<b>Expect to be nervous</b>
Even if you accept the fact that it's just golf, you're going to be nervous, so embrace it. Your score will be posted for all to see, and there may even be spectators watching, but just remember: Nobody cares what you shoot. Find solace in the fact that your starting hole can't possibly be as intimidating as Patrick Cantlay's was at 2011 U.S. Open, Congressional's 218-yard (No. 10) over water. "I remember shaking a little," says Cantlay, "but I just went through my normal pre-shot routine and pulled the trigger." There is one surefire way to calm your nerves -- experience. "The more tournament rounds you play, everything improves: your distance control, focus and comfort level."
More: Patrick Cantlay's checklist→