Case Study: How to Break 100 as a Beginner – I Go Lefty! - Golf Sidekick

Case Study: How to Break 100 as a Beginner – I Go Lefty!

Going left-handed to show you HOW TO BREAK 100

I can help any guy break 100. But what I find is most guys want the quick fix. The one little secret that’ll get them to a score in the 90's ASAP.

There’s no swing thought or fancy technical move I can show you to break 100 in golf. And if you’re looking at your swing as the biggest barrier to your breaking 100, you’re looking in the wrong place! It's much simpler than you think!

I can’t show you how to hit the driver straight because you shouldn’t have one in your hand unless you hit it straight 80% of the time already. I can’t show you how to overhaul your swing because you don’t need to! I don't want you to change a thing about your game, I only want to change one little thing...

I’ll show you the next best thing - I’ll show you how to break 100 by just THINKING  better on the course. No swing changes, no mechanics, no jargon, no technical mambo BS. This stuff works immediately and as you get more confident with the process, it will change your game forever and help you to smash barriers left and right.

Some important notes before we begin:

  • I am in no way ambidextrous. I can barely throw a ball, write my name, brush my teeth or cut with a knife left handed.
  • I never hit a golf ball left handed before this experiment, in 21 years of playing golf.
  • I did this to prove that my theory of how to break 100 in fact works and is actually a boatload of fun to put into action. I trust you will enjoy golf more too.
  • This is merely a beginner swing coupled with the brain of a golfer who’s played for 21 years.

My STRATEGY is as follows:

  1. Hit the longest club that goes the straightest in your bag. If it’s a driver, and you’re great with it, do it. If it’s a 7 iron, do it. Whatever goes straight, first priority, and second priority, goes long enough to get to the fairway. This is all we need – around 140 or more yards off the tee.
  2. Split long approach shots up into comfortable shots. If you have a shot out of your maximum range, split the shot into two smaller, more comfortable shots.
  3. When chipping and pitching, just GET IT ON THE GREEN as the number one priority.
  4. Practice putts inside 6 foot so you can chip it and be secure in putting it in after the chip.
  5. Try do well on the par 3’s and play the par 4 and 5’s as if they were par 5’s and 6’s respectively.
  6. Play stress-free golf by playing what you can and avoiding what you can’t do.


Most people will poo-poo my ideas - the guys who long since broke 80 and the guys who haven't broken 100 but still play ego golf. They think it’s more fun and worth it to go for the one in a million shots not even the pros would attempt. 

For example, when I say, if you don't have a reliable club that goes 200 yards, then split the 200-yard shot up into two manageable shots, people lose their minds.

They think it’s 'more fun' to lose tons of golf balls and have a one in 500 chance of making a birdie by playing the ego shot. These are people who will NEVER break 100. I guarantee it. They haven’t learned to control their games, their emotions and their brains. They call my approach 'boring golf' but that is monkey-brain-thinking. Counting up your score and penciling in a 99 for the first time ever is NEVER boring my good fellows. It’s even better when the guy laughing at you for playing 'boring golf' just shot 115 for the 100th time with no improvement.

My guide is for the discerning golfer, the thinker, the strategizer - that’s you playa.

What you get from this way of golfing:

  • Fewer lost balls
  • Stress-free golf experience
  • More fun due to total control of your game and emotions
  • Lower scores
  • Arming yourself with the foundations of THINKING and COURSE MANAGEMENT needed to continue on to breaking 90 and 80!
  • Practice becomes simpler and structured with a clear focus and direction
  • An arsenal of shots that will serve you VERY well in your quest to get into the 80s
  • A lighter golf bag
  • A cheaper bag of clubs
  • An outlook that, if you let it spill over to your daily life, may in fact make you a happier person. How men play golf is how we are in real life. Rushers on the golf course are rushers in real life. Screamers and shouters on the course are also like that in daily life. Look around next time and notice how this is always the case. Let’s try get you more in control and getting more enjoyment out of golf and life.

Step 1: Find the RIGHT clubs and learn to hit a ball

I learned a big lesson here. BUY THE RIGHT CLUBS FIRST TIME!

It wasn’t easy finding left handed clubs in Bangkok and I had to settle for some Honma irons. They’re great quality but the design was not suitable for a new player. The leading edge was too sharp and the sweet spots were too small on these irons. I had to get rid of them and in the end received a free set of Nano irons from a friend in Bangkok.

The Honma set were shocking. I could barely get the ball in the air and after 5 range sessions, I thought this would be an impossible task. Then I hit the Nano’s and I realized just what a big difference a game improvement iron makes.


Avoid buying clubs because they’re the cheapest or the only ones around. If it were possible, I would have bought a Taylormade M2 single 7-iron to start playing with but I couldn’t get one in Bangkok.  

MY ADVICE FOR YOU:  Buy one single MAXIMUM SUPER GAME IMPROVEMENT iron - not the whole set - just one club. These irons are designed with a thick bottom and rounded edge so they slide through the turf and get the ball airborne easier. The sweet spot is massive and it’s almost impossible to mis-hit a ball. Perfect to get started.

Once you get more comfortable with golf and get REALLY good at your 7 iron, you can either buy a set of irons from 5 iron to Sand Wedge, or keep adding individual second-hand irons. I will show you how to do that further down.

For now, try buy a single iron (not a whole set) and AVOID difficult-to-hit clubs. Any club that a shop or marketing department calls a "Tour Preferred" or "Players" must avoid.

Below are great maximum improvement irons you can buy new or used in a set or as a single club:




Learning to hit with general ball-striking basics

I only have a few basics when it comes to hitting a golf ball. These basics come from playing cricket and other bat and ball sports like squash.

  1. Swing to 75% so I don’t overhit the ball and try smash it. The limited backswing will mean you have a much larger margin for error because overswinging and hitting too hard is the biggest problem that guys trying to break 100 and beginners have. We don’t need to smash the ball and we must trust the club to get it in the air. Swinging easier often makes the ball go further, due to less tension in muscles.
  2. Roll the bottom wrist over the top wrist in the follow through at impact. On your golf journey, you’ll hear a lot about “releasing the club” but even I never understood what the hell the gurus meant when they said that. 'Releasing the club' is just rolling your wrists over like you do when you swing a cricket or baseball bat.
  3. Focus on finishing the swing and standing tall at the end. The ball merely gets in the way of your swing - it's not a hit AT the ball. We can’t strike AT the ball. We have to swing THROUGH it as if it weren’t there. THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GET. The only reason golfers hit crap shots is because that ball gets in the way of their thinking and they start going hard AT the ball.

That’s all I worked on to learn to swing.

Step 2: Learn club distances ASAP

 After I learned to get the ball in the air regularly, I recorded the distances I hit the clubs. Now this is very tough as a new golfer because one can go 130 yards, and the next with the same club can go 145 yards. Recording a distance range is a better idea.

TOP TIP: Record the distance you hit that club most often! By most often, I mean if it goes 125 yards 6 out of 10 shots, you must record that clubs distance as 125 yards for when you need to hit it on the course.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of EGO GOLF. Ego golf is when you hit a shot that you don’t know how to hit just because you hit it one time out of 50 tries. This sounds like fun to try hit a glory shot, but in the end, you’ll be so frustrated, it’s just not worth it.

Knowing your distances will help you when you are on the course to make sure you hit it in the right area to score better

Step 3: Hit the course for new discoveries

I played my first ever round to see how I would do without too much thinking, using a limited number of clubs.

I played with a 4 hybrid, a 7 iron and an Approach wedge as well as a putter. I noticed that these four clubs are really all I would need to break 100.

While I didn’t shoot below 50 for the first ever nine holes, I did get close. I think I made a 10 on the last and if that was reduced to just a 7, I was looking at a score of 50 on my first nine holes ever left-handed. It gave me a lot of food for thought and that’s why I recommend you remove some of your clubs from your bag.

TOP TIP: Get rid of the problem clubs immediately. You won’t banish them forever, but we’re going to do a game audit. Get rid of the problem clubs that cause you to lose the most strokes.

Usually this is the driver. Most high handicappers and guys trying to break 100 shouldn’t have a driver in the bag. A hybrid, maybe a fairway wood or even a 6 iron is a fine club to hit of the tee. Whatever you can hit the longest while also being consistently straight.

In my first ever round, I found the 7 iron went the best and I used it off the tee.

What I learned from the first ever nine holes:

  • Chipping and putting is so vital. I could’ve saved a ton of shots if I had played really well from inside 80 yards and on the putting greens.
  • My theory of only a handful of clubs works.
  • Hitting the greens from inside 100 is vital to lower scores.
  • Practicing the four clubs in my bag until I am really good with them will improve scoring and prepare me well to drop the score even lower. Being GREAT with 4 clubs is better than being mediocre with 14.
  • Grass is so different to those synthetic turf range mats. Earth reacts so differently to range mats that you should try and learn to hit a golf ball on grass driving ranges.
  • It’s so important to forget the result and just focus on finishing that swing to completion. Just let the club hit the back of the ball on its way through to the finish of the swing.
  • I’ll need to work on hitting a hybrid to get a little more distance. It wasn’t going that far but I was hitting AT the ball with it for some reason.
  • I’ll need a chipping club, a pitching club, a tee club and a lay up club.

Step 4: Go to the range and work on what I can improve

Too often we go to the range to hit the driver only. Or we just hit shots for no reason and without thought.

I went to the range with set objectives before my next round:

  • Practice hitting THROUGH the ball with the hybrid
  • Find what my most common shot shape is and a more accurate distance measurement
  • Swap out my A wedge for a SAND and PITCHING wedge and record the distance I hit them.
  • Practice chipping with ONLY ONE CLUB using the techniques I use for right handed golf. [Video here]
  • Work on putts inside 8 feet because most chips will end up inside 8 feet. All I did with this was putt inside my condo by practicing on a mat on a steel ruler trying to keep the ball on it til the end.

I didn’t worry about anything that requires too much skill for my beginner level. I focused on what I can do and what I feel I can easily get right just through good technique.

No flop shots, no driver, no 5 wood, no long irons…just the things above.

Step 5: Play the second round and THINK, FOCUS AND STRATEGIZE

Armed with my distances, my general shot shape and my short game fine-tuned, I played another 9 holes a month or so after the first one.

My distances:

Hybrid: 140-160 yards

7 iron: 120-130 yards

PW: 100 yards

SW: 80 yards

Half sand wedge: 50 yards

General shot shape: FADE

Chipping club: SW

For my second round of 9 holes, my goals were to:

  • Attack par 3’s for pars if possible because I could hit one of the greens for sure.
  • Really try score less than a 7 on the par 5’s by not being intimidated by the distance.
  • Get myself into good approach positions. I always want to approach greens from 120-130, 100, 80 or 50 yards. That’s what I had discovered by practicing the clubs and recording he distances they went.
  • Finish my swing, swing it at 75% and have fun.
  • Avoid all hazards (bunkers and water) by hitting very far away from them.
  • Don’t count the score at all until after the 9 holes.

I shot a 49! Second time out and I proved my theories and system

TOP TIP: Hitting a 7 iron and a SW might seem like boring golf but it’s a lot more fun NOT losing golf balls and being in control all the time will leave you feeling really relaxed on the course which will translate into better performance.

Interesting holes in this round:

Hole 2: I focused more on getting the ball close for a par.  In the end, I didn’t commit to the shot and left it short in the wrong area. It resulted in a double bogey whereas if I had jus focused on GETTING THE BALL ON THE GREEN –ANYWHERE, I would have had a good chance to two-putt for bogey.

Hole 5: The hole suited my eye perfectly. Just aim it and with the confidence I have from knowing my distance and shot shape, I could swing freely. Stress-free golf due to confidence and trust. Par and my first ever green in regulation.

Hole 6: Requiring maximum concentration, I hit my 4th shot onto the green. That’s a testament to what you can do when you have to focus. We should focus on every shot.

But the biggest lesson from that hole is that we CANNOT be intimidated by the length of a hole. Honestly, we’re gonna make doubles – it’s going to happen. A double on a 440-yard hole is merely hitting the green in 4 shots, four shots of 110 yards. Instead, I tried to hit my hybrid too hard and then did the same with the second shot. I should have trusted my game and the fact al I needed was to hit it on in four.

Hole 8: That is one of the toughest par 3’s I have ever played. When the wind comes up, it blows toward the water and you’ll find more guys in the water there than not. I don’t have the distance to hit it with my 7 iron and I didn’t have the full confidence to hit my hybrid which would have reached.

Instead, I just hit my 7 iron to the fairway and accepted this is a very very short par 4. Second shot, I would pitch it on from 30 or so yards.

With the pitch, I needed to aim left of the pin because in line with the pin and to the right of the pin was water. I merely used the wrong club there and should have pitched with the PW. But that’s the level of thinking you need. Don’t just shoot at flags – sometimes there is water behind it or there is a downslope and if you hit it a little too hard, you’re in a bunker or water hazard which will end in tears.

TOP TIP: Only hit the shots you can hit while on the course. This is stress free golf. We don’t ever want to feel stressed over a shot. We want to feel totally relaxed because we trust ourselves. Hitting a driver when you have NO IDEA where it’s going will destroy your round in less than 30 seconds. Play stress-free easy shots and you will enjoy your round more than you can ever imagine.

What I learned through this round:

  • I need a more aggressive chipping club, something with less loft because the SW was being lofted too high. I will use PW in future. My technique was great, but my execution was poor due to club choice.
  • I must work really hard on 8, 7, 6 foot putts to shave off at least three shots per 9 holes. The best drill for this is [this one] link to ladder and clock
  • To be able to break 90 (or less than 45 on 9 holes), I’ll need a longer tee club, maybe something around 170 yards which I discovered would be my 5 wood. That is something I’ll work on away from the course. You can’t introduce what you’re not confident with onto the course, until you’re confident!
  • Hitting shorter clubs like a hybrid off the tee allows for bigger margin for error whereas a driver or low lofted fairway wood brings more trouble into play as it goes further and further offline bringing water hazards, bunkers and OB into play.


[LINK] How to assemble your own golf bag, piece by piece from beginner to low handicapper.

In summary, here are my main points on how to break 100 easily in golf:

  • Get a game improvement set or get one or two individual irons. Something with a nice big surface area of club face and big fat sole. You’re going to be in trouble with a set of low handicap clubs.
  • Play what you know – remove what hurts you. Be a stress-free playa. If your driver costs you 10 shots a round, what is it doing in the bag? Do you fluff a 60° all the time? Drop the ego and leave the thing in the car.
  • Learn your distances and shot shape as accurately as you can.
  • Chip and putt practice is essential and using the proper technique like in these videos [links] will bring you lower scores.
  • Use ONE club to chip with – I prefer a PW.
  • Use ONE club to pitch inside 50 yards with – perhaps SW or PW.
  • Find ONE tee-off club – usually not a driver unless you’re great with it. Most often it will be a 4 or 5 hybrid, a 5 or 7 wood; or perhaps a 6 iron. I like the 4 hybrid.
  • Find ONE or TWO irons you hit well so you can attack greens or you can lay up to an easy approach distance. I prefer a 7 or 8 iron, or both.
  • Train yourself to not swing so hard and focus on swinging more like 75-80% power. Control your power by limiting your backswing. The club has been designed to get the ball in the air and you DO NOT need to hit it harder to get it airborne.
  • Break up long approaches that are out of range for you into two or three shots. If you can hit a 7 iron 140 yards, and you have a 190 yard shot into the green, hit two sand wedges and be safer.