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Preparing for your opening tee shot of the day

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The Ryder Cup got started Friday morning and first-tee jitters were apparent, as some of the best players in the world hit some dicey tee shots in the opening foursomes session.

Everyone gets nervous on the first tee at times, but the opening tee shot of the day is quite possibly the most important shot that you will hit in a round of golf because it may be the one shot that sets the tone for your entire round.

Getting off to a good start immediately will help any golfer relax and take the pressure off almost instantly.

There are a few things that I would recommend to help you prepare for the first tee shot of the day so that you can start each round with confidence:

First, familiarize yourself with the golf course that you are going to play. If it is a course that you are unfamiliar with take the time to go online and look at the course overview.

If you live near the course, visit the course prior to the day of play and take a look around. Visit the pro shop and purchase a yardage book. Normally these books have great pictures of the layout of each hole. This will give you a great idea of what to expect on the day of play.


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Second, create a strategy for the first tee shot using the yardage book. Decide ahead of time what club you’re are going to tee off with and where in the fairway you will be attempting to get the ball to finish. Do this for every hole as you never know what hole you be will starting on.

Now, the third and most important step comes on the day of your round. Your final preparation for your first tee shot of the day comes at the practice range prior to your round.

Go through your normal warm-up routine. Hit the clubs that you normally hit when warming up and do this in the exact same order each time. When you are finished with your routine, pull out your yardage book and prepare for the first tee shot of the day.

Take out the club that you plan to hit for your first tee shot and then decide on the shape of the shot (fade, draw or straight). Go with the shape that was most prominent during your warm up or that you are most comfortable with. Hit two tee shots as if you were playing the first hole.

And finally, go right to the first tee, execute your plan and have a great round!

Take an online lesson with Erik Horve.