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First Tee Jitters


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Heh ... Our hole #1 is a Par 3 170 yard carry over water to a near-island green (lake in front, pond behind). So there's a little bit of added pressure

The more you play the less nervous you'll feel. At some point you get to a situation where you are fired up to hit that first tee shot and can't wait to see it go where you want. It comes from having good experiences on that first tee.

Others have already given plenty of good advice about how to have those great 1st tee experiences

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I found an image of our first green, taken from about 75 yards from the middle. The carry to the front is about 172 from the back tees. Often requires a few deep breaths before teeing off during tournament rounds!

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Heh ... Our hole #1 is a Par 3 170 yard carry over water to a near-island green (lake in front, pond behind). So there's a little bit of added pressure

Yeah that's a little tougher than your normal wide-open par four to begin a round!

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I also get these, but less every time I play. Its just a matter of relaxing and not worrying what others think. At the end of the day if you hit a bad 1st shot and someone makes a snide comment that shows they are an idiot in any case. We are all out there to enjoy ourselves, unless we are a tour professional playing for $$$$$.
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I have learned many things this year, but what tends to be very important for me is to make sure I hit a small bucket of balls before teeing off for a round ... After a range session I am loose, I am confident and I know that my swing is where it needs to be ... This way I am stepping-up to that first tee and I am not stiff, sore, cold or not ready to play ... I can focus on making a good back-swing, and just crushing the ball off the first tee and dropping the jaws of some of those people watching ...
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i was like that about a year ago i got really nervous and tensed up and couldent hit water if i fell out of a boat...... but i dont let it bother me and should not bother anyone else..... everyone hits a bad ball

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Typically, I create most of the pressure all by myself. You anticipate the game all week and you are hoping and prayin' that you'll have a good game so that you can come home feeling proud and content. You are driving to the course thinking of everything you've practiced or visualized all week. You step out there on the first tee with the whole world watching it seems and then with all that nervous anticipation...you shank one into the woods or water. AAHHHHHH! @#$#@%& As previously stated in these posts, use your course management skills and club down and get the first shot off straight. A high percentage shot you might say. Most first holes are not horribly high in difficulty. Remember...you have 17 more holes left to be a hero. In contrast...doesn't it stink when you rip a great drive and no one is watching cuz' they are pre-occupied by someone else on the course? "Gee...you guys missed my 350 yard drive!!!"
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No because the people who are watching and judging usually suck

+1 on that :)

Also, I notice that when I get nervous, that is when I change something that I don't need to change. Focusing too hard on my grip, stance, over-thinking it etc. Being conscious of your nerves is good though, take your time and step off the tee if you need to, take a couple extra practice swings, ask to hit last, do whatever to just relax. If all else fails and you really do trash the shot, just walk away limping and holding your knee. If you really sell it the cart girl might come help you with some ice
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Its only natural to feel this way. I remember feeling the same way many years ago. You can still make it on the tour, the more you play the less you will feel the pressure and of course the more confidence you will also have on the first tee. Next time you are at the driving range, image being on the first tee and focus on hitting that drive down the middle and this will help the next time you are the first tee box.

Turn the pressure into a positive and sometimes you will focus more and hit a better drive.
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  • 5 years later...


I'm new to the game (3 nine hole rounds so far). I noticed that I too get the jitters on the 1st two holes or so. The two things that make my jitters go away are. 1) I get a good hit. 2) by the end of the 2nd hole, I'm so frustrated I forget about the jitters.

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I don't get nervous about casual rounds because I play them all the time, usually with the same group of guys... However, I'm ALWAYS nervous on the first tee of a tournament. It's probably my favorite part of tournament play though, so if I ever stop getting nervous then I'll just stop playing in them I guess. It typically works to my advantage too because I focus even more than usual to overcome the nerves. I make a lot of first hole pars in tournaments.

There's nothing wrong with being nervous though, it's normal. If anyone thinks the pros aren't nervous when they step on the first tee of a big tournament, you're crazy. No matter how good you are, or how many tournaments you have played in, there are always some first tee jitters. I remember reading how Nicklaus said he gets nervous to come out and hit the opening drive of the Master's each year, even though he knows it doesn't matter where he hits it... What helped me is just learning to embrace it and enjoy that one shot where I get to be nervous instead of backing down from it. I may hit 100 shots that day (Lord, I hope not) but I may only get to be nervous over that one single shot. Enjoy it, as it's all part of the beauty of tournament play.

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It's natural to get nervous and worry about hitting a poor shot in front of a bunch of people, but it's a great feeling when you absolutely stripe your tee shot in front of them. Gotta get those negative thoughts out of your head.

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I just remind myself to swing nice and smooth and try to make a good pass. Helps that we have a short par 4 on the first. Which also can add pressure to birdie the first as it's one of the easiest holes on the course!

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No, not anymore. In fact now I want to go first. A good first tee shot immediately puts me in a good frame of mind, and  some added pressure on those who follow me. Now, there are times when I totally blow that first tee shot, but I don't let it bother me. I am a firm believer that my hardest shot will always be my next one........unless it's a tap in putt.

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I get nervous - just concentrate on tempo, eye on the ball & swing EASY.    My one thought is just get it out there somewhere on the fairway on the first tee... then later when I get warmed up, start to stand on it.

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When I have strangers watching, I get in "showtime" mode. Weirdly enough, when I'm playing with friends, I get nervous on the first tee mostly because I wanna beat the daylights out of them. I'm weird like that.

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Note: This thread is 2426 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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