Golf Blog Feature

How to Overcome Golf Nerves on the First Tee

We've all been there. We're feeling good about the upcoming round of golf, your attire is freshly pressed, you've eaten sensibly beforehand and low and behold the dreaded shakes start taking hold just as you're about to hit your first drive. We have some tips and ideas on how to overcome nerves on the first tee.

Nerves and Jitters on the Golf Course are Common

Here's a quick medical lesson for you. Nerves are completely natural. They are the body's way of telling us that something big, important or dangerous is about to happen. Our adrenal glands release adrenaline and divert our stomach blood vessels away from their normal function; they constrict which gives us the nervous feeling.

how to control nerves in golf

So, how can we overcome these feelings of anxiety, stress, and nervousness and hit a good first tee shot?

Relax & Be Confident

First of all, believe it or not, nerves are a good thing. It shows you care. Nerves can help you prepare psychologically for the task ahead. Even touring professionals have had to learn how to overcome nerves on the first tee, and you can too.

Tiger Woods says - "If you don't feel nervous, that means you don't care about how you play."

You can make sure you are completely focused on golf by giving yourself a good head start. Eat a balanced meal beforehand for sufficient energy and of course, keep yourself well hydrated.

Ensure that your clubs, balls, and shoes are all clean and functional. Taking pride in your golf equipment means you can rely on it to function properly. Make sure you have the right equipment for the conditions. It helps if you can stay as dry as possible if there's a chance of rain. We took a look at some waterproof golf shoes recently, it's important to have the proper equipment on a wet day as it's one less thing you have to worry about.

Once you arrive at the course the nerves might start jingling. Start to visualize a good round of golf. Set your mind straight and think positively.

How to overcome nerves on the first tee

Remember the fundamentals you've been practicing. The stance, the grip, the swing and the striking of your ball. Know your limitations and don't try and smash a 300-yard drive down the fairway if that's something you realistically can't do. Play within yourself!

Help control your nerves on the first tee by staying relaxed. Channel your nerves by picturing a good shot and following a solid pre shot routine.

Once it's your turn to tee off try and ignore any spectators. Switch your mind to your shot. Take your stance and relax your shoulders. Don't forget to take a couple of practice swings. Remember to control your breathing and take your time. A rushed golf shot will likely find the rough or worse. 

So how to overcome nerves on the first tee? Follow our advice and let us know how it works for you:

  • Remember nerves can be a good thing
  • Prepare - equipment & yourself
  • Visualize a good shot & round
  • Stay positive - focus on the shot at hand
  • Control your breathing & relax

Good luck!