By Kevin Hutto
Every golfer, pro or amateur, has experienced it at some time in his game. You haven’t played enough of the sport if you haven’t felt your nerves jitter in one round of golf. It doesn’t matter if it’s a competitive match or one played by you or your buddies. As you step up the tee-box, you suddenly feel unsure, shaky and begin imagining all sorts of things that could go wrong with your round. Perhaps it’s the thought of having people watch you play or the fact that you are playing against the defending champion in your club for the previous years. Or the thought that the girl you extremely like is watching your every move. It doesn’t matter what it is. Tee-box pressure, when not handled well, is always a game killer.
When your nerves all start to get frayed before you even manage to take a whack at the ball, you know you’re in trouble. It inhibits a free-flowing swing necessary to make the ball land in just the right spot in the fairway. Here are some tips on how to manage tee-box pressure or TBP.
1. Prepare beforehand. This means that you have to go through your routine mentally in your head before you even make that golf swing. Visualize yourself going up the tee-box and making a smooth confident swing that leads the ball right down to the middle of the fairway. You also need to imagine yourself making a bad shot or landing one in a sand trap or on the rough and picturing clearly what you would do in the event that a similar thing would happen during your game.
2. When you’ve succumbed to the pressure, don’t make it worse by over swinging on a previously made bad shot. Strive to take the conservative route and aim for a place in the green you know you are capable of hitting.
3. Relax your grip. One of the most common reactions to stress for any golfer is to hold the club as if his life depended on it. Most of the time, this is done unconsciously when a golfer is under stress or severe pressure to make a shot. When you feel that you’re holding your breath, your muscles are more tense than usual and you’re holding on to your club as if it’s the last thing in the world, then it’s time to loosen your grip a little so you can make farther, better strokes.
Don’t give in to tee-box pressure. Prepare beforehand. Relax.
That’s how you play the game.
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