Play smart! 5 things you must do before you hit your first tee shot

Play smart! 5 things you must do before you hit your first tee shot

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count! Follow Top 100 teacher Scott Munroe’s five steps to become one with No. 1, and get your round off to the right start.

1. BE A FIRST-TEE PLAYER

Walk to the box ready for an awesome round of golf. As Jack Nicklaus says, “The most important shot of the day is the first one.” Don’t come screeching into the parking lot two minutes before your tee time. Get to the course at least an hour before so you can properly prepare for greatness.

2. GET INTO THE GROOVE

The best players are meticulous about their pre-round routine. If you don’t have one, get one. Start by slowing everything down. Take some time to deep-breathe and focus. Stretch to get your muscles warm. Hit a few putts before you go to the range. Do everything in slow motion. Find a rhythm.

Become one with number one. Remember, this is the first shot on the first hole of the rest of your round. Make it count!

Become one with number one. Remember, this is the first shot on the first hole of the rest of your round. Make it count!

3. ORGANIZE YOUR BIZ

If you hit the first tee still digging through your bag for tees, a ball and a glove, you’re not in the proper frame of mind. Make sure all your stuff is pre-loaded and accessible when you’re at home the night before or on the range. That goes for a Sharpie, ball marker, and divot-repair tool. Have a place for them in your bag.

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4. SET THE WAGERS

Rounds are more fun when there’s a little cabbage on the line. And there’s nothing wrong with a little gamesmanship (I’m not feeling well, how about an extra stroke?). Bets are often won or lost before you tee off. If you’re playing with strangers, halve the handicaps and adjust at the turn if necessary.

5. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS

Turn off the cell — you should’ve taken care of those work texts long before you hit the tee box. At the very least, mute it and bury it in your bag. Then pull the club that gives you the best chance to find the fairway, even if it’s a 5-iron. You don’t want your first swing of the day to be a miss.