Dominate any first tee anxiety by doing this, says Teacher to Watch

If you're someone who often experiences golf anxiety prior to teeing off on the first hole, GOLF Teacher to Watch Mike Bury offers some tips

Slow down any golf anxiety by incorporating these tips before teeing off!

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It doesn’t matter how long you’ve played or how good of a player you are, golf anxiety can happen to any of us — especially on the first tee box.

Many amateurs can probably relate to the below scenario.

You arrive to the golf course about 30 minutes early in order to stretch yourself out, hit some balls on the driving range, and get a feel for your putting stroke. You’re locked in mentally and you feel good as you make your way to the first tee box.

As you let your playing partners tee off first, you begin to feel this strange weight on your shoulders, making you doubt yourself.

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You second-guess your club choice, start overthinking how to maneuver any trees or bunkers on the hole, and you may even begin to worry about straight up shanking your shot.

It’s official: Your golf anxiety is running rampant, and you feel like you’ve got no control.

This is where having the same routine comes into play, and understanding what methods you need to fall back on in order to slow your nerves down.

To help you get there, GOLF Teacher to Watch Mike Bury has some tips, offering a handful of ways to calm your golf anxiety and build your confidence.

How to overcome any first tee golf anxiety

When you have that crippling feeling that golf anxiety might ruin your round before it even gets started, take the below advice from Bury and learn how to block out those first tee demons.

1. Understand the source

Bury says that finding the root cause of your golf anxiety is key to understanding how to overcome it.

Are you afraid of failing with your first shot? Judgement from your playing partners? Thinking about the whole round rather than being present on the shot in front of you?

Says Bury, “By identifying and acknowledging these feelings, you can address them head-on and develop coping mechanisms.”

2. Visualize success

One of the good (and potentially bad) things about golf is that it requires your full attention throughout an entire round to have success. Just one lapse in judgement or focus can be the difference between breaking 80 for the first time and finishing closer to mid or even high 80s.

This is where visualizing success is so key — especially on the first tee to calm down any golf anxiety.

By visualizing success, you’ll remind yourself that you’ve done this before, which Bury says will only build your confidence.

“Picture every detail, from your stance to the sound of the ball soaring through the air,” says Bury. “This mental rehearsal primes your mind for success and helps alleviate anxiety.”

3. Lock in a pre-shot routine

Every great golfer has a pre-shot routine that allows them to lock in and commit. That’s because it allows them a sense of control over the situation.

So to slow down any golf anxiety, Bury says develop a routine that works for you — from taking deep breaths, to staring down the fairway, to waggling your arms to feel loose before addressing the golf ball.

“This routine acts as a calming ritual, allowing you to approach each shot with confidence,” adds Bury.

4. Breathe and relax

There are plenty of unique ways people can overcome their golf anxiety — some of which may involve pressure points or methods like tapping their chest to better monitor their breathing.

Regardless of how you get there, the key should be to control any negative swing thoughts; which all begins with slowing down your heart rate.

Bury suggests taking slow, deep breaths, only focusing on inhaling and exhaling.

“This simple act slows down your heart rate, relaxes your muscles, and helps clear your mind.”

5. Focus on positive affirmations

Many of us already know this, but golfers with supreme confidence are the ones who typically see the most success.

So despite how difficult it may be at times — especially if you’re carrying bad mojo from the practice range with you to the first tee box — you must learn to uplift yourself by providing positive feedback.

Instead of thinking about all the ways your first tee shot can go wrong, think about past instances that led to success. By doing this, you’ll help silence any self-doubt, leading to a more relaxed state as you confidently step over the ball.

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Nick Dimengo Editor