How to Break 90 Without Swing Changes

How to Break 90 Easily With Your Game

Julian had never broken 90 before this round. He's been playing for a year and has a personal best of 91, only one time.

I'd never met him before this day and would learn his tendencies as we played. But below are the highlights for you to apply to your own game.

The course is par 90

I guided Julian around the course with the idea in our heads that each hole had one stroke added to the par to make the course a par 90.

WHY? Because it removes pressure you feel to play professional style or scratch golf. Your new par means you can aim to hit par 4 holes in 3 strokes, par 5's in 4 strokes and par 3's in 2.

This is essential in breaking 90. You're not playing to break 72. You're not a pro. When you create an attainable goal with this system, you relax and hit better shots.

You should NEVER be SMASHING a ball when trying to break 90. If you are doing that, you are doing it wrong.

Adapt to Julian's style - know yourself

I quickly picked up some things in Julians game and needed to work around it. If you have seen my whiteboard videos on breaking 90, you'll know i recommend getting rid of trouble clubs that destroy your game, very often the driver.

But I couldn't do that in Julians case so driver was going to be our main club because he had no other tee-club. 

Some holes he was going to be close enough to the green to go for it comfortably. This is where you can take advantage but only when its comfortably in reach. You can't be forcing anything playing the breaking 90 system.

Strengths to utilize!

1. DRIVER: He hit a solid pull-slice off the tee and it worked almost every time. As long as his aim point was correct, he would always be on the right side of the fairway and with decent distance. 

The consistency of his shot shape was the important part and it helps when you have this so you can plan accordingly.

2. Chipping consistency with the SW: He chips so well around the greens but needs to understand the consistent rollout vs carry he is getting. Once we started getting that dialed, he was able to chip much closer to the hole.

The consistency of his chipping is a huge strength and will be the aspect that will mean he can SLASH strokes, as long as he practices the 5 footers and closer to the hole.

3. His irons are very good: 9i to 5i work really nicely for him. He gets the ball toward the target, leaving himself very few partial pitch shots after duffed shots. He usually leaves himself normal chip shots and with his good chipping, he will excel.

I would never let him hit something other than the driver off the tee because it's reliable and he likes to hit it. He doesn't have confidence in his other clubs off the tee. Driver is then the default.

I'd like to set him up shots he would like into the green, but his distances are very good of the tee and we were playing the shorter white tees. We could not avoid the partial shots at times or the wedge into the green. Some holes we were just going to expose a significant weakness that ALL golfers have and particularly 90 and 100 breakers. 

Weaknesses to avoid!

1. Putting: Julians line-reading is perfect. He just has a single problem in his mind regarding putting. He is scared of the return putt if it goes beyond a foot behind the hole.

This aspect of the game could save him so many strokes. Not only on the 5 footers if he practices them, for when he leaves a chip 4 feet from the hole, but also for more confidence to roll the approach putt past the hole. If he can roll it past the hole, he will make more of his longer putts.

He left a few in the mouth of the hole, purely out of fear of going past the hole. This is easily curable with putting practice particularly the ladder drill and the circle drill.

2. Inside PW distance: This is every shot inside 120 yards but most important, the wedges as approach clubs for Julian.

VERY IMPORTANT IS THE NEED TO KNOW YOUR CARRY DISTANCES LIKE A RELIGION. You need to know them so you can plan the approaches and KNOW where the ball will land. 

100% of the time, not a single 90 or 100 seeker can tell me the distance of their wedges. It's almost always a guess. This is most neglected area in golf. Everyone is concerned about drilling driver at the range, but no one hits a bucket of wedges. 

3. Mentality that you are not consistent or good enough: Watch Julians round and tell me he is not consistent! Impossible. He is consistent in his shot shape, his putting distance control, his chipping carry vs rollout. 

We just need to play to our strengths and avoid the weaknesses. 

4. Caddies are a hindrance sometimes: The caddies in Thailand don't play golf and have never hit a golf ball. They will comment on every shot, thinking it's supposed to be like a pro.

This is incredibly distracting a a higher score shooter. "Slice" "oooh short" "not good" "rough" "water" "Water left OB right" - all these little comments as if the shot is not good because it's not perfect sucks. I always applaud a shot that will be playable and in a decent position for the playa. 


If you are in the trees, which you will be A LOT as a mid to high handicapper, you need a punch shot.

Here's the nitty gritty stone cold truth on hero shots.


The shot through the trees? The shot over and under and through the little window in the gap between the....blah blah. What's the best case scenario?

Truth is, the best case scenario is still shit. Sorry. Take your medicine and use a lower lofted club. Chip it back into the fairway and approach the green. 

The downside to failing this shot means lost balls and frustration that spoils your entire day and mood. The upside is minuscule to pulling it off, and still being in the shit.

Let the ego go. Hit the smart shot. Hit the shot that does not give you stress.

This game is hard - don't make it harder

You can play this game on easy mode or hard mode.

Easy mode is hitting the stress free shot in every moment, knowing you have plenty of strokes to get the ball in the hole because it's not a pro regulation course anymore. 

Hard mode is chasing birdies and getting angry because you're hitting stupid shot after stupid shot, expecting a Dustin Johnson birdie extravaganza. 

Check out these two videos so you can go from stuck on default hard mode, to easy street.

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by Matt