The first tee shot
This is definitely for most golfers the hardest shot in golf. It carries such importance or so we think when starting our round.
It is usually outside the clubhouse or pro shop where there is a congregation of spectators all watching the next victim take his/her first shot of the round. It’s the shot you think about when you are driving to the course…’If i just get the first tee shot I’m off to a good round’
We all put such importance on it which comes with unnecessary pressure. Everybody has experienced the nerves, sweaty palms and heart pumping when we try to put that ball on the little wooden peg on the first tee. To be honest standing over the ball on the first tee to most is something of a nightmare.
The one thing you need to know is it effects all of us. even the very best in the world suffer from it. Just ask Patrick Reed at the Ryder Cup several competitions back in Scotland. He barely got the ball past the tee box.
There are processes you can try to implement to reduce the effects of the first tee nerves. The tension you feel causes the right hand to grip the club to hard. Work on reducing this. Take some deep breathes and relax your whole body and mind. All you need to worry about to get yourself off the tee to a good start is tempo (check other blog about tempo). Play the swing as smoothly and slowly as possible. An exercise to do this is count 1 in the back swing and 2 in the down swing and follow through. Make sure your eyes are only focused on the ball, create a big shoulder turn and swing the club freely onto your target line down the middle of the fairway.
If the first tee feels your with unavoidable fear, pick an iron rather than the driver or a shorter club which you feel more confident with and swing easy. Always remember you are not alone and its somebody else’s turn next!
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