Echoing a lot of what has already been written. My best rounds usually have come as a result of being relaxed, having few expectations, staying loose, having fun and being in the moment while also committed to each shot.
Most of my best rounds I didn’t even know what my score was until the end.
Typically my best rounds have come after I’ve been practicing a lot and I feel confident in my game so there are not a lot of mechanical thoughts going on while I’m playing.
My very best rounds generally involved some exceptional chipping and putting as well.
Focusing on the outcome too much doesn’t generally help unless I’m grinding to win a bet and the match is keeping me focused and in the moment.
When my mind starts to wander to other things or I begin to check out and just want the round to end, bad things happen to my score.
I shot by best round a couple of weeks ago of a 66 with 8 birdies. To be honest I wasn’t really thinking about a whole lot. Just seemed golf was incredibly easy and I kept thinking that. Other times of shooting under par I tended to think “don’t screw this up!!” But this time after I was 4 under on the front I thought “ man how low can I really go!!!!” And it seemed pretty low.
This is chicken or egg scenario.
Truth is when not playing well or outright poor we eventually start thinking. Oh we can forgo the thinking at first but if the poor play continues we eventually and naturally start to think what we are doing wrong and try to correct.
People often suggest they play badly when they think. But its actually the bad play that brings on the thinking.
Not to say thinking too much first couldn't also spark poor play. But its usually the poor play that happens first which then ignites the thinking.