Overcoming first tee nerves
Nerves are preventing you
from starting well
You don’t live up to your potential in big events
Suffering 1st tee nerves can have a major impact on your round. All your anxiety and tension is focused on the success or otherwise of your opening shot and if it all goes wrong, which it can do even for the best players in the world, you can be left dreading the next four hours. Overcoming first tee nerves is about developing a way to control your breathing. Take deep breaths to control your heart rate – this will help calm you down. When it comes to actually playing the opening tee shot, I always tell my students that it’s vital you stick to a pre-shot routine. This will be slightly different for every golfer, but a great option is to take a practice swing behind the ball, pick out a specific target and then set up to this target. This will stop you from thinking about all of the places you don’t want to hit the ball, and will set good fundamentals.
From there I always think its a good idea to have one swing thought… Zero swing thoughts can lead to a lack of focus while three or four is confusing. Having one clear swing thought will really help you make a more positive, confident swing. Try to make a controlled swing to get the ball in play. If you can do this, you’ll be up and running.
If all esle fails, take a conservative startegy. A hybrid or long iron on the fairway is much better than a driver into the trees. Often once the first tee is experience is over you’ll relax – and certainly seeing your ball in the centre of the fairway will help you calm down much quicker.