One aspect of the game that seems to be forgotten about is the mental game. For some of us, it can be the difference between playing a good or bad round. Each shot that we hit on the course is going to be different but how we approach each shot should not be. A process and focus to what you are trying to achieve will allow your mind to do so.
After a bad shot, do not hit a dumb shot. This meaning that once you have made a mistake on the course, do not allow yourself to continue to make mistakes. Take each shot one at a time. I see many amateurs fixating on a poor shot from a couple holes prior. The mistake has to be forgotten and the process for the next shot needs to start.
Each shot that you are going to hit is not going to be perfect. Some golfers think that even the tour professionals hit every shot just how they want to. It is a matter of playing the next shot properly that is going to allow us to score well on the golf course.
Try to relax when you are on the golf course. Focus on what you are trying to achieve instead of what trouble there is ahead. Of course, if there is water running down the fairway to the left ignoring it will not cause the hazard to go away. However, if all you are thinking about is the water, your mind will start to think you want to send your ball swimming instead of hitting it down the fairway. Go through the process of hitting the shot you would like, then step up and do it.
So the next time you head out to the course, be sure to focus on the mental side of the game. You might just be surprised how much it can lower your score!