Total newbie here, both to the sport and the site.
Last time I played was Saturday, shot 47 on a 9-hole par 3. Was actually the best I've ever played - as I said, I'm very new to golf and I literally never go through 9 holes without having a complete swing meltdown and forgetting how to play at some point, but not this time. The only really bad moment was taking 4 shots to get out of a bunker, but I'm actually not too bothered about that - bunker shots are simply a technique I don't really know yet, you can't work on everything at once and there are more important aspects of the game to focus on at this stage of my development. Like not getting into bunkers in the first place...
Played with a mate who is not brilliant but definitely more comfortable around the course than me. My two aims for the round were to par at least one hole; and to beat him on at least one hole. In the event I parred one (would also have parred the first if I'd given myself a Mulligan off the tee) and beat him on 4 out of 9 holes. And kept in touch with him right until the final hole - he had a bit of a shocker, but still. He only beat me by 2 shots which I'll take given he's been playing many more years than me.
That it takes 4-5hours per round and travel time. Makes it tough to dedicate the amount of time i want to spend on it.
Wish more courses were designed with 6holesX3 layout so you can finish them quickly and choose to play only 6 (though i'd love to play 18 always).
About hopes getting crushed with bad shots, always start each round accounting for a few bad shots, lost balls, hazards etc. When you face one of them - its one from the expected count - even pro's have bad shots, the number of shots will reduce as your game improves.