Breaking 80 is one of those aspirational standards that recreational golfers measure themselves by. It’s the mark between a low- and mid-handicapper, which is why being able to shoot in the 70s consistently is a badge of honor for golfers everywhere.
It’s something we try to help out with over here at GOLF.com, so during a recent interview with PGA Tour player and Callaway Golf staffer Marc Leishman, we picked his mind on that very topic. He came back with two tips: One thing golfers who want to break 80 should do, and one thing they definitely should never do.
NEVER: Aim at pins
Breaking 80 consistently doesn’t require anything heroic, Leishman says. On the contrary: It requires not being a hero. Playing safe, unspectacular, reliable golf is going to get you over the finish line.
“If you’re serious about breaking 80 you should honestly never aim at a single pin,” Leishman says. “Go for the middle of every green, and you’ll leave yourself a lot of 25-30 footers. We [PGA Tour players] would be happy with that. It’ll be hard to make big numbers from there.”
ALWAYS: Be predictable off the tee
But being able to aim at the middle of greens requires putting yourself in a good position off the tee, something that he thinks about often when he competes on the PGA Tour. (It’s what prompted his recent switch to the Callaway Mavrik driver, he says, a sense of comfort and consistency he could rely on.)
“When I first hit it, it came out exactly how I wanted it, the slightest tiny fade,” Leishman says. “Breaking 80 isn’t about re-inventing the wheel, it’s all about good decision making and playing the shot your comfortable with off the tee.
“With the amount of time I play with people back home, they all want to impress their mates and cut the corners on dog legs,” he continued, “but when you’re kind of talking it through with them, you can easily save them a couple shots just by making smarter decisions off the tee and into greens.”
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