I would like to get ready for what I think is the most important shot of the day: the shot off the first tee. I can not tell you how many times I have students tell me that they hit it well on the range warming up but for whatever reason they can not take it to the course.
Golf Mindset: Hitting a Great First Shot
That is so common, we have all felt that. I know from my experiences with tour players, talking with them about what they think on the golf course, it is usually very simple in their heads, swing thoughts that they have used on the practice tee that they can carry to the course. I want you to be a student. I want you to think about your swing and have good mechanics on the practice tee.
Getting a Rhythm on the Course
On the golf course we want to be effective and able to play. Excellent players, almost to a person, think about rhythm on the course. The first tee shot of the day sets up that rhythm. What I want you to do is think in you head ahead to time when you are getting ready on the first tee about what is the rhythm of the day.
The second thing that we are going to be clear on every time we are on the first tee is to visualize the shot we are hitting. An expert player told me, and this is one of the best tips I have ever heard, is I am going to pick the actual shot in my head visualizing and then I am going to make a swing: 'one-two.' That 'one-two' replaces all the extra thoughts that are running through your mind on the first tee.
Take a Practice Swing Before Set-Up
So I am going to go through my normal routine, but I am going to take a practice swing early, 'one-two' counting in my head before I start my routine. Then my normal routine behind the ball, I am going to go through that, and as I get up to the ball I am picturing exactly the ballflight. I am going to match that 'one-two' and then when I step up to hit it, that is my rhythm thought, that 'one-two.' If we start that way off the first tee, we are going to carry that rhythm all the way around the course. That is how you take your game from the tee to the course.