Defeating First Tee Jitters

Do you get first-tee jitters? So do Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. So you’re in pretty good company when it comes to the first tee. Anxiety about what might happen usually causes these jitters. Remember, we said might happen, not will happen.  Your anxiety causes you to speed up your swing. That in turn leads to bad shots.  So how do you combat first-tee jitters?

Here are golf tips from four pros that can help you defeat first-tee jitters:

  • Dial back on your swing (Sam Snead)
  • Take practice swings with eyes closed (Annika Sörenstam)
  • Hit your favorite club (Karen Jansen)
  • Hit practice shots with thumbs and forefingers (Davis Love, Sr.)

The key to defeating first-tee jitters is to relax and slow your swing down. Here’s how four pros do it:

Sam Snead defeated first-tee jitters by dialing back his swing. He’d swing at only about 70 percent instead of his usual 85%. Here’s how he did it: First, he’d take a really slow practice swing. Then, he’d take a really fast practice swing. Then, he’d step up to the ball and swing somewhere in the middle.

Annika Sörenstam beats first-tee jitters by taking practice swings with her eyes closed. Make sure no one is near you when take them and that you’re far away from the ball. Taking practice swings like this tells you when and how you’re accelerating. You can then slow yourself down.

Lee Trevino conquers first-tee jitters by yawning. This relaxes the muscles in his face, which then helps relax the rest of him. Or, he tells a joke. (You can also pop a big piece of bubble gum in your mouth to help relax your face muscles.)

Davis Love, Sr., would grip the club with just his forefingers and thumbs. Next, he’d take some practice swings. Holding the club this way forces you to slow your swing down. Then, he’d grip the club normally and swing away.

Relaxing and slowing down are the keys to conquering first-tee jitters. Running through your pre-shot routine slowly also helps when it comes to hitting off the first tee.

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Author: Jack

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1 Comment

  1. That is very helpful…I get jitters when I have an audience….

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