First Tee Nerves – The 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool 2023

First Tee Nerves – The 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool 2023

4 July 2023

Do you struggle with the dreaded first tee nerves? Pulling out the driver because it has the biggest face, and you just need to make contact? I have heard this at the first tee box unbelievably! 

Regardless of how you feel on the first tee, your average club golfer is typically aiming to get off the mark without facing too many challenges. But what if that challenge was teeing off in front of grandstands with spectator-lined holes and the media broadcasting your every move to millions of fans worldwide? That would be a nervy tee shot! 

Shot Scope has 2106 rounds played at Royal Liverpool and the data in this article highlights how amateurs play the course. Whilst the setup for the Championship is different from the usual layout that amateurs play, the stats have been amended to reflect this. When you watch the Pros tee off on the first, these are the stats for the hole.

Let us imagine that you were teeing off at this year’s The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. The first is a Par 4 dogleg left with pot bunkers in the fairway starting at 262 yds and finishing at 282 yds, making accuracy paramount – amateurs find the short stuff 25% of the time.

Many amateurs would be short of the bunkers but certain, longer, players would have to consider club selection off the tee to avoid the bunkers – find the bunkers and you’re going to have a bad day!

Local knowledge tells us that the best angle of attack for playing into the green, which is protected by three pot bunkers, is from the left side of the fairway – the most common miss for an amateur is right! 

Golfers hit this green 1 in 3 times due to the narrow landing area and runoffs at either side making it a very difficult second shot. It is a good thing that amateurs miss this green short 55% of the time as there will be spectators behind the green.

To make matters worse, if you do miss the green you are faced with one of the hardest up and downs on the course. Do you putt from the runoff area? A chip and run? Or take the wedge out and try the aerial assault? 

Whatever you choose, make sure it is a committed swing because thinning it through the green or duffing it a foot will find you red faced and in the blooper reel. Unfortunately, the odds are against you with 60% of up and down attempts being unsuccessful.

All of this combined makes it one of the hardest holes on the course, let alone being the first! Typically, amateurs make double bogey 27% of the time, and birdie only 3%. If you were nervous and hoping to get off to a good start to settle the nerves, you may be looking at the second hole – which isn’t much easier!

Course management and strategy is made possible with Shot Scope performance tracking products like the X5 GPS Watch or the PRO LX+. During your game collect highly accurate data and post round, using the free Shot Scope mobile app and web dashboard, gain access to over 100 performance statistics including Strokes Gained and Handicap Benchmarking.

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