Kill First-Tee Jitters

February 15, 2008

Taking a deep breath to relax yourself on the first tee is nothing new, but taking that breath at the right time can make all the difference between simply getting dizzy and crushing a drive down the center of the fairway. The key is to take a breath, then start yourbackswing immediately after you’ve exhaled. This allows you to initiate your motion at the exact moment that your body is at its most relaxed.

Take your address position. Make sure your normal swing routine (that is, any waggles or other movement) is complete.

When you’re ready to pull the trigger on the shot, take a deep breath and then slowly release it.

Wait until you’ve exhaled the entire breath, and then immediately begin your takeaway. Your swing thought should be: “Deflate, then start.”

Jerry Mowlds is the director of instruction at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.