There are plenty of reasons to feel first-tee jitters, whether you’re playing a Sunday-afternoon round with your buddies, paired with a group of strangers in a pro-am or you’re an LPGA professional at the Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open (April 22 to 25), when the best women in the world go Hollywood at Wilshire Country Club (below). How will they harness that nervous energy and stripe one — and how can you do the same?
Check out the four steps below.
1. Do a dress rehearsal
Don’t just finish your pre-round range session by mindlessly cranking away at a few drivers. Be intentional about it. Visualize the first fairway, go through your pre-shot routine and pretend you’re hitting the first drive of your round. You’ll feel more comfortable when you get to the real thing.
2. Stick to the script
This isn’t the time to improvise. If you normally hit a cut, hit a cut. If you’re not a long hitter, don’t suddenly try to bomb one. Embrace the best version of your golfing self.
3. Don’t be a hero
Pick a conservative target. If there’s water on the right side — or, in this case, Beverly Boulevard — play to the left. This doesn’t mean playing scared. It means playing smart. Taking an aggressive swing at the safest possible target is the best way to guarantee you’ll feel comfortable over the ball.
4. Embrace the spotlight
It’s easy to feel rushed and self-conscious when you’re on the first tee. Take your time! Breathe… focus… smile. See your target. And make the best swing you can.
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