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Hey guys need a little help for this weekend


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So I'm playing in the last tournament (2 day) of the season this weekend. I play in the Arkansas Amateur Golf Week Tour. This is my first year playing in this tour, I've never done anything like this before. I'm in D flight and currently sit in 5th place. You have to finish in the top 5 of D flight to make it to Hilton Head next month for the national tournament. I have two people that could easily pass me and knock me out of the top 5.

 

I usually shoot mid 90's but the last 3-4 tournaments have been pretty bad. I get to the first tee box, get nervous and hit a terrible drive on number one and all my confidence is out the window. For some reason I've started standing over the ball way too long with my driver and the more time I take it seems the worse the shot. I've read a lot about pre-shot routines and taking deep breathes and none of that seems to be working.

 

So needless to say this weekend with the points hanging over my head I'm a little worried. I will take any advice you guys could give me to get me to chill out and just play.

 

Thanks guys!

 

 

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> @KAndyMan said: > You wont die, the wife/gf wont leave you and your dog doesnt care if you shoot a bad round. Hilton Head courses will still be accepting tee times before/after the national

Yeah you've gotta pull the trigger faster. Having a little waggle will help a bit, the worst thing to do is to become static over the ball. The little waggle prevents tension from creeping in.

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I can relate to having an early bad shot derail a round due to feeling like I already screwed it up early. Also, first tee jitters are a thing. My advise would be to find a shot that you know you can pull off for that first tee. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just in play and useable to get your round going. This could be a big intentional heel slice with your driver. Could be a long iron. Could be a punch shot with your 3 wood or driver. Just find something you have confidence in that feels super super easy to do. Step up to that first tee with that shot and you can get your round going on a better note.

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When ever i have first tee jitters I grab the 5 wood and swing it like a smooth 7 iron. Grab what ever club you are most confident with (preferrably something near/over 200 yards) Dont worry about distance just make sure you make soild straight through contact. Bonus points if you hit that exact shot 1/2 dozen times on range right before you tee off. Best of luck and remember to just breathe!! You wont die, the wife/gf wont leave you and your dog doesnt care if you shoot a bad round. Hilton Head courses will still be accepting tee times before/after the national tournament if you still want to play there. Just make sure to stop in to the Golf ball and Fireworks store off 95 on your way in. The guy that owns the joint is super cool!

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> @KAndyMan said:

> You wont die, the wife/gf wont leave you and your dog doesnt care if you shoot a bad round. Hilton Head courses will still be accepting tee times before/after the national tournament if you still want to play there.

This is it, try to give your performance on the course the proper importance. Yes, you want to do well, and you'd love the potential reward for good play, but in the long run those are small things. If you've had fun in the season-long competition, if you've made a friend or two, you've done really well. You're down to the last day, go have fun!

And I agree with a couple of the others. Figure out a shot that you have some confidence in. End your warm-up by hitting that shot a few times on the range. Use your full routine on those shots, don't machine-gun them, walk away after each one and begin fresh. Then when you get to the first tee, do everything the same as your practice.

 

 

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I played the national championship at Hilton Head on that tour (Houston tour) back in 2010 or so in the A flight. Just enjoy yourself, and try not to let a bad shot ruin the round. You are in the D-flight, which if memory serves me is 20+ handicap range? Just have to realize that at that handicap range, you will hit bad shots, but so will everyone else in that range. I assume you've gotten to know your FCs over the course of the season, so just go out and treat it like any other round with your buddies (except dont rake back those kick in putts, lol).

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Wow, OP, do I know how you feel. I used to be filled with dread over that first tee shot. I second all the good advice you've gotten so far in the thread. Don't forget; everyone else feels the same as you do on the first tee, and your tee shot is an afterthought compared to their own.

 

Take a practice swing or two with a light grip, breathe, don't try to kill the poor ball; just swing and let the ball get in the way. If your tee shot doesn't work out like you want, you'll have 17 more tries before you're done.

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No more swing thoughts. And you need to resign yourself to the fact that if you are shooting in the 90's on average you are going to hit a certain number of bad shots. Just accept it when it happens and know that now you have one less bad shot you will hit later in the round. Go find the ball and make one of your good shots on it next.

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On the first hole you're getting at least 1 shot so take the club that you hit the most consistently and use that off the tee. Stand behind the ball and take a deep breath, fully exhaling before you start to walk to the ball with your target in mind. That will help to eliminate a lot of the nerves and just make a slow backswing.

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Everyone, including tour players, are nervous on the first tee. It's normal and in the position you are at in the tournament there is something extra on the line. If you have a pre-shot routine this will help with the nerves. A very simple routine you do on every shot can solve the problem of standing over the ball too long. I used to do that but I made myself follow a routine before each shot and now it's automatic. That was over 40 years ago and I still do the same routine. As far as getting off the first tee there is no rule that says you have to hit a driver. You hit what you want to get the ball somewhere in play. And finally think back about all of the tour players who have started a round with a double bogey or a ball out of bounds and then end up winning the tournament. They don't let that bad first hole ruin their round. That hole is over and there are still 17 holes left to play some good golf. It's all about your attitude.

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Take some time on the range beforehand and practice the first tee shot. Think about what the shot requires, visualize the hole, everything. And take a minute to prep like you're hitting the first tee shot of the day. You could also consider taking something like 3W or a long iron off the tee so you mix up the feeling of sitting there with driver.

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Keep your head down and go for it lol.

 

Really when you play a tournament you need to simplify things to the point of almost no thinking. What usually works is one cue to gain confidence and hit a bunch of decent shots early in the round. Too much thinking and you get frozen.

 

And if the first hole is a challenge, which it is for most of us, then make sure to asses the situation after your first shot so as to go for it next or play conservative. Don’t make more than double on the 1st and you’ll be ok

 

 

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The pressure we put on ourselves when it doesn't REALLY matter is amazing, isn't it? None of us play this game for a living, so no shot means all that much, yet I 100% understand how it can get in your head. When I have a big shot...whether it's the first tee shot in a match with strangers, an iron shot into a green I need to hit to win a hole or a putt to make a birdie I try to think of lyrics to a song I like (could be whatever was on the radio when I drove up to the course that day) and mentally play the song in my head as I go through the motions of the shot. Some would say this causes them to lose focus, but for me it allows me to trust my mechanics and not overthink my way into a bad shot.

 

I read somewhere that our bodies can't process how NOT to do something but only what to do. For example if you're thinking "don't hit it left, don't hit it left" before you swing, you're more likely to unconsciously make a motion that causes you to go left. You should pick a target and try to hit it rather than pick something that you're NOT trying to hit. Visualize the shot before you hit, then try to put your body on autopilot to execute by humming a song as you go through the motions. It does work, at least for me.

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> @jeffreydan32 said:

> So I'm playing in the last tournament (2 day) of the season this weekend.

>

> I usually shoot mid 90's but the last 3-4 tournaments have been pretty bad. I get to the first tee box, get nervous and hit a terrible drive on number one and all my confidence is out the window. For some reason I've started standing over the ball way too long with my driver and the more time I take it seems the worse the shot. I've read a lot about pre-shot routines and taking deep breathes and none of that seems to be working.

>

> So needless to say this weekend with the points hanging over my head I'm a little worried. I will take any advice you guys could give me to get me to chill out and just play.

>

> Thanks guys!

>

>

Probably more fitting for the instruction thread, but having said that:

Deep breaths and wishful thinking aren't going to fix bad fundamentals, and isn't going to overcome the laws of physics. A consistent preshot routine can definitely help if it gives you confidence in what you are doing, and it breeds repetition. Make sure it is exactly the same every time you do it, and if you do then you can have confidence that is one more thing that can keep you consistent. If you loose confidence when setting up to the ball, feel odd, or realize you did something different then back off and restart.

 

If you don't have a constant preshot routine her is one you can use:

 

Stand behind the ball, and pick out a target.

Get your grip on the club while holding it up in front of you.

Walk in from behind the ball and aim your club face at the target with your body facing the target and your feet close together.

Tilt your spine the appropriate degree and establish your ball position by stepping forward with your front foot a small amount, and then back with your right foot.

Waggle twice, and then make your swing.

If you don't want technical thoughts when you are making your swing, or think they are causing you to freeze over the ball then count one as you take the club away, two as you reach the top of your swing, and three as you hit the ball.

Repeat the same procedure every time.

 

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Anticipation is what gets most of us. Try not to think about the tournament as much as think about your individual shots/plan. Also, if you have ever tried moderate meditation techniques prior to teeing off that tends to work well for me. Find a quite place to clear your thoughts and narrow your focus. As weird as this sounds, the bathroom is a great place, because you can lock yourself in a stall and normally no one wants to talk to you when your in the bathroom. Obviously, there are other places to go be by yourself.

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Hope you will see this before your Sunday round.

If your average score is in the 90's, you'll need to minimized the "bleeding " holes from the score card. By that, minimize the chance of doubles or worse. A bogey golf get you 18 strokes over the PAR 72 which will get you 90. So think bogie golf and take the par and birdie that comes along. Tournament golf is no different except in your head. Have a good time and believing that you will have a great time on the golf course.

All the others in your flight are facing the same golf course and the same condition of play, so relax.

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