Breaking 75

Follow Thread

By Justin Helton

  • 28 Replies
  1. Justin Helton

    Justin Helton
    Newnan, Georgia

    Hello everyone. I have been playing golf for several years and I have been fortunate enough to get my handicap to 3.4. I have really struggled this year scoring lower than 75. I always end up scoring high 70's. Any tips on getting over the hump and getting closer to par? Or below par? I have really been working on my short game and it has helped but it always seems like when things are going good and I'm sitting at +1 or +2 I always feel the pressure and double or have a bogey streak and throw it away. Any range things I could work on? Or is it all mental?

  2. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Work back from the green. Is it your putting or your short game? After you finish your next round, look at your card look where you could have taken off 3- 4 shots. I am no where you level anymore. Age and physical issues have taken over. But I look at my score card and know that I have had five holes where I could have dropped some scores and know that if I had putted better I could have shot in the low 80s and maybe in the high 70s. I try not to think about it while I am playing. One hole at a time and figure it out when I am finished. Half par on most courses is 36 and that is 2 putts average per round. Fourteen tee shots. 50 shots so far. How do you get to 75 from there.
    Again, is it putting or your short game. Just break it down to simple math. Easy on paper.
  3. Justin Helton

    Justin Helton
    Newnan, Georgia

    Thanks for the reply.. I have been keeping stats on the GHIN app and for a while i wasn’t hitting greens and then If I didn’t 1 putt I would be getting bogeys or worse. I have been playing more competitive golf this year and trying to get better. Now it’s come down to putting. I have been working my tail off on short game. I will start paying more attention to my stats and see where I can improve. Thanks.
  4. DMorrison

    Senoia, GA

    Hey, neighbor! So, for me, my additional strokes are found in hasty green-reading and approaches that come up short. Even then, it's really due to what's happening between the ears. I've been working to think less so that I'm less tense. That tension causes a lot of problems, especially the one of breaking a number on my score card. That's why I like Chuck's comment about not looking at a score card. If I'm playing alone, I usually just analyze one part of my game, like direction or distance or just count my putts. When I play with someone, I ask him/her to keep my score so that I don't focus on anything that causes tension in my body or grip.
  5. Edward K

    Edward K
    Wesley Chapel, FL

    You literally have to forget about where you stand with your score, it'll put too much pressure on you. Some people really battle the advanced milestones in sport. You're trying to do what a very small percentage are capable of. I've been around scratch for over 30 years, based on a belief that I'm going to keep hitting good shots, give myself birdie chances. Sometimes the number we shoot isn't really a good reflection of how we played today, as 2-3 swings can make/break a round. It's really simple to comprehend, hard to achieve. Keep grinding. If you were watching Scottie the first 2 rounds at East Lake, you'll understand! Some days, it just isn't there.
  6. Philip M

    Philip M
    East Freetown, MA

    There are a few things you could do on the mental side to help try and get over the hump. On the range you could practice in a way that puts pressure on you if you are performing well. For example, "play" a round on the range and keep score by giving yourself birdie, par, bogey, etc based on your long game shots. One game that I used to play was I would "play" my home course on the range and try and get as far as I could before I hit a really wayward shot. If you keep track of your best scores between sessions, you will hopefully start to feel pressure as you try and beat your own previous records.

    If you are somebody who somebody who can't get that same feeling of pressure on the range, you can try playing from the forward tees. Hopefully, this will give you more experience shooting lower numbers and you will be able to break through and get comfortable at or around par when getting to the finishing holes.

    Finally, something that is easier said than done is to not pay attention to what your score is. I usually know around where my score is for the day, but after I finish each hole I forget about it and move on. Focus on the process for each shot, but once it is done, it is done. Move on to the next one and don't worry about totalling them all until the end. Good luck, I'm sure you will get there soon.
  7. Mike M

    Mike M
    Marblehead MA

    Justin if you're sitting at +1 or +2 when things are going well, to me that's just mental.You could be in a funk, but if you can play to that level all the aspects of your game seem to be intact.

    Best of luck.
  8. I am at the same scoring barrier, last 3 rounds of 78, 76, and 75. For me, it’s about making more birdies. I feel like I am always going to make a few mistakes and get a couple bogies in the card, so I need more birdies to go lower.
    Now how do I make more birdies? It comes down to distance control on the sub 100 yard wedge shots to give myself a good chance on the green.
  9. Edward K

    Edward K
    Wesley Chapel, FL


    Michael N said:

    I am at the same scoring barrier, last 3 rounds of 78, 76, and 75. For me, it’s about making more birdies. I feel like I am always going to make a few mistakes and get a couple bogies in the card, so I need more birdies to go lower.
    Now how do I make more birdies? It comes down to distance control on the sub 100 yard wedge shots to give myself a good chance on the green.

    It's really as much about taking advantage of opportunities as it is making fewer mistakes. The putts you "need" to make to keep the momentum going. I'm around scratch for many years, I just played a 2-day event, shot 145 (+1) and made 9 birdies, so there's debate to be had on both sides of that coin. I made 8 bogeys, and to be fair, a few I was lucky to make bogey from where I hit it. On another note, I played with a guy that was -8 for 2 rounds and was genuinely irritated with his scores both days. We all leave a handful of shots out there regardless of playing ability. Keep grinding!
  10. EddietheKarp


    Honestly, Justin, you've hit the point where there are no quick and easy answers. This is a cause for celebration, though! It means your ball striking has gotten to the level of not needing to grind on the range to improve, you've got the game to play at par or better. What now must become the focus is translating your potential to on course performance.
    In an ideal world, work with your professional on course to optimize the way you play in order to favor your strengths. Launch monitors provide great tests in their applications to identify your approach shot distances that minimize your dispersion, as well as a scoring system that takes par out of play and instead focuses on simply getting shots closer to the target.
    On the range, I would suggest playing one shot at a time (play a course you know well in your mind) going though your entire pre-shot routine every time. Make practice MORE focused and intense than playing so that when you actually tee it up your focus can go a bit softer and be more process based.
    Keep in mind that handicap, for the most part, represents your POTENTIAL on the golf course relative to the slope and rating of the tees you play, not your average score.
    I wish I could give a quick and easy formula to achieve becoming a + handicap, bit it is, unfortunately, not that simple. Find a trusted instructor to work with, though, and I have no doubt you'll get there!
  11. JoeyD


    I like all these comments! You're doing well, obviously and keeping stats is a great start to improving. I would suggest the biggest stat to focus on is par 5 performance. On a par 72 course you should have four legitimate chances for birdie...those par 5 holes. Figure out the shots you need to guaranty birdie on those four holes. Maybe it's accuracy with your 3-wood, hybrid or long irons. Maybe it's that 60 yard pitch shot that gets to tap in range. Maybe it's all of the above. You have to start with making birdies on par 5's to give yourself a chance to go lower.
  12. EJensen

    Raleigh, NC

    I'm with you on trying to break the next hurdle. I'm sitting at a 4.5hdcp and typically shoot 77-80, with a PB of 73.

    Like some people said above, birdies on Par 5's are pretty critical. I look back at my rounds of 75 or lower and for the most part I've had 2-3 birdies at least.

    I use the Grint app (linked to my GHIN), and they give me stats on where stats stand in comparison to handicap averages (not sure if GHIN has it but take a look) - so for example my driving accuracy is equivalent to a +1 handicap golfer, yet my putting is equivalent to a 12 handicap golfer (YIKES). Obviously putting is the area I need to work on most to overcome this hurdle, so maybe stats like those will help you identify where you should focus.

  13. Work on putts 6 ft and in. A lot. Try to get to tour level and your scores will move down
  14. Clayton J

    Clayton J
    Keller, Tx

    I’m in the same boat and for me I think the biggest thing that’s helping me is understanding where I’m leaking shots. So I’ve started keeping a journal that’s a little deeper. For example we all probably keep track of fairways and greens hit in regulation.

    1)Do you keep track of fairways and greens that you miss and where ?
    2)If you hit a green where are you ? Short, pin high or long ?
    3) didn’t get up and down for par ? What happened with the up, the putt ?
    4)Do you always miss putts high or low long or short ?

    For me it’s been helpful seeing trends after the round so my practice sessions can be more specific.
  15. devinjd

    Los Angeles, CA

    The only downside ive found with trying to keep my own "advanced stats" is i zero in on the one thats the problem, and i neglect the others and then they become the problem. But i guess thats why im still on the hunt to break 80 .
  16. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Have been in a scoring funk for a numbers of year. Due to a number of reasons/excuses. Hitting fairways is not the issue with accuracy and distance is not the problem. Irons has been a problem, but think with recent visit to fitter/instructor we may have found that fix and working on it. Start eliminating those big numbers in that area. Next problem, putting. Cut out uglies on the greens. IF I can get my game back down to the low 80's I will be happy and can enjoy this game a little more. Once I achieve that goal, then every now and then I can see a high 70 sliding in there every now and then. Have been there prior to all my medical issues and amy working harder than ever on that. Our course is not a easy course to score on, but one that can train you to play well on others. Small greens, fast, Seth Raynor style (false fronts, bowls, redans, etc. etc.) and employees (most do not play golf and not well trained in pin setting). Prior to the renovation the lowest I shot on the course was a 69 and played consistently in the 80's. With all the team support I am getting from my fitter/instructor, my TPI certified medical team, and teacher, new equipment, new attitude, and me doing my daily physical fitness, it just might be possible. I think so. Cannot wait for 2024.
  17. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    The title of this post is not “What things on your body break after 75”.
  18. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Beyond GIR and number of putts, you need to keep stats on distance to pin on landing on green and if above or below hole. The pros are more likely to 3 putt than 1 putt at I think 16 feet. Is that 10 or 12 feet for you? What distance can you get down in 1 putt 80% of the time?

    There will always be the downhill lie in a bunker on the short side. Exclude that, Proximity to the hole has a balance point between approach and putting success. GIR+1 and then 32 feet to the hole has double written over it. That will tell you if the bigger problem is approach or putts to limit bogey and definitely double.

    I assume you have been fitted for wedges and putter as a serious golfer looking to hit par.
  19. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Went back to analyze how I can improve my game. I’m not flirting with 75 primarily due to too many GIR’s plus 1. Cranking the numbers, my proximity on the green is close to 15 feet. 12-14 feet is where I’m more likely to 3 putt than 1 putt is 12-14 feet.
    So I should only take irons and wedges to the range. Less than 10 feet proximity gives me a good shot at a one putt. So is it closer proximity to improve score or a lack of confidence in the last 6 inches (between the ears)?
  20. Excellent Don! They are called scoring irons for a reason. You nailed this!
  21. Although im not on this level, this thread has a lot of info for all golfers, im just trying to break 80 more!
  22. I used to be this good….life gets in the way
  23. Every five years now I seem to lose one club in distance. Not easy being 70+, but good to be above the grass!
  24. Maintain that distance with stretching. Tpininstitute is awesome
  25. I fully understand your frustration. At 69, I’ve lost 10+ mph in driver speed in the last two years! I’m still driving 250+, but I’m having a hard time accepting the reality that I have to take an extra club to reach the greens!
  26. Practice putting from 6 feet and in a lot and see if you can get to a tour performance level with this length. Practice chipping from all lies. These two parts of the game will make a huge difference. This will turn low 80 rounds into 70 s. And high 70 s into low 70s
  27. Been sitting on a 5 hcp. for years now. It’s all mental when you get to that point. Stats are important knowing where your missing your shots. A lot of self help mental books out there. Atomic Habits, Resilient Golf Improvement, Every Shot Counts and the Four Foundations of Golf. On Twitter, follow, Lou Stagner, he tracks shots on PGA and amateurs, you would be surprised. His motto is Manage your expectations. When you forget about the number you expect to shoot, it will come. Good Luck!!
  28. Jimmy S

    Jimmy S
    Somerset, KY

    It sounds like your game is good enough for the score you want until the end, and then things unravel.

    Here are two causes that I identified for my end-of-round failures:

    1. The longer I go into the round, the looser I get, even if I had a nice warmup session. Looseness that develops during the round feels like an asset, but for me it can lead to a bit of overswinging with reduced clubface control.

    2. My worst end-of-round issue is the decreasing ability to strike the ball flush (fine motor skills). Along with the issue above, I attribute this to simply wearing out a bit during a four hour round. I've taken up doing what the pros do, which is to sip on electrolytes and divy up a banana or PBJ to eat every few holes. It helps them a bit, and I feel pretty sure that it is helping me reach the home stretch with a bit more energy.

    Good luck on your 75!

  29. TWalker


    If you are looking to better your game and you’ve been stuck at a low handicap for a while check out decade golf. It’s the best data app available and will help you drop shots.

Please login to post a comment.

Sign In

Haven't registered for Team Titleist yet?

Sign Up