Going low! Breaking 80 or breaking par - your story, your journey, your advice


I love the way strangers start grouping together to help you get it done when they realise you’re doing something special too! It’s one of the best parts of the game.

Couple of months ago one of the guys in my group went round in 4 under. I think I was more tense than he was on 16-18! We collectively refused to let him hit driver off the deck on 16. On 17 we were all reading the putt for him and when it dropped from 30 feet we all went nuts. I virtually carried his bag up 18 so he didn’t get tired. Once the putt dropped for a 4 under we all cheered and gave him a massive hug. It was one of my best experiences on a golf course, and I played shit.

Where else do grown men do that for each other?! :slight_smile:


I have broken 70 a few times in causal rounds or in a Saturday game, but the 1st time I did it in a tournament was the best, I shot 71-70 in a 2 day tournament at 2 courses in a 2 man stroke play event. It was so much fun to be on for 2 straight days of tournaments play and it gave me an even greater appreciation for how great pro golfers are.


Any advice for a scratch golfer who is deathly afraid of #livingunderpar?
I know that it has to be mindset. I have a mental block to making birdies.


I’ve seen similar things when people are fishing for big fish and someone hooks into a good one, but your story was great to read!

Play from the really, really forward tees once a month. You’ll become more comfortable being at or under par when you play from 5200 yards or something now and then.

I have my college team do this fairly often. Barriers like “under par” lose their meaning when you’ve broken them, even though it might be from 5600 yards instead of 7100.


Played yesterday, shot even par 35 on the front, 47 on the back. It was fun…


spin zone: you were playing golf on 12/23, some of us can only dream of such a thing.


That’s the best thing I tell others to do as well. Also what I like to do is pick their easiest 3-4 hole stretch they do good on and only score those holes during practice, just so they understand that they might can string together a few birdies in a row and be okay with it. That’s where I find they have issues is when they make one or two in a row and then it’s just in their heads.


I used to suffer the same problem (see above). Not of making birdies but of closing out a low round.

Have you ever asked yourself what exactly it is that you are “deathly afraid” of? If you went out Christmas morning and fired a 5-under 67, what’s the worst thing that would happen as a result? As a scratch player you have the game - what happens mentally/physically when you make a couple birdies early? Or a couple bogeys/a double?

How many birdies a round do you average? Are you streaky (i.e. make 5 in a round sometimes and then not make one for 3 rounds)? I think more information is needed, and I’m curious about this phenomenon.


I average 72 in casual rounds and 74 in tournament rounds. I rarely make doubles and average 1-2 birdies per round. My birdies usually come on par 5’s that I reach in two or get close enough to chip.
I am the opposite of streaky. Pars all day, but I probably only hit 11-13 greens per round so I scramble well.
My iron play is solid but not spectacular, my proximity to the hole is probably 13-18 feet. I have a lot of make-able birdie putts, but they burn a lot of edges or die short in the heart. I try to die my putts in the hole, so maybe I should be more aggressive? I think I am deathly afraid of bogeys and, more specifically, three putting.


It sounds to me as if you are knocking on the door of some magic rounds. Nothing (or not much) mental at all in here. Having read this and knowing that you are composed enough to play tournament/collegiate level golf, here are my thoughts - they are just opinions, but I sincerely hope they help.

  • You need to work on your game from 125 yards in. If you sharpen your wedge approaches, you’d see a spike in birdies on short/mid par 4’s.

  • I grew up with the notion that the perfect putt would roll no more than 18-inches past the cup but never short of it. Put an alignment stick or rolled towel 1.5 feet behind the cup and practice from 10, 15, 20, and 25 feet. Work on dying 5 putts at the cup (as you say) from each distance starting from 10 feet without leaving it short or hitting the stick/towel before moving further away.

I mentioned to a buddy on the green a few days ago who is an absolute legend at leaving all birdie putts short that the “percentage of birdies made of putts left short is exactly 0%.” Not my wisdom, but it’s certainly true.


I think this is really good advice. In high school our team played from different tees all the time, just so the course we practiced on wasn’t always looking the same to us (we weren’t good enough to be living under par), but it was still valuable.

But more to the living under par point, my first, sub-70 round came on a fairly easy par 70 course. I played fine then made birdies on 16 and 18 (which was nearly a chip in eagle) to shoot 69, so it wasn’t even something that had been weighing on my throughout the round, it just kinda happened. On the one hand, part of my mind said, “Well, El Rio, that course is pretty easy, does shooting 69 there even really count?” But then I played there again later that week and shot a 68 and figured, “Huh, even if it’s just this course, maybe there’s something here.” And then the next week I shot another 69 on a different, somewhat harder course. Part of that, obviously, is that I was hitting the ball really great and putting well for a couple weeks in the summer of 2002. Sometimes you just need to have your game be hot. Part of it is that it happened and I didn’t have any mental block over a score in the 60s. It was something I had done, even at an “easy” course, and so why not do it at a tougher course?