FINALLY Broke 80!!!!!

Well folks, I finally did it. I was finally able to break through the 80 barrier and post my first ever score in the 70’s with a 79. The course I played isn’t the most difficult, but I am still excited about it since I have never been below 80 on any course before in my life.

I started this blog about 2+ years ago and the entire goal was to post about the journey to breaking 80 while living in a city. There are a few unique hurdles that Chicago golfers face and I wanted to prove that you can in fact get better at golf while living in a big city. By no means has it been easy and I have put a lot of work into my game. That is why this first 79 means so much.

The funniest part about the score was how the round itself started. I hit the fairway on the first hole, sailed the green with my approach shot which hit the cart path and bounced OB. After two bad chips and a few putts I carded a quad bogey 8. I said to my playing partners “there goes breaking 80 today” and started to just play. Letting go of the score was the biggest part for me. Starting off so poorly really allowed me to enjoy the round and focus on playing the course one hole at a time. I made a few pars and a few bogeys, but also carded 4 birdies during the round. I birdied 2 of the 3 par 5s and 2 of the shorter par 4s which really helped me recovery from that brutal first hole.

I didn’t even know I had a chance to be in the 70’s until I stood on the 18th tee box. I found the fairway and the green, but the nerves kicked in on the green and I 3 putted for a closing bogey. Once the putt dropped I thought I would feel much more excited and give a fist pump or something more dramatic, but all I felt was relief. It was a moment that I knew would eventually come and when it finally did I was just happy to have the pressure off. I have been chasing the 70s for over 2 years and on a day I wasn’t expecting it to come it decided to show up.

Now that I have broken 80 once I know I can do it again. I’m not expecting to be in the 70s every time now, but the belief that it is possible is there for good now. I know my game and I know my ability level. Finally putting it together was something I will never forget.

Stats from the Round:

Fairways: 8 of 13 hit – 62%

Greens in Regulation: 11 of 18 hit – 61%

Scrambling: 14%

Putts Per Hole: 1.83

Total Putts: 33


12 Comments to “FINALLY Broke 80!!!!!”

  1. Freakin’ awesome man! That is quite a tale about coming back from an opening snowman and how you felt the pressure was lifted from you. I’ve tried something similar that has worked when I have a blowup hole or a bad stretch. I draw a line on the card after the bad number and it somehow allows me to segregate the previous poor play and to make a fresh start. Done that on multiple occasions and experienced the same thing you did. Congratulations and well played!

    • Thanks, it is so funny how hitting the reset button can help sometimes. Often I find it easier said than done, but for some reason I really let it go the other day and completely forgot about it until the round ended. Golf is a weird game sometimes.

  2. Sweet! Congrats on sticking to it and reaching your goal. Now that you’ve hit that goal, what’s next?

  3. Why not try for a single-digit handicap? Generally accepted as the standard for truly consistent players and forces you to work on all aspects of your game.

    • I had that as an original goal when I first started and I think it makes the most sense to bring it back and focus on that. The problem with my game is definitely consistency right now. I’m either playing really well or terrible. I don’t have much of an in between game right now. Single digit it is.

      • Make sure to give yourself enough time to get there. Dropping multiple strokes off your handicap is hard work and reasonable expectations should be set. Enjoy the journey!

  4. You can hit single digits! My next handicap update will put me in single digits for the first time. What has helped me lately is working on those short putts that shouldn’t be missed. Putting alone can help take a lot of strokes off your game! Good luck on single digits!

  5. Catching up on some reading and just seeing this now. Congratulations! Way to put the snowman on the first hole behind you!

  6. Really Cool, Congrats. Funny I too was in the hunt for my first round in the 70s the other day, when I shoot 38 in the front. But once I started thinking about it in back nine, the bogeys pilled up to a total of 44. Game is so mental! We all just gotta let go and play without much thought of score.

    • It’s crazy how easily the thoughts can creep into the round once you realize how close you are. I have come close a number of times before this and have done exactly what you are describing. The difference this time was that I didn’t realize I was in the range until I was on the 18th hole. I still bogeyed the 18th due to some nerves, but I now refuse to keep score when I’m out playing with friends. If I am the one writing it down, I inevitably start realizing where I stand and it effects my game.

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