitely no double bogies or worse on the scorecard.
Resource: The Breaking 70 in Golf Practice Routine + Worksheets
What Golf Swing Skill is Needed to Break 70?
To break 70 in golf, you’re going to need to be able to hit the ball fairly straight but it doesn’t have to be perfect.
The big key is cutting out chunks, topped shots, hooks, slices that get you in trouble and cost you wasted strokes. If you want to break 70, you can’t afford to waste strokes. It’s hard enough to make 3 birdies in a round, so for every bogey you make you add to the amount of birdies needed.
You don’t need to be a long hitter to break 70, but it sure can help you on par 5’s to reach the green in 2 shots and give yourself a shot at making eagle or birdie.
I would recommend a goal of hitting 70% of your fairways and 80% of your greens.
Hitting more fairways in regulation will obviously give you an easier shot to the green, helping boost your greens in regulation. But it isn’t necessary to break 70 in golf. I’ve had rounds where I hit very few fairways but still made birdies, pars, and scored near or under par.
To hit 70% of your fairways in regulation, you’ll need about 10 fairways out of 14.
To hit 80% of your greens in regulation you’ll need to land on the green 14 out of 18 holes. This leaves you 4 holes to rely on your short game to get you up and down for par.
20 Yards to 100 Yards Wedge Game
When you find yourself 20 yards to 100 yards away from the green, you’re going to need skill + luck to hit the ball close to the hole.
Therefore I recommend aiming to get the ball within 20 feet of the hole or closer rather than pressuring yourself to get it within 5 feet. Once inside 20 feet, you give yourself a chance to make the putt for your birdie or par save.
Common situations where you’ll face a 20 yard to 100 yard wedge shot include:
- The 3rd shot on a Par 5 to set yourself up for a birdie putt
- The 2nd shot after a good drive on a short Par 4 to set yourself up for birdie
- A bad miss on a par 4 approach shot leaving you a tough up and down to save par
- A bad miss on a par 3 tee shot leaving you a tough up and down to save par
To practice the wedge game from 20 yards to 100 yards out, drop a few balls every time you’re playing a practice round at 100 yards, 75 yards, 50 yards, and 25 yards. Give yourself some game experience by taking live reps out on the course vs banging range balls to these yardages.
Try to get these shots within 20 feet of the hole or less and record how many out of 4 (from the 25, 50, 75, 100 yardage marks) you were successful at on each hole.
This is 36 practice reps from this yardage for 9 holes if you attempt all 4 on each hole you play. Every rep goes into the memory bank so make them count!
Skills Test: Grab my golf skills assessment challenge and see how good your golf skills are in different areas of the game: Driving, Iron Play, Chipping, Putting, etc.
5 Yards to 20 Yards Pitching
Most of your approach shots that are poorly hit will end up 5 yards to 20 yards away from the green still leaving you some work to do if you want to get up and down to save par.
Approach shots that are well hit, should end up on the green or within 5 yards of the green.
So to prepare for times when you have bad approach shots that end up in this distance range of 5 yards to 20 yards away from the green, you should work a lot on pitching at the practice green.
Drop 10 balls randomly around the practice green rough between 5 to 20 yards away and target one hole on the green to hit to from all these different angles and yardages.
Aim to get 8 out of 10 within 10 feet of the hole (3 putter lengths)
Chipping from 5 Yards Away from the Green and Closer
In the event you barely miss the green, your chipping needs to be strong so you can save yourself.
We gave you some leeway with your pitching skills from 5 to 20 yards allowing you to get the ball within 8 feet of the hole to count it as a success, even though you leave yourself a challenging putt still.
With chip shots, we expect you to get the ball within 3 feet of the hole (1 putter length).
Drop balls just off the green in the rough and work to get 10 chips in a row inside 3 feet. Or test yourself by performing 100 chip shots from all kinds of random locations around the green and aim to get at least 90 out of 100 within 3 feet.
Yes, we’re being tough on you in this skill area, but it’s because it’s so crucial!
You can live with unsuccessful pitch shots because it’s a harder shot from further away. These close chip shots you need to be money at. Get your ball close to the hole (within 3 or 4 feet) to take pressure off your putting and ensure a high percentage chance of a 1 putt.
Putting Skill Standards
You could do everything right (hit the fairway, hit the green, or chip the ball close) on the way down to the green but if you’re putting is weak, you’re going to struggle to save pars and make your birdies.
To break 70 in golf, you need to be an excellent putter. This will set you apart from an average golfer vs a great golfer. Putting alone can significantly drop strokes from your total score!
Here are some statistical standards to set the bar high for putting:
- Can make 100 out of 100 putts from 3 feet
- Can make 95 out of 100 putts from 4 feet
- Can make 85 out of 100 putts from 5 feet
- Can make 75 out of 100 putts from 6 feet
- Can make 70 out of 100 putts from 7 feet
- Can make 60 out of 100 putts from 8 feet
Spend at least half of your practice session working on putting from 8 feet and closer. This will be the skill area that shaves the most strokes.
Then spend other time working on lag putts from 40-90 feet away from the hole to get your distance control down. This will help cut down 3 putts that result from poor lag putts that either hit the ball way past the hole or leave it way short, making your second putt impossible to make to save par.
Aim to get 10 lag putts in a row within 3 feet of the hole from 40 feet, 50 feet, 60 feet, 70 feet, 80 feet, and 90 feet. Use a circle of ball markers to create your target zone you’re trying to get the golf ball inside of for lag putts.
Restart each time you mess up and don’t get the ball within that 3 foot circle around the hole. Move back to the next distance once you can get 10 out of 10 in a row within a few feet.
Free Resource: Get the 7 Best Putting Lessons Emailed to You
Final Words on How to Break 70 in Golf
Overall, these are just arbitrary bench marks to aim for in each skill area. Yes they will seem difficult but with lots of practice you’ll begin seeing your skills improve and getting closer to achieving these milestones.
I used to struggle to make putts from 6 feet until I spent hours working on it. Now I can drain 6 footers 50% or more of the time on the course which is crucial for saving pars when I hit poor chip shots that don’t end up close to the hole.
Your round under 70 can come in a variety of ways:
- You could hit almost every green making it easier to make lots of pars and sink a few birdies
- You could miss several greens but save yourself with your chipping and then birdie the par 5’s
- You could miss lots of fairways and greens but birdie the few greens you do hit and make an eagle or two on the par 5’s.
- You might even have a double or triple bogey but end up making lots of birdies to still salvage an under par round.
All you can do is prepare for the time when it arrives. Preparation meets opportunity.
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