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How Many Putts Per Round to Break 90?

In order to consistently break 90 in golf, it is essential to focus on reducing the number of putts per round. The average amateur golfer takes around 36 putts per round, which is almost half of the total strokes required to break 90. Therefore, mastering the art of putting can significantly impact the overall score and pave the way towards achieving this milestone. To break 90, it is recommended to aim for an average of less than 30 putts per round. This requires a combination of precise distance control and accurate alignment, as well as a steady hand and a calm mindset.

Practicing putting drills such as lag putting, distance control and short game training can help enhance the player’s skills and reduce the number of putts per round. Furthermore, focusing on reading the greens and understanding the slope and break of the putt can make a substantial difference in the number of putts taken. Hence, in pursuit of breaking 90 in golf, mastering the art of putting is of utmost importance to achieve consistency and confidence on the greens. 

For many amateur golfers, breaking the coveted 90 score barrier is a major goal and milestone. While driving distance and approach shots are important, putting is often the skill that makes or breaks scoring below 90. So how many putts should you aim for per round to give yourself the best chance at shooting under 90?

Number of Putts Needed

In general, if you take 36 or fewer putts per round, you’ll start consistently scoring in the 80s and giving yourself opportunities to shoot under 90. The best putters on professional tours average about 28-30 putts per round, but for amateurs trying to break 90, getting your putts down to 36 or less is a realistic goal.

Taking 30-35 putts per round will also lead to good scores for bogey golfers, right around 90. So use 36 or fewer putts as your benchmark. Get below that average, and your scores will drop.

Why Putting Matters

Putting has been statistically proven to account for over 40% of all golf strokes. That means your putting prowess or struggles directly impact your scores more than any other area of your game.

Even the best ball strikers can’t overcome continually taking 40+ putts per round. But if you’re already decent off the tee and hitting greens in regulation, reducing your putts from 40+ down to the 36 range can mean shaving 12+ strokes off your score. That’s often the difference between flirting with 90 and shooting comfortably in the 80s.

For many golfers, putting practice is neglected or focused on the wrong things. If you want to break 90, prioritizing deliberate putting practice and tracking stats is essential.

Putting Tips to Improve

If you don’t yet average 36 putts or less per round, don’t worry. Putting skills can improve dramatically in a short time with effective practice. Here are some useful tips:

  • Really pay attention to your specific green reading weaknesses and work diligently to improve those skills
  • Spend time practicing putts between 10-15 feet; many amateurs struggle in this range the most
  • Develop consistent pre shot routines, alignment, stroke mechanics and speed control
  • Work extensively on putts within 3 feet to increase confidence on short putts
  • Utilize putting aids like training cups to provide feedback and incentive
  • Consider occasional putting lessons to ingrain good techniques
  • Learn how to make the most putts based on your individual stroke strengths

Tracking Progress

As you work to become a better putter and lower your average putts per round:

  • Keep track of your putts per round in a scorecard or notes app
  • Set gradual goals like 34 putts, then 32 putts, then 30 putts
  • Identify weak putting ranges (10-20 feet, downhillers etc) to focus practice
  • Note specifics after rounds regarding greens read, stroke issues etc
  • Compare putting stats over time to measure true improvement

Keep an eye on your putting stats to keep yourself motivated and see where you can improve. By tracking your progress, you’ll get a better idea of what you’re good at and where you need to focus. And the more you work on it, the lower your scores will get. Aim for 36 putts or less per round and you’ll be on your way to breaking 90! 

Other Keys to Breaking 90

While this article is focused specifically on the number of putts it takes to break that 90 barrier, putting prowess alone usually isn’t enough. To give yourself the highest likelihood of shooting below 90, you must also attend to these other key areas:

Driving for Position

While length off the tee is an asset, accuracy and positioning should be the main priority for bogey and high handicap golfers. Work on keeping the ball in play and positioning drives where you can hit high-percentage approach shots.

Approach Shots into Greens

Practice hitting various clubs into greens from 75-150 yards. Being consistently solid from 100 yards and in will lead to more greens hit in regulation and birdie looks.

Up and Downs Around Greens

Lots of amateur golfers rack up huge numbers by not having confidence and capability around greens. Practice chipping and pitching, bunker play so you can reliably get the ball up and down close to 50% of the time.

Course Management

Learning to think your way strategically around the course – club selection, shot decisions, risk mitigation etc, has a big impact on scoring for newer players. Work deliberately on improving your course management skills.

When looking to score below 90, attend diligently to these areas in addition to prioritizing putting practice. Evaluate all aspects of your performance using scorecards and stats. Identify weak spots directly hindering your progress towards lower scores then develop focused, measurable practice plans to steadily improve.

The path towards shooting below 90 requires patience with yourself, commitment to sound practice habits, determination to stick with the process and positivity throughout. If breaking 90 is your current goal, and you’re able to put in the purposeful effort, you can get there!


How many pars does it take to break 90?

To break 90, most golfers will need to record at least 12-14 pars in a round. Shooting 90 requires scoring an average of double bogey or better on each hole. Pars helps offset any big numbers. If you can make 12-15 pars, keep double bogeys to a minimum, and avoid any huge blowup holes, you’ll have an excellent chance to break 90.

How do you break 90 in golf consistently?

Playing consistently under 90 requires good course management, consistency in fairways and greens hit, reliable putting and up-and-down skills, and minimizing big mistakes. Tracking specific stats like putts, greens in regulation, and penalties will reveal strengths and weaknesses. Devote practice time to your problem areas to incrementally improve. Staying patient, and positive and avoiding complacency is key to regularly breaking 90.

Is 34 putts per round good?

For the average amateur golfer, averaging 34 putts or less per round is very good. As highlighted in the article, getting your putts down to 36 or less gives you the best chance of breaking 90. Tour professionals who putt very well average 28-30 putts. So 34 putts or under will place you among the better recreational golfers in terms of putting skill.

Can you break 90 without a driver?

While difficult, it is possible to break 90 without using a driver off the tee. On most courses, you would need to hit fairways and greens consistently with irons, hybrids, or fairway woods. This requires excellent ball striking and shot shaping skills with specialty clubs to produce scoring opportunities. Above-average scrambling and putting would also be a necessity. However, relying solely on irons and woods requires precise execution and eliminates the margin for error to score under 90.

What is your handicap if you shoot 90?

Typically if you are able to regularly shoot in the low 90s for 18-hole rounds, your handicap index would likely fall between 15-20, depending on the difficulty of the courses played. Scoring averages are used to calculate handicaps, so shooting 90-95 over enough rounds would generally equate to about a 15-20 handicap.

Are you good if you break 90?

Breaking 90 is an impressive milestone for recreational and high handicap golfers. Shooting consistently in the 80s requires credible skills across all areas driving, iron play, short game and putting. Golfers who break 90 have clearly invested effort into improving their games and have risen above the 30+ handicap beginner level. Breaking 90 regularly would classify you as a good, capable golfer enjoying some success in the game.

Conclusion: how many putts per round to break 90

The conclusion drawn from the data analysis is that an average of 32 putts per round is necessary to break 90 in golf. This finding is indicative of the importance of putting proficiency in achieving a low score. It emphasizes the need for golfers to focus on their short game and develop a consistent and effective putting stroke. By understanding the correlation between the number of putts and breaking the 90-stroke barrier, golfers can strategically allocate their practice time and resources to improve their putting performance. This conclusion serves as a valuable guideline for players seeking to enhance their overall game and achieve success on the golf course. 

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