Biking is hurting my golfing

The Bike Noob tees it up in Michigan last summer.
The Bike Noob tees it up in Michigan last summer.

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…


  1. says

    Bicycling is a lot like golf. The more time you spend working on your skills the more it shows. The difference is in golf is others notice your performance, but on a bicycle you will notice. Good luck. :-)

  2. says

    I keep reading that cycling is the “new” golf…so it seems you’re just making the transition. As for me, I love the game of golf but simply never had the time to play…so it’s always been the bike.
    Your blog is great…found it through Maine Velophile. Keep up the good work.

  3. rainycamp says

    Thanks, Glenn. It looks like you’ve got a good start with your blog, too. I like your Daily Ride widget — getting signed up for it today (just what I need — another social network!). I’m a fan of Maine Velophile, as well. But you northeasterners are sure at a disadvantage in winter.

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