For many players breaking 80 is a sign that you’ve made it. Of course, breaking 80 doesn’t mean you are a professional golfer, but it means you may be on your way to becoming a Scratch golfer, and you have some things that are really strong about your golf game.

If you are ready to learn how to break 80 in golf, I have all the information you need. Interestingly, breaking 80 is more about how you handle yourself on the course than it is about your golf swing.

How to break 80 golf

To break 80, you will need to have less than 8 bogeys and 12 pars during your round of golf. This kind of consistency in scoring requires tee shots to land in the fairway, approach shots to land on the green, and bunker shots to allow for a one-putt and a few longer birdie putts to drop. Golfers that break 80 consistently know how to recover after a bad shot and have a mental plan for the day.image of how to break 80 golf - AEC Info

In addition to the consistency in your shot-making, golfers that break 80 have equipment that is suited to their individual needs, and they are often in good physical condition. When you work out and improve your physical condition, the chance of avoiding that triple bogey greatly improves.

If you are ready to break 80, prepare to work on your mental game, spend some extra time on the practice greens and play with equipment and golf balls that are the proper match for your game.

What is considered breaking 80 in golf?

Breaking 80 in golf means that you shoot lower than 80 for an 18-hole round of golf. Players that shoot 79, regardless of the par of the golf course that day, are considered to have broken 80. If you are an amateur golfer on a mission to break 80, a par 70 course would be much easier than a par 72 golf course.

To break 80, you will need to hit a number of greens in regulation, make a few birdie putts and avoid a double bogey at all costs. One of the most common traits of golfers that can break 80 is the ability to hit golf shots that stay relatively straight.

In addition, it becomes easier to improve on-course performance if you can learn to hit things like a low-pitch shot, a flop shot, chip, a fade, a draw, etc.,

What percent of people break 80 in golf?

Less than 3 percent of golfers can break 80 in golf. The majority of golfers struggle to break 90 or even 100, so breaking 80 can seem like a daunting task. The reason most golfers struggle to break 80 is because of the blowup holes where an errant shot requires a few penalty strokes; golfers that can hit consistent iron shots and keep their head in the game are eventually able to break 80.

So many golfers think that the way to break 80 is found on the driving range. I’ll admit that you have to put some time into practice but breaking 80 is more about your ability to play shots on the golf course. Think about things like taking a few deep breaths before a pressure shot, looking at the golf hole and deciding where to land a ball to set up your next shot, and being smart about risk-reward on the course.

Golf goals can be hard to reach. Start with trying to lower your best round two shots at a time. If you normally shoot 85, look to break 83 before you look to break 80.

How hard is it to shoot under 80?

Breaking 80 in golf is difficult because it requires more than just the ability to make solid contact with the golf ball. Course management, the mental game, distance control, and even physical conditioning can all be factors in breaking 80.

image of golfer swinging - AEC Info

If you are on a mission to break 80 this year, developing an effective practice plan is important. Practice time needs to be used effectively if you are going to start lowering your average score. I find that becoming really good with your pitching wedge and sand wedge is a great first step.

In addition, you will have to change your mind about things like 15-foot putts; those need to go in; they are not lag putts. When learning how to break 80, the typical golfer will feel as though they are starting back at square one because of all the new details that they must pay attention to.

How to break 80 in golf (Top tips and methods)

Depending on your strengths and weaknesses in your game, the ability to break 80 in golf will vary. Here are some of the best tips and methods to break 80 in golf.

an infographic showing how to break 80 in golf

Create a practice routine and stick to it

A practice routine is more than just hitting golf balls on the driving range. You have to develop a plan that works on the weakest parts of your game and goes from there. The practice routine is not about the number of shots you hit; it’s more about your progress.

I would work on things like a 20-40 yard pitch shot, a stinger shot, a drive that fades, and one that draws. You don’t need to stand out there and hit straight 5 iron shots all day; that’s not something that will help you all that much with scoring on the golf course.

Keep a detailed scorecard

If you can keep track of your stats on the golf course, it really helps with developing your practice routine. Look at things like greens in regulation; fairways hit, sand saves, the number of putts, etc.

Using a strokes gained app can be a really helpful way to look at your stats and pinpoint exactly what you need to work on.

Learn to control the golf ball

When you want to break 80 consistently, it is no longer acceptable to just hit straight shots. You will need to hit a draw or a fade from time to time. In addition, controlling the ball flight for both high and low golf shots will make it easier to break 80.

Don’t overreact to bad holes

You are going to have bad holes during the course of a round. Wild shots happen, but it’s how you react to them that will make or break you. Treat your good shots like your bad shots, and your mentality on the golf course will never cause you to hit more bad shots.

The problem happens when you are so mad about a shot that will cause a bogey that you quickly turn it into a double or triple.

A bogey you can recover from; a triple is a different story.

Develop a pre-shot routine

Every shot you hit should have the same pre-shot routine. To break 80, you will want to have some consistency in the game and a pre-shot routine that is the same every time is very consistent.

Golf has so many variables; a consistent pre-shot routine makes it easier to train your brain to what it needs to be doing on each swing.

Use golf technology when you can

Golf technology like rangefinders and GPS will help you hit more accurate fairway shots. The technology is legal, and it is available for you to use, take advantage of it.

I would caution on getting too involved in technology that it takes away your focus. However, a few simple devices can make a big difference.

Learn to be more positive on the golf course

Any sports psychologist will tell you that you need to think positively if you want to hit great golf shots. When you become negative and hard on yourself, it’s difficult to pull off what you need. Be positive and confident about your current shot, regardless of what happened on the last shot.

Develop a game plan for the round of golf

Go through each hole of the golf course mentally before you head out to the course that day. Develop a plan for where you would like all shots to land. You won’t follow your plan exactly but having it in place gives you a goal.

Stay focused for all 18 holes

You would be surprised how many rounds of been saved by golfers that can maintain their focus. Even when things are not going your way, stay focused for all 18 holes. A few birdies right at the end can give you the score you need.

Get a custom golf club fitting

Having the perfect equipment for your game in your hands certainly makes a difference. Even if custom club fitting helps you gain a shot or two, that’s another step closer to breaking 80 consistently. A custom club fitting does not mean you need to replace all clubs; you may just have a quick lie angle adjustment to take your game to the next level.

Put in a little time at the gym

Working out allows you to maintain your energy and stamina for the entire 18-hole round. Putting in a little time at the gym could also help you gain a few yards off the tee. Working on your health and wellness is something you will never regret.

Be aggressive enough to make birdies

Last but not least, start to go for those birdies. Par is great, but it can’t help you recover after a mistake.

image of woman using guide to putter - AEC Info

To break 80 consistently and to shoot in the 70s, you have to be aggressive enough to make birdies. Stop lagging all your putts and start sinking them!

Final thoughts

Breaking 80 in golf can be hard to explain because it seems like such a difficult thing to do for most players. However, you can work on this in pieces and start to perfect different areas of your game until you can put them all together.

Golfers that break 80 are consistent and detail-oriented, and they are not afraid to roll down a birdie putt.