This content is for subscribers only.
Join our club! Become a subscriber to get access to the latest issue of Australian Golf Digest, plus exclusive content and videos only available with a digital subscription.
Jason Laws: No More Nerves - Australian Golf Digest Jason Laws: No More Nerves - Australian Golf Digest

Two keys to conquering tough tee shots

Whether it’s the first tee on a Saturday at your home club or the infamous par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium course, nerves are natural for any golfer.

Ask any tour pro to hit a wedge onto a green 125 metres away and they’ll offer to do it with their eyes closed. Yet put them on that penultimate tee at the Players Championship with all eyes on them, and that target shrinks considerably.

Overcoming nerves on any tee starts by practising with purpose. If there is a tee shot you find particularly daunting at your home course, measure it out or create a clear picture of the shot you want to hit when you practise.

Go through your routine with each swing, picture the shape of the shot you want to hit and zero in on your target. With each shot, step out, visualise the shot and swing. If you do that with intent on the practice range, that tee shot waiting for you mid-round won’t seem anywhere near as scary. 

Positive Thinking

For tee shots that give you trouble, there is a simple way to retrain your brain. Take your focus away from any internal thoughts of what could go wrong and channel it towards the shot you want to hit. Block out any water or bunkers and find a target in the distance on the line you want your ball to go. That external focus will lead to a better swing and the shot you want to play.

If you have any questions or are interested in undertaking some online lessons, e-mail me at

Getty images: Mike Ehrmann