Can’t break 85?  Here is the prescription you need!

Anne Cain, Master Instructor

How to break 85We go to the doctor when we are sick, right?  Many times the solution is a medicine that is prescribed to combat your illness and relieve symptoms.  Golf instructors are “swing doctors” and here is the prescription if your goal is to break 85 on the course.

You Need:

  • A reasonable ability to control the starting line and curvature of the golf ball
  • Enough club head speed to hit the ball at least 200 yards
  • The ability to control the low point (the attack angle on driver moving up and on irons moving down) with consistency
  • Knowledge of how far each club goes – minimum/regular/maximum
  • Every 3 holes – shoot 2 over par
    • This equates to hitting 6 greens in regulation and 2 putting for par
    • On the remaining 12 holes making no worse than bogey
  • Keys: avoiding double bogeys (or worse) and avoiding 3 putts
  • Course management – knowing which clubs to choose, where to aim, planning the miss, and managing expectations in a round of golf


  • Learn ball flight laws and understand the concepts of angle of attack, club face angle, club path direction, and contact point (gear effect)
  • Learn how to apply these fundamentals by taking lessons:
    • Setting up properly with the correct ball position and spine tilt
    • Learning a proper pivot with no sway and the head remaining behind the ball
    • Get the golf shaft on “plane” so contact is on the sweet spot and there is minimal “swiping” across the ball (over the top)
    • Learn how to control the face of the club (starting direction)
    • Learn the proper release sequence so the bottom of the swing is in a consistent location especially on irons and wedges
    • Learning partial shots for short game: chipping (bump and run), pitching, flop shots, bunker shots, rough shots, uneven lies, etc
    • Learn the proper putting fundamentals including stroke mechanics, green reading, and speed control (lag putting)
  • Have a practice plan to repeat and groove what you have learned in lessons
  • Play on a regular basis to “test” yourself – keep stats so we know what to work on moving forward

Anne Cain is a Master Instructor at the PGA TOUR Academy at World Golf Village. She is an LPGA Member and has received accolades from GOLF Magazine and GOLF Digest. For more information contact the academy at 904-940-3600.