I came across this valuable article from Jay Granat for every golfer who gets the jitters when it comes to hitting that first drive of the day.
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Golf Tips: Nervous On The First Tee?
16 Ways To Stay Calm When You Stand Over The Golf Ball
Over the years, many golfers have come to see me to get help with their first tee jitters. Both low handicappers and high handicappers can be nervous at the start of a round.
The first tee jitters can be quite stressful for golfers. Many of my clients report difficulty sleeping the night before a golf tournament because they were worried about that first swing with everyone watching them from the club house.
Here are some tips to help high handicappers and single digit players understand more about their nervousness on the first tee and some tips to help golfers become more comfortable when they tee off.
1. Realize that many golfers experience anxiety when they start a round of golf. You are not at all alone with these feelings and it is not uncommon.
2. Most golfers are overly worried about embarrassing themselves while others are watching them closely. Once you do not care what others think about your game, you will be freed up to perform better.
3. Some golfers mistakenly believe that if their first shot is bad that their entire round will be bad. Remember, each swing is independent and the more important swing is the next one you take.
4. Never, ever be afraid of hitting a bad shot. The worst that happens is not a tragedy. It is an inconvenience that is part of the game of golf.
5. Remember, being in the center of the fairway and straight is often better than being long and being off target.
6. Do some aerobics before you get to the golf course. This can help to get rid of some of your nervous energy.
7. Listen to music prior to arriving at the first tee.
8. Tense and relax the muscles in you arms and legs before you step up to hit the ball.
9. Most of you are playing golf to have some fun so remind yourself that you are on the golf course to enjoy yourself.
10. Identify where you want the ball to land.
11. Visualize the path you want the ball to take.
12. Do not swing until you are comfortable.
13. Before you strike the ball, have either one idea or an empty and quiet mind.
14. Try using worry beads to get calm and keep you hands free of tension.
15. Spend some time playing with a yo-yo prior to teeing off. This will help to relax you and can activate the playful side of your mind.
16. Learn how to use self-hypnosis to ease your self into the zone.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. He can be reached at email@example.com. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis and How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America’s Top Ten Mental Gurus. If you want more help with your golf game, he can be reached at 888 580-ZONE.
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Are you ever nervous on the first tee? How do you handle the jitters? Add your comment in the space below.