"I golf," can mean different things to different people. For some it means, I take lessons because I want to play one day. For some it means, I go to the range and practice. For real golfers it means I play the game on a golf course. There is nothing like playing a round of golf whether it be 9, 18, 27 or 36 holes in a day.
On the course, every shot counts if you are keeping score. Yes, there are plenty of golfers who don't keep score because they just enjoy being on the course trying to get that little ball in the hole. Sometimes, that means playing a scramble or best ball instead of playing your own ball. These are the same people who simply drop the ball in an easy spot when they lose their ball. These players usually don't hole out either, if the ball is close to the hole, their playing partner usually gives them the benefit of the doubt for the next putt. All of this is completely ok, because they are not playing competitively, they are simply having fun.
When you are keeping score, it is important to be honest and hole out. This is the only way to know if you are improving when you play round after round. There are various statistics that a golfer can track that don't include the distance the ball traveled. How many greens were hit? How many fairways were hit? How many putts did it take to put the ball in the hole? No matter what stats are kept it is important to have fun. Never get so serious about the data that you forget to have fun.
Over the last few months, I have been hearing so many stories from juniors that are playing golf for the first time or playing golf after a long time. The first question I ask is, "Did you have fun? Did you enjoy it?" The response is always "YES!" When I look at the scores, they are usually pretty good. When you play, you realize where you need work and usually you make a commitment to get better. That's what I believe growing the game is about.
I also have adults sharing how their scores are coming down. Some of them are playing for money so they are appreciating being on the winning end for a change. Shockingly those same adults refer the very people they are now beating to me. This is a different level of sportsmanship and I love being part of it. It only happens when people get out and play golf.
Helpful VIdeo of TIPS To Remember when Playing
Know when not to apologize