1. Lower Your Expectations - Sounds strange but seriously...just go to have fun and relax and your game will benefit! To be honest you are probably not good enough to be getting all stressed out about your game...so enjoy the outdoors, friends, and competition without putting pressure on yourself.
2. Go Ready to Play - Get up, stretch, eat, relax your mind, and think fundamentals. Don't rush out to the course at the last minute and run to the tee box to start. Watch the pros...they walk slow, talk slow, no one is in a hurry. The know they are ready and they try to stay calm.
3. Practice Short Game - You have all heard it before; majority of your shots are from 100 yds and in to the green. Spend more time practicing short pitches, chips, bunker shot, and putting than anything else. Remember at the most you are going to hit that $400 driver 14 times. The other 80-90 shots will be with much shorter clubs. (OK...yes I assumed most of you are bogey golfers)
4. Think POSITIVE! - Think about what you want to do on each shot not what bad things have happened in the past. Focus your energy and thoughts on the true objective...making good shots. If you it will happen it probably will...that goes for good shots and bad shots.
5. Go Take a Lesson - It always helps to have someone who knows what they are looking for to see your swing and help you out. Your local teaching pro can provide a quick swing analysis that will get you on the right track for the new season. You don't have to take a series of lessons or pay huge amounts of money. Just ask for quick review of your fundamentals...stance, posture, grip, alignment, back swing, down swing. A good instructor will be happy to go over the basics with you. You can always go back for more lessons later if you want them.
Let's face it...Golf is the greatest game there is. Its one of the only sports we can play for years and in to our old age. The entire family can go out and enjoy practicing or playing on the course. You get some exercise, fun, comraderie, and enjoy the great outdoors all in one event. So just enoy it. If the worst thing in your life on any given day is that you get a quadruple bogey on a par 5...then your life is pretty darn blessed. Keep things in perspective and your golf game will get better for it. "God, Family, Golf!"