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islandersfan1

How do you get off to a good start in golf (first few holes)

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In tournaments I always fall behind during the first few holes.. With a match tomorrow, I don't want this to happen again. I think it's just nerves..Like, last match I was 5 over through 2, and although I had a good rest of my round, I was surprised I was able to come back and move on from those first few holes.. but what do you do to ensure you get off to a good start.. Thanks

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Maybe try not being as aggressive on the first few holes until you feel you are over the nervousness if that is your problem?

I myself am totally paranoid of the first couple holes, and it shows in my scores as well, but do I play less aggressive? Heck no!! I didn't say I played smart golf

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Originally Posted by islandersfan1

In tournaments I always fall behind during the first few holes.. With a match tomorrow, I don't want this to happen again. I think it's just nerves..Like, last match I was 5 over through 2, and although I had a good rest of my round, I was surprised I was able to come back and move on from those first few holes.. but what do you do to ensure you get off to a good start.. Thanks

Tiger Woods says before he leaves the range for the first tee he will always go through a complete "1st hole" routine that gives him confidence on the first tee.  Tee one up at the range and envision exactly the type of shot you'll want to hit off the first tee, go through your regular routine and hit the shot.  Envision where you want that first drive to be and what club you'll have into the green and play that shot on the range.

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Originally Posted by Chris223

Tiger Woods says before he leaves the range for the first tee he will always go through a complete "1st hole" routine that gives him confidence on the first tee.  Tee one up at the range and envision exactly the type of shot you'll want to hit off the first tee, go through your regular routine and hit the shot.  Envision where you want that first drive to be and what club you'll have into the green and play that shot on the range.

That is very good advice and something that I do as well.   I try to finish off a warm-up (If I get one) with what to expect the first hole, both off the tee and approach shot.

Also, you can take it like this.  If you start off bad, you should feel less pressure because you had a couple of goofs and you shouldn't put expectations on yourself going forward.   Use it to take pressure off, instead of trying to make up for it...which only will add pressure.   But if you get off to a good start, take it that it's going to be a good day and try to relax.

The first time I broke 80, I had a magic front 9 of even par and then tripled #10.   Took the pressure off because I thought I blew my round so I stopped thinking about the score.   Played great from #11-18.

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I take 5-6 deep breaths, close my eyes and visualize the shot for about 30-40 seconds. Then I get behind the ball and visualize the ball flight. Then 2-3 practice swings and hit the ball. I find my pre-shot routine to be vital to success especially early on in the round when I am trying to get a rhythm going

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If possible, use a club for the first tee shot that you are comfortable with and will put you in the fairway, even if you have a slightly longer shot to the green. For example, my first hole is 295 yards. I cannot drive the hole and the approach is severely uphill, so even if I hit a drive that would carry, 240-250 I will only get about 220 out of it. A 3 or 4 wood will give me 220, but leave me on the upslope. So I use a club that will leave me in the fairway, on a flat lie, and still a wedge or 9 iron to the green. This allows me to hit 3 hybrid off the tee for a much easier shot. Most of the time, I pull it off. Many times, this is not only good management, but takes the pressure off because you are hitting an easier club.
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I try to remember first tee jitters is a normal thing. 2 Deep breaths, try to relax and swing 70% max with an emphasis on maintaing my balance. Wherever the ball ends up think to myself, hey I could be home mowing the lawn or worse doing dishes.
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I just stroll up to the tee like I own the place! No practise swings, no visualisation, tee up and hit it! The more I think the worse I play! Think on the range, play on the course!
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If I don't have the chance to do a warm up before teeing off, I'm always nervous using a driver on the first hole. If possible, I try to avoid it. A first hole par 4 of less than 400 yards will typically begin with me pulling a long iron out of the bag, unless there is no trouble I could hit in to. Once the first hole jitters of a big tournament are out of the way, I'm good to go. If I get to warm up first, I have no fear of pulling the driver out of the bag on the first tee. I generally have a good idea of what it's going to do by then.

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I always play better with an audience! Dunno why? On a first tee with people watching I pretty much always cream one straight out, seriously! I'm used to strangers congratulating me on a terrific drive! For several minutes I even believe I'm quite good at golf, until I take my approach, and thin the life out of it!
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I actually had a good start.. I just did my normal routine and something clicked.. It was more like the oppisite.. I went par par par to start, but finished 5 over on the last 2 :(

But, hey, 88, I'll take it.....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam e View Post

The first time I broke 80, I had a magic front 9 of even par and then tripled #10.   Took the pressure off because I thought I blew my round so I stopped thinking about the score.   Played great from #11-18.

Well I've never broke 80 and manage to break 90 only around twice per season, but a few rounds ago I shot a 27 over the first four holes at my favorite course and I did the exact same.  I was ready to walk off the golf course but I didn't try to make up for it figuring it was impossible... holes 5-18?  I played just 8 over par.

Quote:
I just stroll up to the tee like I own the place! No practise swings, no visualisation, tee up and hit it! The more I think the worse I play!
Think on the range, play on the course!

after you pipe one right down the middle do you stroll back to your cart and just say "like a boss" lol.  That would be absolutely PERFECT

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I'm not good enough (yet) to be nervous so I guess I have a built in defense mechanism.  Ha  Normally I will just remind myself not to overswing so I can place the ball in the fairway and usually it works out alright.

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We start with a small 330 yard par 4. I always play this hole conservative in most cases i take an iron off the tee, and make sure i hit it to the safe spot.

right side is no go territory. as the hole has a dogleg to the right. I tee the ball up on the right side so you open up the left side more. If you miss the fairway left you get the opportunity to reach the green in 2. from the right you only can hit it back on the fairway.

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I just stroll up to the tee like I own the place! No practise swings, no visualisation, tee up and hit it! The more I think the worse I play! Think on the range, play on the course!

Agreed! I just trust my swing, even if it isn't agreeing with me at the time.

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