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Sunday, July 16, 2006

1st Tee Focus


For most golfers the first tee can be very intimidating to say the least, with all the other golfers, the starter, even the other golfers that you just met that you will be playing with watching and waiting can make even the best golfer a little nervous. Even pro golfers have said that they are nervous on the first tee. The difference with the pro golfers is they can rely on their ability to focus on what they are doing. The high handicap golfer already is at a disadvantage, out of 10 tee shots he will probably hit the fairway 3 or 4 times. Add the first tee jitters on top of their existing lack of confidence and you have a formula for failure. The funny thing is that the people watching want you to hit a great shot, that's why they're watching. Let's face it, some golfers look like they can play. You can't tell me that if Tiger showed up at your local course, and he wasn't the Tiger we now know, you would still want to see him hit a golf ball, and you surely would want him to hit a great shot. How about “The Big Easy” Ernie Els? Don't you think you would want to see him hit an effortless 300 yard drive? We go to golf tournaments and watch to see good shots, not sliced drives that wind up going out to the street running next to the course.
Try to go back to your childhood when you looked for praise from your father by yelling “look dad, NO HANDS!”. Remember how good it felt when took your hands off those handle bars for a few seconds and heard your father say ”Ada boy”? Why not use that same thought on the first tee? I have been using it for years and can honestly say I am never nervous on the first tee. As a matter of fact, the more people that are watching the better. The actual thought that I have before I start my pre-shot routine is “ Watch me his this ball straight down the middle”. What that does is bring my focus to what I want to accomplish, instead of any thoughts of nervousness. The next time you are on the first tee, look around and notice the people that are watching and use it to your advantage. Tap into your natural instinct to”show off, depending on the golfer, that can be much stronger than the fear of failure.

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