Want to break 100? Work on this part of your game

Amateur Gabriela Ruffels of Australia plays a pitch shot to the 12th green during the third round of the ANA Inspiration at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club on September 12, 2020 in Rancho Mirage, California.

To break 100, you need to hone in on those all-important 30-50 yard shots, says Top 100 Teacher Sarah Stone.

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Improving your golf game is full of important milestones: clearing a penalty area for the first time off the tee, getting out of a bunker efficiently, making it through a round without any three-putts — these are all accomplishments that should be celebrated.

But another milestone golfers tend to measure themselves by is score. Breaking 100 for the first time, then 90, 80 and so on.

Breaking 100 can be particularly meaningful for new golfers, as going from triple-digits to double-digits is generally an indication of significant progress.

So if you happen to fall into the shooting-in-the-100s category of player, what’s the best way to shave those all-important strokes?

According to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Sarah Stone, the best thing you can do is practice mid-range chips and wedges.

“Learn how to hit a 30-50-yard golf shot,” Stone says. “That is the range that all levels of players can benefit from, but especially high-handicappers.”

woman hitting golf balls on a driving range
These 2 range drills are a perfect pre-round warm-up
By: Jessica Marksbury , Sarah Stone, Top 100 Teacher

Shots in the 30-50 yard range crop up all the time during a round, Stone says, which is why devoting some time to honing your skills from these distances will pay dividends.

“That distance represents a recovery punch-out, the third shot you’ve topped in a row, the shot you don’t think you have a club for. Now, you have a bail-out,” Stone says. “So even if you do get yourself in trouble, if you leave yourself that distance, you can get yourself to the green.”

It’s a shot that can be missed, Stone says, because players don’t often think to practice from that distance.

“For scoring purposes, learning how to hit a 30-50-yard shot will be super helpful,” she says.

Want more tips from Sarah Stone? Click here.

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As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.

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