Knock Out The First Tee Jitters

By David BreslowAugust 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a 4 part series addressing the mental game from tee to green. We will look at the first tee, approach shots, pitch/chip shots and the keys to great putting.
 
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 Hcp
 
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 witnessed 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 it all begins within. 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:
 
THOUGHT: The first shot sets the tone for my entire round!
PROBLEM: Your WHOLE ROUND depends on how you hit it!
 
THOUGHT: I worry about what others are thinking.
PROBLEM: Your focus is on them rather than on preparing for your tee shot
 
THOUGHT: 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 FlowZone 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.
 
NOTE: We want to thank the 100s of you who signed up for the Free Consultation! Please continue to send your experiences and comments to us at: david@theflowzone.net.

FOR FlowZone Program Info:
You can take part in this unique approach because it doesnt matter where you live, work or play. I work with clients all over the country (and in other countries) because the FlowZone program is highly effective when done via telephone. Most clients admit they dont develop their mental game because, I dont know where to start or what it really is or Ive tried the tips and they dont last that long. The FlowZone approach is not about quick-tips. It is about powerful performance principles that never change and that you can always rely on. The principles ARE the answers! Dont let past failures or doubt hold you back!

If you have any questions about the FlowZone program please email: info@theflowzone.net.
 
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    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."