Over the years, many golfers have come to see me to get help with their first tee jitters. Both low handicappers and high handicappers can be nervous at the start of a round.
Some golfer report difficulty sleeping the night before a golf event due to stress related to looking bad on the first tee while everyone is watching them swing.
Here are some tips to help high handicappers and single digit players understand more about their nervousness on the first tee and some tips to help golfers become more
comfortable when they tee off.
1. Realize that many golfers experience anxiety when they start a round of golf. You are not at all alone with these feelings and it is not uncommon.
2. Most golfers are overly worried about embarrassing themselves while others are watching them closely. Once you do not care what others think about your game, you will be freed up to perform better.
3. Some golfers mistakenly believe that if their first shot is bad that their entire round will be bad. Remember, each swing is independent and the more important swing is the next one you take.
4. Never, ever be afraid of hitting a bad shot. The worst that happens is not a tragedy. It is an inconvenience that is part of the game of golf.
5. Remember, being in the center of the fairway and straight is often better than being long and being off target.
6. Do some aerobics before you get to the golf course. This can help to get rid of some of your nervous energy.
7. Listen to music prior to arriving at the first tee.
8. Tense and relax the muscles in you arms and legs before you step up to hit the ball.
9. Most of you are playing golf to have some fun so remind yourself that you are on the golf course to enjoy yourself.
10. Identify where you want the ball to land.
11. Visualize the path you want the ball to take.
12. Do not swing until you are comfortable.
13. Before you strike the ball, have either one idea or an empty and quiet mind.
14. Try using worry beads to get calm and keep you hands free of tension.
15. Spend some time playing with a yo-yo prior to teeing off. This will help to relax you and can activate the playful side of your mind.
16. Learn how to use self-hypnosis to ease your self into the zone.