The Most Important Golf Shot Analyzed
Pat Dolan's article "The Most Important Golf Shot" is great for analyzing the fluctuations of brain chemistry that are behind the mental game of golf.
Ben Hogan believed that when you begin with an excellent tee shot, your mental attitude would carry forward on all successive shots. He was right in that a positive mental (emotional) attitude feeds upon itself because it enhances your brain's chemistry, which improves your ability to perform. This is what causes a golfer to get on a roll and shoot a low score.
Prior to the first tee shot, if a golfer has fear of making a bad shot, it lowers his chemistry and increases the probability that he will in fact make a bad shot. Then, if he does make a bad shot and gets angry, his anger can carry over through the entire round. This anger lowers his brain chemistry further and increases the probability that he will make even more bad shots. Hence, the golfer gets more and more emotionally frustrated and his game completely falls apart as his chemistry continues to deteriorate.
If a golfer realized what was happening to him emotionally and the chemical consequences on his ability to perform, he would have a much better chance to recover from a bad first shot or not even make one in the first place. By playing one shot at a time, a golfer allows himself to maintain a stable emotional state and focus on the shot at hand. This has a positive influence on the brain's chemistry and increases your ability to perform.
That is why Willie Ogg taught that the most important shot in golf is always "the next one".
P.S.: Do you feel nervous on the first tee? Do you feel under pressure sometimes when putting to win? Are shots over water a problem for you? Then this problem can be a mental one. Here is a program that I can recommend to help you overcome it: The mental side of golf