If you are a beginner and looking to break the magical 100 mark there are a few things that you can do to help you achieve this.
You want to be realistic and accept that you will not go from shooting 100+ to shooting below 90 in one foul swoop, although you will be able to get close to the low 90s almost straight away.
Step 1 – Take the driver out of the bag
This may seem as though it will hinder you rather than help you, but the driver will put you into trouble more often than the three wood or even a hybrid.
If you can avoid hitting it into the trees, water or out of bounds just three times in your round you could save up to 6 shots.
Step 2 – Take your time
I am totally against slow play and beginners are often blamed for it, when in truth the pressure being put on them by more experienced golfers is increasing the problem.
If you are not ready to play, for whatever reason then begin your pre-shot routine again.
I have seen it happen on numerous occasions, a golfer obviously uncomfortable with the way they have set-up to then hit the ball a few meters.
You have a set amount of time to hit your shot, around 40 seconds, this gives you plenty of time to re-set.
More importantly you are more likely to hit the ball better and relieve some of the pressure from the group behind.
After all fewer shots should mean a shorter round.
Step 3 – Change your thinking
One of the biggest reasons for racking up big scores on a number of holes is trying to be too “clever”.
A phrase that you should consider when you approach your ball under the trees is,
“Take your medicine”
I want you to take this into account, as this is the area where you lose the most shots.
Imagine this scenario;
You are just off the fairway in the trees. Your ball is lying well, but you have a tree hindering your backswing and follow through, there is a gap between the trees some 50 meters ahead giving a clear line through to the green.
You take the chance, only to hit the tree with your backswing, causing you to miss the ball, angry you try again and move it a few inches.
Finally, you pitch out sideways, knock your next on to the green and then three putt for a wonderful 8.
Had you had chipped out sideways from the beginning you would have saved at least two shots, probably more as you would have been more focused on your putts.
To score well you have to think well and the major difference between shooting 101 and 99 is nothing more than a few bad decisions.