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hacker101

First shot choke

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Does anyone else have this same is issue on the first tee and what did you do to fix it. It seems that lately I have been just choke that first hit on tee 1. It never used to be this way I could just walk up drop the ball and hit it. Short par 3's I would be on the green a par 4 or 5 in the fairway but now I just choke every time.

This sucks it takes me to the 3rd hole to get it together.

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I call this the first hole Jitters.  I used to get this often (especially when there are groups waiting for the next tee time watching, and the starter), so what i started doing is taking deep breaths and more practice swings then usual.  Its a confidence thing, when you make good practice swings and you know your swing, then you can be confident your ball will be in an ideal location. Also hitting the driving range prior to the first tee is always recommended because your mind will play some games with you if you havent hit a couple drives yet, so i always hit a few drives on the range the way i want them to look on the course in order to get my mental game focus.

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Thanks I just never had this before, I can tone out what is around me but this all just started about a month ago.

I know that I have not been hitting a small bucket before tee time like i used to, but that was still never a big issue. Most of the time I would just drop the ball with out a tee on a par three and hit it. Now I feel like by passing the first tee all togather.

Somthing has me all messed up.

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Originally Posted by hacker101

Thanks I just never had this before, I can tone out what is around me but this all just started about a month ago.

I know that I have not been hitting a small bucket before tee time like i used to, but that was still never a big issue. Most of the time I would just drop the ball with out a tee on a par three and hit it. Now I feel like by passing the first tee all togather.

Somthing has me all messed up.

Seems like that's the problem right there.  You used to warm up with a small bucket and now you don't, and it takes you until the 3rd hole to be able to hit it correctly?  Additionally, you said you aren't bothered by first tee jitters, so I don't know what else it could possibly be.

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Originally Posted by Nick95GSX

I call this the first hole Jitters.  I used to get this often (especially when there are groups waiting for the next tee time watching, and the starter), so what i started doing is taking deep breaths and more practice swings then usual.  Its a confidence thing, when you make good practice swings and you know your swing, then you can be confident your ball will be in an ideal location. Also hitting the driving range prior to the first tee is always recommended because your mind will play some games with you if you havent hit a couple drives yet, so i always hit a few drives on the range the way i want them to look on the course in order to get my mental game focus.


Good advice. I have a similar problem as OP. The first approach shot is where I have difficulties. I'm starting to get better. I've learned a few times from listening to the pros (Faldo) - practice on the range the 2-3 shots that you expect to have and hit practice balls like you're simulating your first hole (ie hit driver then 6-iron for me).   I've had starts with doubles or triples then string 5-6 pars or better. Sometimes I'm happy w/ a bogey on the first hole just because I didn't do too much damage to the score.

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Originally Posted by Nick95GSX

Also hitting the driving range prior to the first tee is always recommended because your mind will play some games with you if you havent hit a couple drives yet, so i always hit a few drives on the range the way i want them to look on the course in order to get my mental game focus.

^^^This. I almost always hit a driving range before playing a round even if it means getting to the course an hour earlier before my tee time. Also, on your last few balls, hit the club you would hit on the first tee. After you hit it well, just try to mimic the same feels of that last shot on the first tee.

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I have a thought that I tell myself  and its "first tee driver swing". Basically its just trying to really focus on just making a nice smooth easy swing off that first tee.

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I just figure everyone else is as nervous as I am. I too hit a bucket before each round and I stop when I hit a really good drive, that's the one I take to the first tee. I wouldn't recommend just throwing a ball down and hitting it. A tee will give you the perfect lie (even on a par 3), so take advantage of it.

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All great advise at this point, going to hit a small bucket and use the iron i would use on the first hole.I always used to get there early but to think about it I have been running late each week and no time to warm up.

You all have me thinking that, I am teeing off thinking I going to choke so i do, wow great sounding boards guys.

Thanks

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Originally Posted by hacker101

Does anyone else have this same is issue on the first tee and what did you do to fix it. It seems that lately I have been just choke that first hit on tee 1. It never used to be this way I could just walk up drop the ball and hit it. Short par 3's I would be on the green a par 4 or 5 in the fairway but now I just choke every time.

This sucks it takes me to the 3rd hole to get it together.

Does it happen regardless of the course you're playing?  Does it happen regardless of your warmup routine?  What about the group you're to play with?  If all of these things are equal, the answer is likely to stop focusing on the result (hitting a good shot, or fixing your choking problem).  Focus instead on something not tied to the result.  Focus on tempo.  Focus on having a balanced finish.  Stop worrying where the ball goes.  The result is irrelevant.

The fact that you're "warming up" around hole 3 suggests you have an idea in your head about how you "need to start" your round in order to meet some sort of goal.  Whether that's a score, or winning a skin, or whatever it is, it's likely that this feeling is preventing you from making your normal good swing.  By hole 3 you have probably already beat yourself up, surrender to the round and just lighten up.

Just an opinion.

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Take your swing and cut the speed in half. Being nervous speeds up your swing causing transitions to off. Sloooooooowwww down.

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Carrx no it does not matter what course it is every 1st tee on every course. I think you hit it on the head I am focused on the result and not my basic swing that is really not bad. When I came back to the game it was all fun no pressure, did not care about my score I was just having fun with my son and playing my game that I used to love so much. Now seem to be playing for that dam card number at the end not the fun of just playing I need to get back to that and having fun even on the bad shots. I did not think about that until you brought it up.

You said it right just lighten up!

Buy you guys are good.

Thanks

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I wish I know about this site before I quit years ago maybe I would have still been playing there is some great advise here from you all.

Thanks it is so much apperciated.

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I wouldn't change anything in your routine... if anything, that'll hurt. Take a 3w instead. Take the same practice swings, same everything. If golf is important enough, look into some material on sports psychology.. a 20 dollar book is probably worth the money.

I practice with as much noise around me as possible, like everyone and the golf pro at the range is watching, and like this shot determines if I break par (or 59 if you're the best player in the world, or if you are going to break double par for a round for the first time, or whatever the goal is for that round). Golf isn't just about the shot you are hitting, it's about the whole round.

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For me it's all about the pressure I put on myself to start the round off as good as possible. When I struggled with first shot, really first hole jitters last year developing a routine and sticking to it helped quiet my mind. It was never about being unable to hit a good first shot just that unnecessary thoughts got in the way. Consequently it wasn't uncommon for that first hole score to be the worst of the day. I still struggle from time to time but what helped was making my routine, not just the motions but the thought process part of my practice. The goal being that eventually every shot will be more like a reflex.

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Originally Posted by Dave2512

For me it's all about the pressure I put on myself to start the round off as good as possible. When I struggled with first shot, really first hole jitters last year developing a routine and sticking to it helped quiet my mind. It was never about being unable to hit a good first shot just that unnecessary thoughts got in the way. Consequently it wasn't uncommon for that first hole score to be the worst of the day. I still struggle from time to time but what helped was making my routine, not just the motions but the thought process part of my practice. The goal being that eventually every shot will be more like a reflex.

Yup, ditto here.  I have, and sometimes still do, put way too much stock into what happens on the first hole.  As if I'm required to have a good round if I par or birdie hole 1, and must shoot a terrible score if I double 1.  It's just dumb, but it still happens occasionally.

Just have to concentrate on the old "one shot at a time" cliche.

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Breeeeeeeeath and think about other things. That's what helped me.
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Originally Posted by Valleygolfer

Take your swing and cut the speed in half. Being nervous speeds up your swing causing transitions to off. Sloooooooowwww down.

^^^^^ this is what helps me, dont worry about driving it to the green on a par 5.....lol.  get it down the fairway in the middle "straight shot" 150 yrds it tends to shake the cob webs off, then open a beer and enjoy the rest of the round. j/k about the beer.....not.

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