Knock Out The First Tee Jitters

By David BreslowNovember 6, 2008, 5:00 pm
Okay, youre all set to go. Youve hit some balls at the driving range and feel pretty good about your golf swing. Then it happens! The first tee is coming up fast. Now what? Everything is different, right? Now it all counts. Everything you do matters even more now because the stakes just got higher. Will you hit the ball as well as you did on the range? With all your expectations and everyone watching will you start your round the way you want? You can feel your body tensing up just a little bit and you havent even gotten to the tee yet!
 
The first tee can be a nerve wracking place for some golfers. Just looking at it can cause stress and anxiety. After all; its the first shot of the day and its the first one that really sets the tone for your round of golf, right?
 
Ive seen golfers with good to very good swing mechanics at the driving range arrive at the first tee only to look like a completely different person! Where did their golf swing go, I wonder? Its the same person with the same equipment and yet its NOT the same golf swing!
 
Why does the first tee elicit so much doubt, fear and anxiety for some golfers?
 
If youve read any of my previous articles you know everything begins within. This means the external results are impacted by your internal conditions. Here are some of the mindsets that can get you into trouble on the first tee. If you approach the first tee with these mindsets you will probably experience pressure, stress and muscle tension over the ball. The result: you may not be swinging the golf club in a way that honestly represents you talent level.
 
INEFFECTIVE MINDSETS:
 
The first shot sets the tone for my entire round!
PROBLEM: your WHOLE ROUND depends on how you hit it on this one hole!
 
I worry about what others are thinking
PROBLEM: your focus is on them rather than on preparing for your tee shot
 
You think, now it really counts-
PROBLEM: this creates tension, fear and doubt over the golf ball because the this counts mindset takes the joy and excitement away from playing golf
 
EFFECTIVE MINDSETS
 
Even the pros can get nervous on the first tee. Some show it and some do not but whats going on inside and how it is being handled is what is most important. You can be more effective at the first tee by following some of these guidelines:
 
1. Focus on what you can control
 
Most first tee jitters are caused by the mind wandering off into areas it has no control over (i.e. score, results, looking good in front of others, etc.). The more your mind goes there; the more anxious you can feel. Re-focus on what you have control over
 
2. Focus on Preparation
 
This is where the importance of your routine comes into play. If your routine is a good one, it will help you prepare properly. I have found that most clients believe their routines to be ok but soon discover that its NOT as effective as it could be. This is something we clearly outline in the Wired to Win Program.
 
3. Think Big Picture
 
Your first shot is not your round. To think it is; is an illusion. Does it make sense to hit one poor shot and somehow believe that your entire round is ruined? Stop it! Sure, its important to get off the first tee in good shape and the pros use this as a way to set the tone for their rounds. However, they make sure they do steps #1 and #2 to increase their opportunity for success. Even if the result of your first tee shot is not as expected it doesnt mean the round is ruined. This is simply not true.
 
4. Hit the Safe Shot to a Safe Target
 
If you have worries or doubts on the first tee, go for the safe play. You can still take your natural golf swing but pick a target that is in a safety zone for you. Dont go for too much and allow yourself to work your way into the round. This will build confidence and trust in your golf swing.
 
To take advantage of our performance products that are designed to improve your overall game and the final discounts, click here.
 
Comments by golfers just like you!
Sports psychologists (and Ive read many of their books and spent a lot of time working with some) tell you that you need to use your mind as effectively as you use your body to play the game. That may be great advice, but until I worked with David, I didnt know how to do it, much less how to direct my mind to play my best. David showed me how. My on-course fog has lifted'I hit crisp shots to a clearly defined target time after time'and Im more energized when Im done than when I began! Please dont wait to give David a call!
 
Mr. Marion Lucas/ 5 handicap
 
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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for The Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit: www.theflowzone.net, email: daviddavid@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.0247
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

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    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."