We’ve all had them. Those nerves on the first tee. That feeling of just wanting to have your shot and get away from the club house. Standing over the ball
just hoping to give the ball the joy of flight as you feel like everybody has stopped to watch you hit.
Well here are 5 simple steps to help you overcome any first tee nerves so you can get off to a confident start:
- Arrive early and warm up
Arrive early enough at the course to warm up properly. A good warm up will include stretching, putting, chipping and hitting some irons and woods. Arriving early also allows you to relax and prepare mentally for your round.
- Pick a target
Pick a target of exactly where you wish to hit the ball to. This eliminates the thought of just hitting it anywhere down the fairway in a rush. The smaller you pick your target the smaller any miss will be. This also draws your focus away from external thoughts and will help you to eliminate any sounds around you as you use your visual sense to picture the shot and not your auditory sense.
- Have a pre shot routine
Work out a pre shot routine and stick to it. This could be as simple as once you have chosen your club take two practise swings, stand behind the ball and visualise the shot, step in to the ball and take your stance, look at your target then make the shot. A pre shot routine will help stop you from rushing in to a shot and is a trigger to focus for the shot you are going to play.
Before you step in to the ball, take two or three deep breaths from the stomach area breathing in to the count of 6 and out to the count of 4. Breathing from the stomach area (diaphragm) naturally helps you to relax and also oxygenates the blood flow to the muscles.
- Think tempo
A good thought before you hit the ball is tempo. Too many times golfers get ‘mechanical’ on the course as they look for the perfect swing. Know your tempo and trust your mechanics and you'll have a much smoother swing.
Remember the first tee is the best place to get off to a fantastic round