How to Break 100 as a Beginner - Golf Sidekick

How to Break 100 as a Beginner

Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by Matt Greene

The Bare Bones Breaking 100 System for Beginners and High Handicappers

I went left handed to show you playas how to break 100 using the tactics and strategy created for the Way of the Playa. 

Now, I reckon I can help any guy break 100 over a period of a couple weeks.

But what I find is most guys want the quick fix. The one little secret that’ll get them to 99 ASAP.

Breaking the DELUSION of how to break 100

There’s no swing thought or fancy technical move I can show you to break 100 in golf. There are plenty of pros online and in the magazines to perpetuate that fantasy.

And if you’re looking at your swing as the biggest milestone to breaking 100, you’re almost certainly looking in the wrong place my good man. Swinging something at something is quite a natural move considering we used to swing things at things so we could eat.

I can’t show you how to hit the driver straight because to be honest, if that cub is putting you in positions where you're losing strokes, put it in the back of the car! You don't need it to break 100 for now. Emphasis on FOR NOW. Bring it back later but let's give it a breather for a few rounds.

I also can’t and will never show you how to overhaul your entire swing.

Because you don’t need to! You can swing it good enough my man!

My system is even better

I’ll show you how to break 100 by just thinking and strategizing better on the course while also using a handful of clubs.

No swing changes, no mechanics, no BS. This stuff works immediately and as you get more confident with the process, it will change your game forever.

I promise you.

Important notes for the doubters and haters and victims of their circumstance

  • I am in no way ambidextrous. I can not throw a ball, write my name, brush my teeth or cut with a knife left handed.
  • I had never hit a golf ball left handed in 21 years of playing golf until this experiment
  • I did this to prove that my theory of how to break 100 in fact works and is actually a boatload of fun to put into action.

Stress-Free Golf Breaking 100 Outline

Beginner swing with 25 years of golf knowledge

CONTROVERSY STARTS: Most people will poo-poo my ideas. They think it’s more fun and worth it to go for the one in a million shots not even the pros would go for. I strongly disagree with the notion that it's vital to hit driver and try make birdies when all you're trying to do is break that first scoring barrier of 100. 

When I say split a 200 yard shot into two manageable shots, people lose their minds. Other people misinterpret that to mean split the distance into 2 shots of 100 yards. The point of this entire system is to tailor it to you. You are the star of this show. 

They think it’s more fun to lose golf balls and have a one in 500 chance of making a birdie.

These are people who will NEVER break 100. I guarantee it. They haven’t learned to maximize their talents and control their games, their emotions and their brains. They call my strategies "boring golf" but this is monkey brain thinking - instant gratification nonsense. Golf is a never ending process and it all starts with basic and solid fundamentals much like a martial art.  

Counting up your score and penciling in a 99 is never boring my good fellows. It’s even better when the guy laughing at you for boring golf has shot 115 for the 100th time with no improvement, as you smugly sip that first beer, feeling the alcohol surge into your legs and that sh*t-eating grin spreading across your face.

Break 100 consistently with the Bare Bones System

That’s you playa - the strategizer, the plotter, the discerning golfer. 

Benefits of the Bare Bones Breaking 100 System

  • Fewer lost balls
  • Stress-free golf experience
  • More fun due to total control of your game and emotions
  • Lower scores
  • Arming yourself with the foundations of THINKING and course management needed to break 90 and 80 so you advance much quicker
  • Practice becomes simpler and structured with so much less to work on
  • An arsenal of shots that will serve you VERY well in your quest to get into the 80s
  • A lighter golf bag
  • A cheaper bag of clubs
  • An outlook that if you let it spill over to your daily life, may in fact make you a happier person. How men play golf is how we are in real life. Rushers on the golf course are rushers in real life. Screamers and shouters on the course are also like that in daily life. Look around next time and notice how this is always the case. Let’s try get you more in control, simplified and getting more enjoyment out of golf and life.

Step 1: Learning to hit the golf ball and finding the RIGHT clubs.

I learned a big lesson here.


It wasn’t easy finding left handed clubs in Bangkok and I had to settle for some Honma irons. They’re great quality but the design was not suitable for a new player.

Really difficult to hit in the air

The leading edge was too sharp and the sweet spots were too small on these irons. I had to get rid of them and in the end received a free set of Nano irons from a friend in Bangkok.

how to break 100 bare bones breaking 100

Cavity back, forgiving, easy to hit

The Honma set were shocking. I could barely get the ball in the air and after 5 range sessions, I thought this would be an impossible task. Then I hit the Nano’s and I realized just what a big difference a game improvement iron makes.

Basics I followed to learn to hit it lefty

I only have a few basics when it comes to hitting a golf ball. These basics come from playing cricket and other bat and ball sports.

  • Swing to 75% so I don’t overhit the ball and try smash it. The limited backswing will mean you have a much larger margin for error because hitting too hard is the biggest problem guys trying to break 100 have. We don’t need to smash the ball and we must trust the club to get it in the air. Swinging easier often makes the ball go further due to less tension in muscles anyway.
  • Focus on finishing the swing and standing tall at the end. The ball merely gets in the way. We can’t strike AT the ball. We have to swing through it as if it weren’t there. THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GET. The only reason golfers hit crap shots is because that ball gets in the way of their thinking and they start going hard AT the ball.

That’s all I worked on to learn to swing.

Purchase the best clubs that you can afford

Avoid buying clubs just because they’re the cheapest or they’re the only ones around. 

If it were possible, I would have bought a Taylormade M2 single 7 iron to start playing but I couldn’t get one in Bangkok. These new irons just make the game easier and more fun.

My advice: Buy a single MAXIMUM SUPER GAME IMPROVEMENT iron. These irons are designed with a thick bottom and rounded edge so they slide through the turf and get the ball airborne easier. The sweet spot is massive and it’s almost impossible to mis-hit a ball. New or used makes no difference.

The other option is to buy a set like the Cobra F7 or Taylormade M2 2017. Just make sure it's from the last 5-6 years. You won't regret that.

Once you get more comfortable with golf and get REALLY good at your 7 iron, you can either buy a set or keep adding individual second hand irons. I will show you how to do that further down.

Please AVOID difficult to hit clubs. This will include anything that says "muscle bacl "blade" "tour preferred" "tour" "players club" in the name or descriptions. Cavity back, super game improvement irons are your jam here. 

Take a look at this article about the most forgiving golf clubs available.

Step 2: Learn club distances ASAP

know your yardages

After I learned to get the ball in the air regularly, I recorded the distances I hit the clubs. Now this is very tough as a new golfer because one can go 130 yards, and the next with the same club can go 145 yards. Recording a distance range is a better idea, let's say 130-140 yards for your 6 iron. 

Use the distance you hit MOST OFTEN, not he maximum

Record the distance you hit that club most often! By most often, I mean if it goes 125 yards 6 out of 10 shots, you must record that club's distance as 125 yards for when you need to hit it on the course. 

Be careful not to fall into the trap of EGO GOLF. Ego golf is when you hit a shot that you don’t know how to hit just because you hit it one time out of 50 tries. This sounds like fun to try hit a glory shot, but in the end, you’ll be so frustrated, it’s just not worth it.

One time out of 50 you will feel like a hero. The other 49 times you are going to kick yourself all the way round the course.

Knowing your distances will help you when you are on the course to make sure you hit it in the right area to score better

Step 3: Play on a golf course to learn and discover things

I played my first ever round left handed to see how I would do without too much thinking, using a limited number of clubs.

I played with a 4 hybrid, a 7 iron and an Approach wedge as well as a putter. I noticed that these four clubs are really all I would need to break 100.

While I didn’t shoot below 50 for the first ever nine holes, I did get close. I think I made a 10 on the last and if that was reduced to just a 7, I was looking at a score of 50 on my first nine holes ever left-handed. It gave me a lot of food for thought and that’s why I recommend you remove some of your clubs from your bag.

Audit your golf bag quickly for problems

Get rid of the problem clubs immediately. You won’t banish them forever, but we’re going to do a game audit. Get rid of the problem clubs that cause you to lose the most strokes.

Usually this is the driver. Most high handicappers and guys trying to break 100 shouldn’t have a driver in the bag - I did say MOST, not all. If you can genuinely and honestly hit a driver reliably and it does not cost you strokes, you should continue.

A hybrid, maybe a fairway wood or even a 6 iron is a fine club to hit off the tee. Whatever you can hit the longest while also being consistently in the direction you need it, without finding penalty shots.

In my first ever round, I found the 7 iron went the best and I used it off the tee. Hell I used it everywhere.

What I learned from the first ever nine holes of left handed golf:

  • Chipping and putting is so vital. I could’ve saved a ton of shots if I had played really well from inside 80 yards and on the putting greens.
  • My theory of only a handful of clubs works.
  • Hitting the greens from inside 100 is vital to lower scores.
  • Practicing the four clubs in my bag until I am really good with them will improve scoring and prepare me well to drop the score even lower. Being GREAT with 4 clubs is better than being mediocre with 14.
  • Grass is so different to those synthetic turf range mats. Earth reacts so differently to range mats that you should try and learn to hit a golf ball on grass driving ranges.
  • It’s so important to forget the result and just focus on finishing that swing to completion. Just let the club hit the back of the ball on its way through to the finish of the swing.
  • I’ll need to work on hitting a hybrid to get a little more distance. It wasn’t going that far but I was hitting AT the ball with it for some reason.
  • I’ll need a chipping club, a pitching club, a tee club and a lay up club.

Step 4: Go to the range and work on current strengths

Too often we go to the range to hit the driver only. Or we just hit shots for no reason and without thought.

I went to the range with set objectives before my next round:

  1. Work on putts inside 8 feet because most chips will end up inside 8 feet. All I did with this was putt inside my condo by practicing on a mat on a steel ruler trying to keep the ball on it til the end. 
  2. I didn’t worry about anything that requires too much skill for my beginner level. I focused on what I can do and what I feel I can easily get right just through good technique.
  3. No flop shots, no driver, no 5 wood, no long irons…just the things above.

Step 5: Play a round of golf and THINK, FOCUS AND STRATEGIZE

Know your distances

Armed with my distances, my general shot shape and my short game fine-tuned, I played another 9 holes a month or so after the first one.

My distances and clubs I liked:

Hybrid: 140-160 yards

7 iron: 120-130 yards

PW: 100 yards

SW: 80 yards

Half sand wedge: 50 yards

General shot shape: FADE

Chipping club: SW

Set goals for your round

For my second round of 9 holes, my goals were to:

  1. Attack par 3’s for pars if possible because I could hit one of the greens for sure.
  2. Really try score less than a 7 on the par 5’s by not being intimidated by the distance. Play par 3's as par 4's. Play par 4's as par 6's and play par 5's as par 6's too.
  3. Get myself into good approach positions. I always want to approach greens from 120-130, 100, 80 or 50 yards. That’s what I had discovered were my favorite shots by practicing the clubs and recording the distances they went.
  4. Finish my swing, swing it at 75% and have fun.
  5. Avoid all hazards (bunkers and water) by hitting very far away from them.
  6. Don’t count the score at all until after the 9 holes.

I shot a 49! Second time out and I proved my theories and system

Stay in control of the game, do not be controlled by the game

Hitting a 7 iron and a SW might seem like boring golf but it’s a lot more fun NOT losing golf balls while remaining in control all the time. 

You'll be more relaxed on the course and in turn you'll shoot better scores. It's science bruh.

Interesting holes in this round:
Hole 2 - commitment is key forever in golf

I focused more on getting the ball close for a par.  In the end, I didn’t commit to the shot and left it short in the wrong area. It resulted in a double bogey whereas if I had just committed to and focused on GETTING THE BALL ON THE GREEN –ANYWHERE, I would have had a good chance to two-putt for bogey.

Hole 5 - confidence is vital so milk it when you feel it

The hole suited my eye perfectly. Just aim it and with the confidence I have from knowing my distance and shot shape, I could swing freely. Stress-free golf due to confidence and trust. Par and my first ever green in regulation!

Hole 6 - focus on the shot at hand and then execute the shot

Requiring maximum concentration, I hit my 4th shot onto the green. That’s a testament to what you can do when you have to focus. We should use that type of focus on every shot.

But the biggest lesson from that hole is that we CANNOT be intimidated by the length of a hole. Honestly, we’re gonna make doubles – it’s going to happen. A double on a 440-yard hole is merely hitting the green in 4 shots, four shots of 110 yards. Instead, I tried to hit my hybrid too hard and then did the same with the second shot. I should have trusted my game and the fact all I needed was to hit it on the green in four.

Hole 8 - break the hole into smaller chunks 

That is one of the toughest par 3’s I have ever played. When the wind comes up, it blows toward the water and you’ll find more guys in the water there than not. I don’t have the distance to hit it with my 7 iron and I didn’t have the full confidence to hit my hybrid which would have reached.

Instead, I just hit my 7 iron to the fairway and accepted this is a very very short par 4. Second shot, I would pitch it on from 30 or so yards.

With the pitch, I needed to aim left of the pin because in line with the pin and to the right of the pin was water. I just used the wrong club there and should have pitched with the PW. But that’s the level of thinking you need. Don’t just shoot at flags – sometimes there is water behind it or there is a downslope and if you hit it a little too hard, you’re in a bunker or water hazard which will end in tears.

Hit only comfortable shots you KNOW how to hit on the course

Only hit the shots you CAN hit while on the course. This is stress free golf. 

We don’t ever want to feel stressed over a shot. We want to feel totally relaxed because we trust ourselves. Hitting a driver when you have NO IDEA where it’s going will destroy your 4 hour round in less than 30 seconds.

Play stress-free shots and you will enjoy your round more than you can ever imagine.

What I learned through this round:

  • I need a more aggressive chipping club, something with less loft because the SW was being lofted too high. I will use PW in future. My technique was great, but my execution was poor due to club choice.
  • To be able to break 90 (or less than 45 on 9 holes), I’ll need a longer tee club, maybe something around 170 yards which I discovered would be my 5 wood. That is something I’ll work on away from the course. You can’t introduce what you’re not confident with onto the course, until you’re confident!
  • Hitting shorter clubs like a hybrid off the tee allows for bigger margin for error whereas a driver or low lofted fairway wood brings more trouble into play as it goes further and further offline bringing water hazards, bunkers and OB into play.

Main points to break 100 in golf every time

  1. Get a game improvement set or get one or two individual irons. Something with a nice big surface area of club face and big fat sole. You’re going to be in trouble with a set of low handicap clubs.
  2. Play what you know – remove what hurts you. Be a stress-free playa. If your driver costs you 10 shots a round, what is it doing in the bag? Do you fluff a 60° all the time? Drop the ego and leave the thing in the car.
  3. Learn your distances and shot shape as accurately as you can.
  4. Chip and putt practice is essential and using the proper technique will bring you lower scores.
  5. Use ONE club to chip with – I prefer a PW.
  6. Use ONE club to pitch inside 50 yards with – perhaps SW or PW.
  7. Find ONE tee-off club – usually not a driver unless you’re great with it. Most often it will be a 4 or 5 hybrid, a 5 or 7 wood; or perhaps a 6 iron. I like the 4 hybrid.
  8. Find ONE or TWO irons you hit well so you can attack greens or you can lay up to an easy approach distance. I prefer a 7 or 8 iron, or both.
  9. Train yourself to not swing so hard and focus on swinging more like 75-80% power. Control your power by limiting your backswing. The club has been designed to get the ball in the air and you DO NOT need to hit it harder to get it airborne.
  10. Break up long approaches that are out of range for you into two or three shots. If you can hit a 7 iron 140 yards, and you have a 190 yard shot into the green, hit two sand wedges and be safer.


Playas, that is essentially how you break 100. It's a fantastic goal but we often don't know how to go about it just banging out heads against the wall.

We worry about all the wrong things: our swing, our clubs, our whatever. Swing the way you swing, enjoy the game and think more on the course. 

I know you can break 100, I have no doubt. If you can shoot 115, I reckon you can find 10 shots just around the greens where you could save shots. Another 10 just by making better club selections that are stress-free instead of the high stress shots you're used to.

Now go forth and conquer!

Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by Matt Greene


Comments are closed