How to Break 70 in Golf | The Keys You Need

Golf is one of the world's most popular sports. But for many, golf can seem like a demoralizing game that requires too much time and skill to master. In fact, it takes less than an hour to start seeing progress in your game if you're willing to put in the work.

The good news is that anyone can break 70 on a golf course with some simple tips.

Here are 16 best tips for breaking 70 on a golf course:

Play Golf What's Your Handicap!

Before we're even talking about how to break 70 on a golf course, it's important to make sure that you're playing at the right level. Playing with people who are better than you can be very frustrating and keep you from learning the game properly and having fun. 

Let me show you what I mean by telling a story: My brother was in high school and he was invited to join one of his friends for a round of golf. This friend had just begun learning how to play earlier in the year, so he told my brother that they could go "play some quick nine holes." When they arrived at the course, they began teeing off on hole #1, which had a 220 yard straight away that they could see from the tee box. They both hit their drives, and much to my brother's surprise his friend's drive landed almost directly on the green - making an eagle putt look easy! My brother, on the other hand, was around 180 yards back in the fairway. He knew then that he was playing with someone who wasn't ready for anything more than quick nine hole rounds.

#1 Rule: Don't play above your handicap

Playing above your handicap can be fun at times, but it creates far too many issues and obstacles when you're first starting out. Once you've gotten a feel for how different clubs work, where shots go and what position to stand in while preparing to hit the ball, you'll find that your handicap will start to drop on its own. 

#2 Rule: Have fun!

If you're not having fun while playing a sport, then it's probably time to give it up and try something new. If you've invested in beginner golf clubs or equipment from our guide linked above, then don't let them collect dust! Get out there with friends or family and get started today.  

Analyze Your Mistakes

We all know we should look at mistakes after each game of golf, but few actually do it regularly enough for their scores to see an improvement and break 70 on a golf course .   This is one of the most crucial tips when breaking 70 on a golf course because it will help you identify parts of your game that you can work on.

#3 Rule: Only play as much golf as you have time for

We're all busy these days, but if you set aside 20-30 minutes after each game where you sit down and write down the things that didn't go well and what could be done differently next time, then not only will your scores improve, but so will your overall enjoyment of the sport.   If I had to choose between breaking 80 or playing the same round 18 holes over again without taking any notes, then I would choose at least 8 birdies over a broken 80 every time! 

#4 Rule: Play Golf with friends or alone?

If you've been playing golf for a while and you feel like your scores are getting high enough that it's time to break 70, then I recommend combining tips #2 & #3 by taking someone who has played the game much less than yourself out on the golf course. This way you can coach them through their shots, give them advice as they're preparing to hit the ball and see how long it takes for them to notice improvements in their game.

Play Golf with a Purpose

One of my favorite parts about breaking 70 is seeing players who have been stuck at the same level (usually between 75-80) take a shot at lowering their handicap...and they start beating me! Why? Because they play with a purpose . If you know that your goal is to break 70 in your next game, then you're going to be much more focused on the ball once it's in the air and far less likely to make excuses like "that tree over there is making me slice my drive," or "my putter doesn't work well on hard greens."

#5 Rule: Play for lower scores, not just good shots

When I was a beginner at golf, I remember being amazed by players who would hit an 8-iron 220 yards out of a bunker. As I started practicing with my 5-iron from the same position, something dawned on me...why didn't I just use the 5-iron from the tee box? It bounced off my cart, and even though it was ugly, I made par.   This is the thought process you should have when playing golf once you've broken 70 - always make sure your shot selection makes sense based on the lay of the land.

#6 Rule: Don't be afraid to use a different club

In general, if you're going for one specific distance from an area during each game of golf, then there's no need to look at a yardage guide before every shot. If you know that most shots around this area go about 180 yards with your driver (and are accurate), then why not just pull out your 3-wood? Obviously this doesn't apply if you're in thick trees or something close to bunkers, but my point is that if the shot is straight-forward and it's close to what you're used to, don't be afraid to give it a try.  This tip for breaking 70 assumes you've already mastered your long game , so it's okay to steer away from driver every once in awhile.

#7 Rule: Putt Counts!

If there's one thing we can all learn from mini golf, it's the importance of putting well . It'll often make or break an entire round of golf for amateur players. In general, I would rather sink 8 extra putts than hit a ten footer with my hybrid on a par 5...especially when breaking 70 on a golf course !   Even professional players miss greens sometimes, but they can afford to do so thanks to their accuracy from ten feet and in!

#8 Rule: Use the same golf clubs when you're playing alone

If you don't have a friend who's willing to join you at your local course, then I think it's often best to just play by yourself. This way you're not constantly thinking about what club or angle to hit each shot with, and you can really focus on other areas of your game like putting or chipping. In general though, if you live near a great golf course (like I do) then you should always be joining in games with fellow members - they might even let you win every now and then...and breaking 70 on his own is hard enough for most players.

#9 Rule: Don't panic during a major choke

Just like in most other sports, golfers are going to make mistakes  (especially once they start breaking 70). When it's your turn to take your shot and you pull the trigger, every piece of information that raced through your head at that moment (the mental "scorecard") is out the door. Close your eyes for this one and try not to think about anything else than making solid contact with the ball. Inevitably when you're playing by yourself, you'll miss shots...but don't get caught up on them until after your game has ended! I know the feeling - I've had some 2-foot putts roll past me even as I was trying to forget they existed. If you're trying to break 70 on the course, this is going to happen from time to time.

#10 Rule: Don't play better courses than you can handle

If you've just graduated from a set of beginner golf clubs and are now playing with your own set that's been fitted for your height and weight, then it's okay to try out a higher-tier course like my local country club (that has plenty of sand traps and water). If not though, I would suggest only booking rounds where you feel comfortable - if that means keeping it at an open driving range or even public golf courses then so be it! Poorly designed golf courses will make breaking 70 nearly impossible if your swing isn't properly developed, and I'm not going to get into this topic.

#11 Rule: Don't be afraid to play from rough areas

As a total beginner golfer , you might have been avoiding foot-high grass or even super-thick greens for fear of getting caught in the thick stuff. While it's okay to avoid trouble when breaking 70, you'll eventually want to start learning how to play from these situations so that they don't hold your game back down the road! If you find yourself in over your head with all the growth around you, then stop testing yourself and ask a friend for a shot out. When playing by yourself (or worse yet - as a single), simply keep an eye on where any "out of bounds" areas are and steer clear of these spots when you can!

#12 Rule: Play in the morning most often

I've discussed this point (and a few others) more in depth on my " how to break 80 golf blog post ," but basically just because it's easier to see your shots early in the day doesn't mean you should be playing all your games for the week during that time. In fact, I think it's best to only play in the morning (or afternoons) 2 or 3 days a week so that you can spend the other days working on your short game. Regardless of what course you're playing at though, if any members  are out there then make sure to try and get onto their tee first!

#13 Rule: Don't forget that golf is a game for the mind and body

Even though you can be fit and fast (and most other pro athletes know this), when it comes to golf, it's probably best just to spend some time on your own in order to get some solid practice in. If you're hitting the same shots over and over again from the driving range, chances are that these will automatically become your " go-to " shot options during actual rounds of play - even if they don't work with wind or grass direction changes! This point (as well as others) has been covered by several pros before, but I think its worth repeating!

#14 Rule: Practice good habits whenever possible...

If you're playing a round of golf with your friends and they keep saying things like "good shot" or "great putting," then it's easy to fall into the habit of doing these same things on a regular basis. In fact, many times during my own games I've found myself trying to prove someone wrong about how I play...this is never good and will only cause you more frustration in the long run. Make sure that when practicing by yourself, you listen to music (or even better - don't listen to anything at all) so as not to hear anyone giving you tips!

#15 Rule: Don't let others influence what clubs you use

This is another point that we've already covered before ; basically if your drive is 180 yards and your friend is 120, then chances are you're hitting better shots during practice than him/ her. Therefore it's important to always keep an eye on how far others can hit the ball, but also don't let these numbers influence what clubs you use when breaking 70!

#16 Rule: Be patient...

If you've read most of my previous tips during this post though, then at this point I think its probably clear that patience is probably one of the biggest building blocks for becoming a solid golfer. Basically (as mentioned in #12), if things aren't going as well as expected, try not to force anything - take some time out to go over what went wrong, why it happened, and how you'll fix it. If you're taking these same points from this article and applying them to your game, then I have no doubt that you will be able to get better!


15 of the 16 tips above have been successfully implemented in my game, and I am now consistently breaking 70 on a golf course. I wish I had these tips earlier in my game because I could have shaved around 2-4 strokes of my game.

The first thing that you need to do is get a good grip on your game - aim for the lower scores, and work hard to break 70 consistently on a golf course . It will be frustrating at times but if you stick with it, you will improve your game immensely.

No matter how many practice rounds you take, or how many books you read from pro's, nothing compares to playing golf against real world competition (read: other golfers). Therefore use this article as a guide , and don't forget to have fun along the way!

Finally, please leave comments below and share any additional tips that can help!

I’ve already written What You Need to Know Before Going to Top Golf

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