Five Musts for the First Tee

By Patrick Foley

First tee nerves are common for every golfer. This can lead to terrible starts that can knock a golfer off a great round. It is essential to try and relax when preparing for the opening shot. There are some areas to focus on when setting up from the first tee that will help to calm your nerves and prepare you for a great round. First, remember the goals for the day, take a few practice swings, decide the targeted area of the shot, visualize the shot and finally set up properly and take a deep breath to help calm your body. Everyone is excited on the first tee, so the object is to get your body to calm down and act as it would on the practice range.

Goals for the Day

Have an idea of what your targeted score is going to be for the day's round. It is imperative to have a goal so that you may know where you are during the round and how to approach every shot from there on out. Set up a goal that will be a challenge to reach, but that is, at the same time, feasible. Prepare for the goal as you are stepping up to the first tee and expect to execute and accomplish your goal.

Practice Swings

It is essential to take a few practice swings on the first tee. Focus on a comfortable swing that feels right and is not out of control. Focus on what your specific swing thought is and how you want to hit the ball. Take three or four swings, and then you will be prepared to hit the shot.

Target Area

Focus on a target area for the shot. If it is a driver, pick an area that is about 20 yards in diameter and hit it in that area. Don't expect a perfect shot when coming off the first tee, but set yourself up for a good shot. If you have a target area, it will give you room for error and a shot that you will still be happy with.


Visualize the flight path of the ball and its landing. Visualize a shot that you know you can execute and see it being accomplished. This will build your confidence and make you know that you can hit a great shot.

Set Up

Set up to the ball as you normally would. Don't allow yourself to go up to the ball, get all excited and just try to kill it. Be calm, prepare your setup as a late-round shot, and then get into the zone and hit your shot. These steps will help to increase your success on the first tee and get you started on a great round.

About the Author

Patrick Foley is a writer from Phoenix, AZ. He is a sports fanatic and loves football, golf, and track. He has been writing for Golf Link for almost a year. He is a college football player at the University of Pennsylvania. He is enrolled in the Wharton Business School.He has have a wide set of skills in writing and marketing.