One of the quickest ways to stay in your game is to play one shot at a time. Focus on the shot at hand, execute it to the best of your ability and then evaluate it as to its success or how to make it better next time. The key is not to beat yourself up about it. If you find you consistently miss putts then you might want to devise a plan to work on improving your putting. More skilled golfers will take this a step farther and determine what part of their putting skill needs improvement and focus on that. Is it green reading, judging the speed of a green, distance control, directional control or managing their emotions? The more aware of how you are playing vs. what your score is the better you can manage a game improvement plan.
Another suggestion to help you stay in your game is to break down the round by three holes at a time. Look at your score on the first three holes, then the next three, and the next. This provides an opportunity to start with a clean slate every three holes instead of being dragged down by one high score. We all need a fresh start from time to time and if you are the kind of player that is focused on score, breaking the round down into three holes at a time can keep you in the game longer.
There will be days when you can help yourself the most by not keeping score at all. If you really want to improve your game try a few rounds tracking a part or parts of your game vs. your score. For example, try tracking how many times you keep the ball in the fairway from tee to green. If this does not happen very often you might want to work on your directional control. How is your game from 100 yards in? Do you select the correct club to get you on the green? Or are you consistently short, long, left or right? Tracking this type of information will provide you with insight on what part of your golf game to work on.
Golf scores are not random, they are a reflection of your ability to mentally, emotionally and physical execute golf shots. Playing the great game of golf is a wonderful journey you will enjoy more when you allow yourself to move beyond the final score to the information that will give you an opportunity to improve your game.