The Golf Swing

This blog is dedicated to the golf swing. Please feel free to discuss any tips, techniques and methods that you use to improve your swing.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Mental Game - First Tee Jitters

Even the pros get nervous on their first tee shot of the day. Many mid and high handicap golfers feel that the first tee shot sets the tone for the day. Nothing, however, could be further than the truth. Your opening tee shot is just one stroke and if you hit a bad shot you have lots of time to recover. Therefore, you shouldn't put any undue pressure upon yourself to try and hit a perfect shot. You have to learn how to keep those first hole jitters from ruining any chance you have of making a good swing. Following are two things that I find help to get rid of the jitters.

1) Make believe you're hitting into a practice net - On most golf courses the first hole is usually wide open. There may some some hazards you need to avoid but typically there's a nice wide opening for you to hit your ball. The key is to block all of the hazards out of your mind. I do this by imagining I'm hitting into a practice net that is sitting right in front of the tee. Make sure you're aligned properly and then take your swing trying to hit your ball solidly into the bullseye in the practice net. What does this do? It eliminates the direction factor. Now you don't have to worry about the direction of the ball. Simply try and hit that bullseye right in front of you.

2) Hit the Ball Short - Most golfers tend to swing harder on the first hole then any other hole. This is a big mistake. A fast swing will tend to yield a poor result. You need to slow down your swing. Make believe you're on the driving range and try hitting the ball 20 yards shorter than normal. You might also try hitting a 3 wood instead of the driver. regardless of which club you use you must Relax and slow down your swing. By trying to hit a shorter shot you will eliminate the pressure you feel to crush the ball and you'll be able to make a nice smooth easy swing at the ball.

Try the above two tips. You might not crack off a 250 yard drive but I guarantee you that you'll you'll hit a nice straight shot that will have you sitting in the short hairs.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger John said...

agree so much...i have started hitting 3 wood off the first tee on a wide open par5 (at my home course) and typically a 6 iron to the 100 yd marker...i am seeing many more birdies...and my tempo for my second shot has not changed from the range... with a three wood I accept the distance loss...and don't swing out of my shoes...setting the tone for the rest of the game... also found that two aspirin and one beer about 30 minutes before hand, can go a long way, if your a shaker, or get the jitters.


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