Now that I have been playing golf for 2 years I have mastered enough of the art and science on the technique that allows me to get through a course reasonably well. Yes, it is an individual sport where you attempt to achieve the lowest score possible – meaning the fewest mistakes possible, vs a sport like triathlon where your objective though an individual effort is to complete the event in the fastest time and try to place in your relevant age group.
What’s striking is in golf you frequently play with different people who are all at different levels with variable skills. Vastly unique personalities and body types. Contrastingly, in tri you get to know who your competition is and what their particular skills and strengths are. Though it attracts a variety of people, it rewards speed and/or endurance. Though it is comprised of your 3 sports that you need to master it’s similar to golf in that training and preparation are needed for success and repeatability.
I miss tri competition and the training. Golf is a very mental game and doesn’t necessarily reward the biggest and strongest. Some guys can drive the ball 350 yds but have no finesse to shoot a low round. In fact, the mega hitters I have met typically get frustrated and lose their focus when they miss easy chips or putts. There is art and science that goes into building your golf game. Understanding the path of your club, making proper contact at the ball, the follow through to achieve proper ball flight to your target. Understanding, which club to use, how much loft ( angle of the face of the club ) to use if you need to elevate the ball to the target, reading the slope of the greens in order to chip or putt accurately to put that ball in the cup.
All golf courses are different with different challenges much like a triathlon course – different bodies of water where you have to navigate temps and currents, the profile of the bike and run course. Similarly, nutrition and hydration which are essential in an endurance racing it is also true for golf. I have seen in both sports how poor nutrition can ruin a race and a day playing 18 holes.
Most people I play with are clueless when it comes to nutrition and the impact on their game. I am careful not to preach but if the moment presents itself I will share some tips.
Both sports can attract and/or create obsessive personalities. I see myself gravitating in this direction. Overtraining or over racing is quite measurable in triathlon but often ignored. Golf is less causational but overuse can be manifested in poor play, lost focus and even clear frustration.
Though I competed often in sanctioned triathlon events I think I am going to keep my golf game less competitive and just enjoy the fun and comradery.
See you on the links