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Jaymancds

1st Tee Nerves

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Hi everybody,

I have been playing golf fairly consistently for about a year now.  I have worked hard and lowered my score from the high 120s down to the mid 90s and still working.  The one thing I cant seem to fix is my nerves on the first tee.  I try to do a little warm up and then full practice swings before I even put my tee in the ground.  I am not sure if I am afraid of not being fully warmed up or if I am just thinking too much.  The course I play is never very busy so there is typically no rush to get going, but I feel like I am rushing myself through the first shots of the round.  I have a pretty nasty slice if I'm not careful, so I aim to the far left side of the fairway and hints of my slice bring the ball back into the middle-ish.  Am I thinking too much? Should I warm up extra too help get out of my head?  I just cant figure how to get the "cant be a slow player" mentality out of my head.  Could I be afraid of the hole and this cause the problem, because it is a straight 440 yrd par 4 that I have never gotten less than a double on?  I just cant figure it out.  Any Ideas?

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Head stuff.

I've battled the same problems as I've started. You are clearly a faster learner than I am by the way. The only thing that seems to work for me is to remind myself that the first tee is just one stroke and I'm likely to have 90 to 100 more to come. They all count the same at the end of the day.

When you are calm, take one warm-up swing and whack it.

 

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I had the first tee jitters really bad a few years ago, especially if strangers were waiting to tee off behind us.  One solution that worked for me was to tee off with a hybrid or 5 wood and leave the driver in the bag.

Driver is my least consistent club and I'd get really uncomfortable with it on the first tee, using hybrid or 5 wood produced much better results.

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The problem with not using the driver is that to get down to a club where I am just in auto-mode I have to go down to a 6 iron and lose any chance at a long tee shot. I had thought of maybe trying a 4 hybrid because my 3-wood is my worst club.

Edited by Jaymancds
forgot a word

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I tee off with a 4h or 5w quite often when my driver isn't cooperating.  You lose some distance but at least your not OB or hitting from behind trees.

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I think a lot of the first tee nerves is simply because you have no recent memories of hitting shots. Every shot after that, you have some very recent history to reassure you.

Praciticing on a driving range immediately before you tee off should help you to feel more trusting about the result of your first tee shot.

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Worse than 1st tee jitters is making a mess of the hole because you let it get to you. Every time I am on the first tee I have only one goal and it's not making bogey or worse. I know from tracking stats I scramble decent, 30-35% of the pars I make are getting up and down. I can afford to not take risks on the first tee so I play conservatively and hit a long iron or fairway and get the ball in the play.

 

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Hey even the pros get the butterflies on the first tee.  Some people (myself included) actually like the adrenaline rush of the first tee. 

For me, I concentrate on slow back swing on the first tee.  It seems to help with my tempo.

The more you get into that situation, better you will perform.  It jus takes time.

In the meantime, I would follow what others have suggested.  Use your most trusted club on the first tee (unless of course there is a hazard that you must clear).

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I tee off with a 4 iron on the first hole for a couple of reasons - 1) It's usually quite cool still and I'm not warmed up sufficiently. 2) Nerves. 

The 4 iron typically goes in the short grass. Anything resembling a wood or driver does not on the first hole. First hole on one course i play is a par 5 and it's 3 shots to the green anyway. The other course is a 4 iron anyway because of the dogleg.

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I saw Tom Watson give a great tip about first tee jitters.   First, make sure you warm up on the range, and make hitting your driver the last thing you do before you go to the first tee.   Secondly, when you hit your first tee shot, be sure your arms and hands are relaxed.   Put the old 80% swing on it. 

And my personal advice is, play more often.   Hitting the first tee shot is like public speaking.  The more you do it, the more relaxed you get while doing it.  

 

 

Edited by Marty2019

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Thanks for all the advice everybody.  I just gotta get out of my head.  I am going out this afternoon so we will see if I can get through the first tee better by not thinking.

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I guess after so many years, I never have first tee jitters.  The course I play has a fairly benign first hole.

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38 minutes ago, Marty2019 said:

And my personal advice is, play more often.   Hitting the first tee shot is like public speaking.  The more you do it, the more relaxed you get while doing it.  

 

 

+1 This!

I remember my first comp, been playing well doing my cards, hcp of 17, felt like I could rip the course up, couldn't believe how nervous I was on the first tee, never experienced anything like it, hit a duck hook into the greenkeepers shed. Ruined me!

Now I don't even get nervous and usually end up on the next fairway but I know that's not because of nerves. Just keep playing!

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I love hitting first on the first tee. I always go first when ever possible. I don't alway pull off a good shot, but I am confident enough that the next 17 holes will be much better.

I have done a lot of public speaking in the past, which I think helps in those types of situations. 

I went first once and hit a worm burner. Didn't know the the guys I playing with. Even the starter said something sarcastic. I just played on. As we were walking off the 18th green, I had won that foursome by 4+ strokes. 

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I make sure I slow the "f" down, and just get it out there ... I have a safe 3/4 swing ... believe me, I have pulled some first tee debacles you would not believe. 

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honestly, i just swing as hard as i can.

and tiger has a great history of first tee jitters.

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Note: This thread is 1749 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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