10 Things I Learned From Breaking 80 In A Round of Golf (Shot a 79, Legit Rules of Golf)
I once shot a legit 79 in a round of golf at Rocky Point Golf Course in Essex, MD. It is estimated that only 2% of people who ever play golf break 80.
A coworker and I made a $300 bet that each of us would break 80 in the calendar year. If we both broke 80, it was a push. If neither of us broke 80, it was a push. If one of us broke 80 and the other didn't, the one who didn't had to pay up.
Thankfully, the coworker I had made the bet with was playing with me during the round that I broke 80.
1. Repetition is key
I played countless rounds, hit an ungodly amount of buckets on the driving range, practiced my short game and still have callous on my fingers from playing so much golf. There's no shortcut to playing good (if not great) golf. You just have to put in the work.
2. You need a bit of luck to break 80 (or achieve anything worthwhile in life)
I double bogeyed 16, which meant that I had to shoot 1 under par on the final two holes (both long par 4s). My tee shot on 17 went into the woods, and it didn't look good for me. I chipped out to about 50 yards short of the green and the coworker I made the bet with was already on the green and breathed a sigh of relief.
Then the unthinkable happened: I pulled my lob wedge and holed out my 3rd shot from 50 yards away for a birdie. I was still in the game for breaking 80. A par on 18 was much less intimidating than having to shoot a birdie on demand.
Thankfully, I parred 18 for a 79 and collected the $300 from my coworker.
3. Mental Fortitude Is required to play good golf
Many times (most times), during a round of golf, you'll put a good swing on the ball and it won't do what you want it to. Perhaps you misjudged the distance and pulled the wrong club. Or a gust of wind came right after you hit the ball and pushed your perfect shot off course.
When this happens, it's important to not lose your cool. Many people get frustrated, angry, and carry this over to the next shot or next hole, which compounds the bad outcome and before you know it, you've killed your round.
When a stroke doesn't go your way, or a hole doesn't go your way, you have to mentally reset on the next stroke or next hole. Every stroke and every hole is a new opportunity. The best golfers don't let a bad outcome carry over to the next hole.
4. You've got to be in the zone (action, not thinking)
I've played football, lacrosse, ice hockey, basketball, volleyball and more. After only throwing a touchdown in front of a roaring crowd, there's no better feeling than shooting a good round of golf. After you've put in the practice, played countless rounds and hit countless buckets on the range, you just stand over the ball, pull the right club, and make it happen. Your confidence builds with each stroke and hole.
5. Birdies (and the occasional eagle) help immensely
If you want to break 80 (or better), you've got to score when you have the opportunity. Sink those putts!!!
6. Having something riding on it helps
I had $300 on the line and the guy I had the bet with was playing with me. HUGELY motivating. I'm glad I was able to win the bet in