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First tee jitters?


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When I play with new people or people I don't know well I usually get very nervous on the first couple of tee's. What do you guys do to avoid the jitters?

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Well, I try remember that in golf you play only against the course....

even if I have to admit that there is a first tee that always intimidate me... Bethpage Black first hole... usually everyone is watching from behind and it gives a bit of goosebumps hahaha

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Only time I can remember getting hitters on  the tee box was off #1 at pebble for the same reason that @Wondergiulio said.  I think having a routine helps.  I try to do the same thing for every shot: practice swing, stand behind ball to get my target and line, set my club face to target line with feet together, split feet, take a peek up at target, say my 1 swing thought, breath, and swing.  I think finding your own routine will help get you into your world and hopefully it will register in your brain that you are about to hit a golf shot.

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Usually happens to me if I'm playing with people I don't know and/or I've had a long layoff with no practice. 

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When I started playing golf last year I always got nervous when playing with anyone. Worse with people I have never played with but even more so with people that I know but never played with before. Only time I did not get nervous was when I played solo. However this year I got first of all fitted for a new driver so I have quite a bit more confidence from the tee in general but I also realize that playing with ppl is part of the game and I have gotten used to it. Just do you and it will work out. 

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No matter how much I warm up on the range, I still get first tee jitters, especially if it’s on a course I have never played before. To me, it’s more of a rush of excitement to get the round started with the hope of a good round to follow. 

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9 hours ago, StrawberryShortCake said:

When I play with new people or people I don't know well I usually get very nervous on the first couple of tee's. What do you guys do to avoid the jitters?

It happens to most of us. I specially have a really bad case of the jitters when I am teeing off in front of people I don't know.

I try to concentrate and forget about everything around me, just take my time and try to take a nice controlled swing.

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10 hours ago, StrawberryShortCake said:

When I play with new people or people I don't know well I usually get very nervous on the first couple of tee's. What do you guys do to avoid the jitters?

My goal is try to tee off 3rd or 4th so I can take a few swings while waiting and collect my thoughts toward my approach, sometimes I will tell myself "to shorten up" which is self talk for don't swing so hard, and if I absolutely shank one I try to make a joke so hopefully it lightens the mood 

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14 minutes ago, stj51 said:

My goal is try to tee off 3rd or 4th so I can take a few swings while waiting and collect my thoughts toward my approach, sometimes I will tell myself "to shorten up" which is self talk for don't swing so hard, and if I absolutely shank one I try to make a joke so hopefully it lightens the mood 

I always try to go first so if I hit one good, I can proudly say "no breakfast balls today" and have all my competitors get the jitters, but if I shank it and I'm first, I can sheepishly say "We are doing breakfast balls today, right?"

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I've been playing for a long time, so I rarely feel those jitters, but I do remember them.  The last time I was pretty nervous was when I played at the Old Course the first time.  The first tee is right in the middle of town, so its not just golfers watching you while they wait for their turn, its anyone who cares to walk past.  You might have 100 people or more on a random weekday morning.  Fortunately, we had been there for a couple of days, and I had spent a little time watching other folks teeing off.  And I had seen some great drives, but I had seen a significant number of awful drives too.  Players with very solid-looking swings who cold-topped the ball, or sliced it OB.  And nobody really cared about those bad shots except the player himself.  

So my advice, just remind yourself that no matter what, your tee shot will not be the worst that day.  Try to relax, try to just take a normal swing and hit a normal shot.  I think @Chizzle had some good advice about your routine, using a consistent routine can go a long way toward making that first shot "normal".

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I get them sometimes on the first tee if I am paired up with someone I don't know or if its a course I never played at but after that i am good. I used to be terrible with the driver with slicing or chunks but pretty confident with the drive now. 

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11 minutes ago, TCUFrog said:

I always try to go first so if I hit one good, I can proudly say "no breakfast balls today" and have all my competitors get the jitters, but if I shank it and I'm first, I can sheepishly say "We are doing breakfast balls today, right?"

Love a good breakfast ball! Great strategy 

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I used to get them. I don't care that much about impressing anyone on the tee box...lol. I know I'm not a "good" player... and usually the new people/person I'm playing with isn't either.

Since my home course closed it's range and no one can warm up, I've conceded that the first ball is a 50/50 deal...lol. It is what it is... just have fun and don't worry about the first tee. Chances are good that the people/person you are playing with are feeling the same thing.

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I don't necessarily get first tee jitters, I haven't had any experiences teeing off in front of a lot of people, but I get narrow hole jitters. I've seen pros say they still get nervous for the first tee though, I think it comes down to confidence in your swing though.  I know there's a lot of mental coaching out there that talks about trying to visualize standing on the tee box on your favorite (most confident) hole whenever you get get nervous on the tee.  Try not to think about the hole you're on and swing free.  Apparently this is used often on the PGA tour because a lot of those guys have holes that "don't fit their eye", so they try to fix that by trying to visualize a hole they do like, pick out a target and go.  

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On 6/2/2020 at 9:32 PM, StrawberryShortCake said:

When I play with new people or people I don't know well I usually get very nervous on the first couple of tee's. What do you guys do to avoid the jitters?

It's happened so many times now, but I still feel like I have to control the slight increase in adrenaline that I feel and try not to absolutely destroy the ball.  You can use some sport psychology tools like mental imagery, or positive self-talk during your routine to help calm yourself down too.

Nothing frustrates me more when a two-some suddenly gets paired up with you that just found a last minute deal online on golfnow.  It's especially irritating when one of them starts smashing their club against the retention wall of a water hazard by the third hole. 

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On 6/2/2020 at 7:32 PM, StrawberryShortCake said:

When I play with new people or people I don't know well I usually get very nervous on the first couple of tee's. What do you guys do to avoid the jitters?

To avoid those jitters, I play forward a tee box less than I would normally play, use my go-to club and/or a fairway finder, and take slow practice swings to get loose and remind myself not to rush. 

Jitters seem to come most from lack of confidence. Practicing/warming up will provide some confidence or make you realize it is going to be one of those days where playing forward is a good idea. 

I hit the ball about 220 with my 5 Wood and 160 with my 7 iron. I should consistent play from blue tees. But, I have no shame playing from white to make my round more fun and take some of the pressure off. At my most played course it equates to about 1 less club on each hole. 

My rule of thumb is simple, "If I am not getting 5 birdies a round then I am playing too far back!" (Note: I have never had 5 birdies in a round)

My second rule of thumb is, "Play the tee where the shortest par 3 is not longer than a 9i or shorter than a gap wedge."

My last rule of thumb, "Play the tee where a perfect tee shot on a par 5 makes the green reachable in 2 and, on par 4s the second shot shouldn't be more than a 7 iron." 

Tee it forward and have fun. 

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Being a high handicap player I warn people I am not very good and to expect to see some terrible shots.  Pressure off and I play my own game.  

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We have all been there and some still are!  Many moons ago I went through the same thing. My first stop at the course was the bathroom. My stomach would be in knots before the first tee shot. The more you play the quicker this phase goes away,  because the more you play the more confidence you have with your now ingrained repeatable swing. I got to the point where I look forward to the first tee. It's the start of a great day on the golf course. 

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I don't really get the jitters but my go to is always the same when playing with strangers.  I always tell them it is my first time out this year.  It really covers all your bases.  If you play great they think you are better than you are.  If you play poorly they think, well, it's his first time out.

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I usually just say "I apologize in advance for what you're about to witness, you might want to look away" with a laugh and it usually calms me down. 

Of course, last year I played Pine Hills with my father and we were paired up with two regulars who let us know that they played daily. So naturally I topped my first two shots on the hole.

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