First Tee Shot at Your First Big Event

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By Rick V., Team Titleist Staff

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    In our latest Pro Files compilation, we assembled some of our favorite responses to the question - “What were you thinking the first time you teed it up in a PGA Tour event?”  

    In the video above, you’ll hear what players including Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Charlotte Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Louis Oosthuizen, Russell Henley and many more had to say.

    But now we want to hear from you. You may not have teed it up on Tour, but do you remember your first big tournament or match? What was going through your head when you stepped up to the first tee?  Share your recollections in the comments below.

    Thanks!

    Rick

  2. No'l
    Palmdale, CA

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    I remember when I first made the team to play in a SoCal Saturday Team Play. I was told at the club that my tee time is at 10:32 the next day. So I got to the club at 9:30, the following day. As I checked in at the pro shop, they told me that my group had just teed off- there were some mix up in the tee sheet. I remember our pro told me to hit a couple of warm up balls and meet my group on the second tee.

    My partner had the best ball from the first hole. He's one up, the team is up one and I'm down one coming in this match and I'm supposed to hit the first ball on the second tee as my partner would like. I don't remember anything great or bad about that shot, but everything about me since I was a baby flashed before me in just two seconds on the tee- it was the most nerve racking tee shot I can remember, but I would go on to tie the indi in that match.
  3. Don O
    Madison, WI

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    Rick - I wonder how many others view this question with the same queasiness as being asked about their first kiss. I imagine nervousness, too much Adrenalin, and less than controlled movements. I still have to take a deep breath and be sure to keep a slower tempo and not try to kill the first shot. That did not happen on my first tournament not a league and not a charity scramble.
  4. Dale V
    Escondido, CA

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    Probably the first shot on the Old Course at St. Andrews. It was their annual Golf Week event with 140 in the field. Excited and nervous all rolled up into one.
    Post Image
  5. Sean N
    Coshocton, OH

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    Everytime I play, the first tee shot is a big deal. I am always thinking to hit the ball hard, somewhere out there, in bounds! Probably not the best swing thought, but it works for me most of the time.
  6. 0 Posts

    Although I have never exactly played in a tournament that was of a lot of importance, it was my corporate tournament with our team of upper management. But ultimately when I stepped up to the tee all that went through my head was,
    "Do not miss the ball!"
  7. FJL
    Kitchener, ON

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    At my first "Big Tournament Event" I remember my Head Pro who came with me as a Caddy, repeatedly told me to hit my 3 Wood of the first tee because it was easier to control than a Diver and with the adrenaline, it would go a lot further than normal. Well, I was the third man out of three to tee off and watched the first two hit Driver to 'no man's land' and then I thought about how smart my Head Pro/Coach/Caddy was as I proceeded to hit my 3 Wood 240 yards with a slight draw down to rest in the middle of the 1st fairway.... thank you Tim Cole CPGA.
  8. ScottyC50
    Painesville, Ohio, USA

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    Every time I am in a tournament at my home course, I just want to get the ball going relatively straight. There are usually between 10-30 people watching, I always have a fear of topping it, but haven't done that in a loooong time. Just the fact that people are watching ( and judging ) adds that much more pressure to the situation. Luckily, I still love the game...
  9. Gabriel G
    Cedar Park, TX

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    I block everything out. The people, the guys standing next to me, the sounds. I am in the present, right here and now. I think of myself and nothing else outside my being. Just focus on the start of my swing and my target.
  10. Rob R
    Chicago, IL

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    I played in a AMTour two day event at Disney World. The first couple of holes are mostly a blur. I do remember telling myself not to duck hook in to the creek. The drive was not my best but it landed in the fairway and was playable.
  11. 0 Posts

    Mine came at my first High School tournament. It was a 360 par 4, and I was hitting a 3H. My thought was smooth take away, but as I addressed the ball I realized, this is my first shot in HS and I only get one shot at it. Not the best thought, but I found the fairway. First tee nerves can be intimidating, but if you channel it, are exhilarating!

    Here’s to more fairways on the 1st hole!
    Jack
  12. 0 Posts

    My first big tournament was a 2 day Stroke Play event in Africa, which previously I had only entered a casual 1 day Stableford setting. The rough in Africa is more brutal than the Brittish open, weeds up to your knees, and intimidating.

    Tee #1 is a short par 4, with 2 huge fairways trees 160 yards out, blocking your vision of the 30 yard wide bottleneck ( with that knee high rough dangerously close to the fairway cut ). If you take a driver, you need to be surgical and long, but if you take a 5 iron, you can clear the trees and land just before that bottleneck. So I took the 5 iron, but my hands were shaking so much, I hooked the 5 iron left, out of bounds on my 1st swing. I was so disgruntled, I knew right away I lost the tournament. I quickly tee'd my 2nd ball and stripped it down the middle of the fairway. Since I thought I had lost the tournament, I went on to play very relaxed golf, and at the end of the 2 days, I had won! I never thought in a million years I had a chance, but to this day, the 1st tournament was the best learning experience I ever had.
  13. Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

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    About 11 years ago I was invited thru a friend who had won an auction to play a round of golf at Merion Golf Club. The first tee is about 4 feet from the main patio outside the club house. Fortunately we were teeing off in the middle of the week early in the morning and no one was on the patio. Our host told us on weekends the patio is full in the afternoon. Lots of chatter and and laughter. As you address your ball, everyone goes quiet. He said that is when the NERVES HIT! Still for me with no audience it was a daunting tee shot on one of the most revered courses. I managed to make contact and somehow found the fairway. Overall it was one the most memorable rounds on an historic course I've ever played. On the 11th hole, there is a plaque affixed to a stone next to the tee. It reads:

    “On September 27, 1930 and on this hole ROBERT TYRE JONES JR. completed his ‘Grand Slam’ by winning the U.S. Amateur Championship.”

    For me, just playing that course was a BIG EVENT!
  14. Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

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    My first big event was 1977 Jr Golf tournament I was 14. I took 3rd but don't remember the tee shot or how I felt. But last Monday I was probably just as nervous when I played. I find it interesting in golf that a tee shot on the first hole brings up nerves and all kinds of feelings and pressure. I bowled anchor for years, shot pool in leagues and tournaments played baseball/softball competitively for 29yrs and still that 1st tee carries more weight & emotion and nerves than anything I've ever done in the past. But I wouldn't feel right if it didn't. Great question Rick...
  15. 0 Posts

    My first high school tournoment, I kept thinking “hit a high one, hit a high one” and “don’t rain” during my first tee shot
  16. 19hole
    Woburn, MA

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    This happened to me before I had the chance to hit the opening shot of the event. I was fine checking in, things were solid on the practice tee. Even walking to the first tee I felt pretty good. Only when the starter started " Now on the tee from the United States....." did it sink in that this was the Senior Open. Fortunately I managed to steer the opening driver down the fairwway.
  17. Zangetsu
    Netherlands

    0 Posts

    I started playing golf last year march, and we went on the inlays family golf ''tour'' - The Van Bakels Open. It was in October at PGA cattalunya. I still feel anxious about it. Teeing up in front of an official club marshall, thinking to my self no slice no slice. I stepped back, got to the cart dropped my driver picked a 5 iron, stood over my ball exhaled, thought just get it in play. Pumped it full adrenaline middle of the fairway on prime position and was really proud of myself. Even more proud when I saw some of the better players pushing it in the rough or worse. Took me 2 holes to shake of the nerves. on 3rd hole I finally calmed down and had one of the most fun experiences of my life. Hanging out in Spain with great family, fun and golf.
    Just wish I was already playing my new clubs. After the 4 days I ended up as 3rd on the leaderboard as 6-7 month rookie to the game. Man what a great holiday!

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