In addition to biking, my other pastime is golfing. I’ve been at it for 20 years. I’m no good at it — but now I’m getting worse.
I go out most Saturday mornings with a regular group. Play often improves as the season goes on — I usually register the low net score in the group at least once during the summer — but this year, it didn’t happen. In fact, my handicap soared from a 14 to an 18.
Now, on the plus side, I get a stroke on each hole. But on the minus side, my actual play is a lot worse than that. I shot a 98 the other day, which is 10 strokes worse than my expected score on our par-70 course.
The reason for my poor play on the links is, of course, biking. I used to stop off at the driving range at least once a week, maybe twice, to practice my shots and hone my swing. Now, I head straight for home to change into cycling clothes and get out on the road for a quick pre-evening ride. Where a good weekend for me used to be two rounds of golf, now on Saturdays I won’t stick around the course after our round. I’ll head home to ride. On many Saturdays between August and October, I skipped golf entirely. I was training for my century, so I chose to ride instead. And my Sundays are dedicated to my weekly long ride, whether it be with the cycling club or on my own. A friend at the golf club recently asked me about my woeful game, and I replied, “If it’s a choice between biking and golf, I’ll take a bike ride.”
I really enjoy golf. It’s a skill, but to maintain that skill level, you must apply yourself. The great pianist Paderewski said, “If I miss a day of practice, I know. If I miss two days, my teacher knows. If I miss five days, the audience knows.” It’s just as true with golf. With some time off in the coming weeks, I will concentrate more on splitting my time between the saddle and the tee box. The weather here will be good for golf. As I write this, it’s 72F at 9 a.m., with a high forecast for 80F later today. Great golf weather. But then again, it’s great biking weather too…