Yah- that about sums it up.
First Tee Jitters Diagnosed
By Kickntrue on 8/11/08
The NY Times has a golf story in today's edition about first tee jitters and how to overcome them.
It's one of golf's most common maladies and even the great Tiger Woods has admitted to having it. Lee Trevino once said the only people on the first tee of a PGA Tour event who weren't nervous were the volunteers keeping score.
As a former volunteer keeping score I can tell you this isn't true. We are nervous too.
At face value, it's such an easy task. The ball, after all, is not only not moving, it is propped up on a tee. But there is subtle and definable pressure - typical golf pressure - in making sure you do the eminently doable.

"That's why I tell my students to step on the first tee, take a practice swing about three inches from the ball, immediately step closer and hit it," said Butch Harmon, rated the country's best golf teacher last year by Golf Digest. "There shouldn't be any more thought than that. The other thing I tell them is this: No one watching cares what you do. Golfers are too worried about what other people will think of them. No one cares. The other people are busy worrying about their own first shot."
Easier said than done. Anyone else have advice?

New York Times - Full Story

[ comments ]
ToddRobb says:
I actually try to do the opposite, I'm thinking "watch me smoke this drive straight down the middle of the fairway", sometimes it doesn't work, but it won't be because of negative thoughts.
jerdman says:
I know I have the first tee jitters, but I usually hit a decent shot. Which brings an interesting statistic to mind, first tee fairway percentage vs. your actual fairway %.
TaylorFade says:
I have more of the first green jitters because the stupid practice green is never the same speed as the course greens.
PapaJoe says:
Butch Harmon is an idiot, even if he was somehow or another noted as the country's best golf teacher by "Golf Digest". Golf Digiest, nor Butch Harmon, are in touch with us "real life" golfers. Firstly, we can't afford teachers such as Butch Harmon. And secondly, "Golf Digest" publishes only articles selected by "Golf Digest" Editors! Number one argument against Butch Harmon is: "ON THE FIRST TEE I CARE WHAT I DO! AND SO DOES THE GUY PLAYING AGAINST ME!!" I better damn well hit it good off that first tee, not only for my sake, but for others watching me. Hey Butch, what if your 3" practice swing away from the ball is in the wrong direction???

Step on that first tee expecting to do your best! If you're nervous, that's good, it only proves you're human and ready to play!!!
dsinnett says:
Something tells me that Butch isn't going to be receiving a Christmas card this year from PapaJoe.

To each their own...some strive off of the pressure...others fold, some can work through it and others just close their eyes and whack away...There is no one way to get past that.
mr_hungry says:
Some good advice, thanks guys. I do what the article says and watch players in front of me tee off for 45 minutes. Unfortunately I usually have no choice as I'm playing crowded NYC munis.

It does work; by the time I tee off I know two things: I can't possibly do any worse than some of the tee shots before me, and that no-one watching really cares, they just want to tee off themselves.

I'm with Taylorfade on the first green jitters though, find it hard to judge the speed on the first one.
hogan72 says:
Here's my fix for the first green jitters, TaylorFade, always hit it inside mr_hungry so you can watch his putt. If you don't play with mr_hungry then I'm nit sure what to do. Prayer?
PiratePete says:
I am with ToddRobb here, "Watch me smoke this one down the middle of the fairway!!!" which turns to "I just love playing in the woods!!!"
flyfishin4trout says:
I dont think I care so much about what the others think its that I know that this shot is critical in order to have a good round. The course that I play the most has a first hole par 5 with a ton of risk reward. I pull the 5wd and no chance of going for it. I pull the driver and I can get there in 2 but I have to hit it perfect.
PapaJoe says:
dsinnett: I send Butch Harmon a Christmas Card every year! This year will be no different, except this year he will get a card with a great photo of John Daly with no shirt or shoes, titled: "This is another lesson I learned from Butch Harmon!"

I think he deserves that and more! Too bad 'oobGolf' doesn't include that on their "E-cards!"
[ post comment ]
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