Here’s a yardage you should practice from (especially if you want to break 100)

Getting into double-digits is a solid — and achievable! — goal for 2023.

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Looking to get better in 2023? How about drop five shots in 2023? That seems like a good place to start. Here, as we creep closer to the New Year, we’ll use this five-part series to explain how you can kiss those five strokes (and possibly more?) goodbye in no time.

Part 1: How to maximize a quick warmup
Part 2: 10 dumb mistakes that ruin your round
Part 3: 1 club amateurs should ditch (and how to replace it) for 2023

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Golf is filled with potential milestones for players of every ability: the first time you successfully clear a hazard, the first time you hit a drive 200 yards, the first time you get it up and down from the sand; the list goes on.

But for many players, the most gratifying milestones come from scoring goals, and breaking 100 is a huge deal for players who have never done it before.

If working on your game in order to achieve this milestone is an aspiration of yours in 2023, congratulations! Nothing comes easy in golf, and putting the work in is necessary for every shred of improvement. But with so many areas of the game to think about, it can be difficult to pinpoint what you should work on to gain the most.

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At GOLF’s recent Top 100 Teacher Summit at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., I asked instructor Sarah Stone what she would recommend working on for a student who is hoping to break 100 for the first time this year, and she had a helpful answer at the ready.

“Learn how to hit a 30-50-yard golf shot,” she said. “That’s the range that I’ve heard in the industry right now that all levels of players can benefit from. It can be a recovery punch-out, or it can be the third shot you’ve topped in a row, and now you’re left with 50 yards to the green.”

Stone emphasized that every player can benefit from having a reliable bail-out shot, so when you get in trouble, you know that if you can get yourself to that yardage range, you’ll have a shot at getting on the green with ease.

“I think that’s a range that gets missed. Students don’t ask to learn that, ever,” she said. “Many players are trying to create a shot on the spot that they don’t know how to hit. So for scoring purposes, learning how to hit a 30-50-yard shot is super helpful in cutting down those bogeys and double bogeys, which will in turn help you break 100.”

So how do you put that plan into action? That’s where practice comes in. Get comfortable with your favorite wedge, and use a laser or yardage marker on the range to gauge your distance. Then, it’s all about reps. Work on half- and three-quarter swings until you feel as though you have adequate control and a reliable idea of what is required to hit those distances. Then, head to the course — and enjoy your newfound scoring weapon.

Sarah Stone, PGA, is one of GOLF’s 2021-22 Teachers to Watch, and is the Director of Instruction at Chevy Chase Club in Bethesda, Md. For more tips from 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.