You’ve all seen this. A golfer arrives for his/her tee time at the last minute, quickly throws on the golf shoes in the parking lot, sprints to the first tee and without benefit of hitting a ball or even stretching, steps up for the opening drive.

More often than not, it fails to find the fairway, and the first hole is a disaster.

Perhaps this is even you.

Preparing to play your first shot can set the tone for your entire round. Make it count.

Here are a few tips that will help eliminate first-tee jitters and make certain your scorecard isn’t ruined before you barely begin.

1. Begin Preparing Before Reaching the Course

Make sure your golf bag is loaded with plenty of water and something to eat at the turn, and have your tees, ball marker, glove and divot tool set aside. Digging through your bag on the first tee saps focus when you should be relaxed and thinking about making a solid swing. And make sure to turn off the cellphone, or at least mute it.

2. The Early Bird Gets the Worm 

Or maybe makes more birdies. Arrive at the course with plenty of time to spare. The more casually you can go about your business before teeing off, the more relaxed you will feel. Rushing to the first tee is nearly always a prescription for disaster.

3. Develop a Warm-Up Routine 

How many times have you heard someone say after their first tee, “Man, do I feel tight!” Loose and free is good; tight is not.

Some golfers feel like they absolutely must hit balls on the range before teeing off. Others are good with a few putts and chips. And some will simply follow a stretching routine that helps them loosen up. Find what works best for you and stick to it every time.

The best players consciously work to slow everything down; how they walk, breathe and even initially hit practice shots. This helps them relax and focus.

4. Make Practice Count 

If you warm-up on the range, do it with a game plan in mind. Don’t just hammer drivers. Work through your bag, beginning with a pitching wedge or 9-iron so you develop a feel for each club. After that, hit a few putts on the practice green to get a sense of the speed.

5. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel at the Range 

Too many players use the warm-up as a practice session and begin making fixes. A better approach is to focus on warming up your muscles, finding your rhythm, and getting into “playing mode” by hitting some of the shots you’ll be faced with on the course.

6. Don’t Worry, Be Happy 

The principal reason many golfers hit poor first drives is because they are so damn nervous. Remember, you’re about to embark on a round of golf. This is fun. So, remain positive, lock in a target for that first drive, take a deep breath and take a second to visualize the shot you are about to hit. Then, let it go without fear.

7. Ease into the Round 

Tell yourself to think conservatively on the first hole so that you lessen the chance at a big mistake. Instead of taking on that forced carry, perhaps you lay up. Focus on making solid contact, which will develop early confidence and pay dividends later. A bogey on the first hole won’t kill you; a double bogey or worse could ruin your mood for the entire day.

8. Don’t Expect Perfection 

Even the pros mess up, so why should you get all upset when you top a fairway wood or slice an iron? Think less about the result of your shot and more about swinging loose and carefree. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll hit the ball when you’re relaxed.

 

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Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

The Golf Courses are open, and carts are available.

18-hole carts are available up to the 3:00pm starting time.

9-hole golf carts are available up to the 5:00pm starting time.

Drinking water is available at filling stations by the clubhouse. 

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