124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


How Tiger Avoids First Tee Jitters

November 30, 2017

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As Tiger Woods approaches the first tee in a competitive round for the first time in 10 months at the Hero World Challenge, even he might be getting a little nervous. But he’s got a simple way to handle it. Butch Harmon spent a decade working with Tiger Woods. One of the things that Harmon always noticed and was impressed by was Tiger’s process for handling the first tee. “He’d practice the drive he wanted to hit off the first tee as his last swing before leaving the range. He did it every single time.”

You don’t have to be on tour for this little trick to benefit your game. Build in enough time to make a few swings on the range before you tee off. Harmon says to grab three balls at the end of your warm up and go through your full driver routine with each. “Start behind the ball, visualize the fairway, walk into the shot,” Harmon says. “If you usually take a practice swing, go for it. Then line up and let it rip.”

Rehearsing what you want that first shot to look like and what you want it to feel like will make you more confident when you step up to your ball on the first tee.