Do you have an important tournament coming up? Playing with someone you’re trying to impress? Have you been roped into a money game that has your undivided attention? Whatever the reason, golf frequently comes with first-tee jitters. Bob Beach, the head professional at Braintree Municipal Golf Course, has some suggestions on how best to deal with them.
“A good tip to overcome nerves on the first tee is to purposely grip your golf club as tight as you can. By doing this, you will feel your forearms become rigid and you will only feel the grip end of the club. When you swing the club, you will notice that the club does not want to swing naturally. Everything is forced and the body wants to move too much. After gripping the club as tight as you can, slowly let the air out and assume a much lighter grip pressure. You will now be able to feel the weight in the clubhead. When you swing the club, you will notice the club swings itself and swings on an arc or tilted circle.
“A second step to overcoming first-tee jitters is to take a deep breath through your nose and blow it out slowly through your mouth. Focus on making solid contact and where you want your ball to go rather than where you want to avoid. If it doesn’t work, remember it’s only your first shot. Many golfers have their best rounds after a missed first shot or bad first hole. The next shot is always the most important shot.”