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Golf can be the most mentally challenging sport people play. It can also be a relaxing good time along a scenic walk. The key to making it the second might be not caring so much.

Ever start out hot and then just fall apart? This common golf syndrome might be avoided if players did the old “not keeping track” bit. If you simply write your scores and don’t add up plus or minus or score by hole or any of it, you can play free of the baggage that comes with the last hole. No totals. Simply mark your score for the hole and move on to the next.

That is similar to another technique that involves concentration on the good shots. If you’ve been hitting it bad the last few holes, think about that second hole where you really got a hold of it. Visualize each shot being just like that good one. If they’ve all been bad, concentrate on a really good round you had. If you’ve never played well, pretend you did and concentrate on how it felt to hit the ball and sink putts. The whole idea is to lend confidence and calm to your game. If you have those doubts in your mind when the club draws back, you’ll misfire. If you’re concentrated on the sweet spot and the feel of that perfect contact, it’ll happen. Hopefully.

The other thing to remember with golf is that it’s supposed to be fun. If you’re really stinking it up, think about what it might be like to be back at work or on the middle seat of an airplane. That’ll have you appreciating the fresh air and green fairways for sure.

There is probably no other sport that is as mentally challenging as golf. Stay positive. Don’t forget that it is a difficult game to play -- that little ball going all of that way into a small cup. It makes you wonder whether the inventors of the game even kept track of strokes.