I've probably posted this before but I have played golf for 40+ years and for all except the last year I just could not get enough of it. Golf and cycling are similar in that they can take up a lot of time. Plus, if you have a desire to do either descently it requires ongoing attention and time. Have you ever not cycled for an extended period and jumped back in the saddle? If so, were you able to perform at the same level before you stopped? Golf is much the same way-maybe even worse.
As a credit to cycling and probably the fact it's still pretty new to me, I made the decision earlier this year to spend my free time riding and play golf only when absolutely needed. As the result, my mileage and time in the saddle is up pretty significantly from last year.
Well, I got an invitation to play in the Wachovia Pro-Am again and really could not pass it up. My employer asked me to do it and use it as an opportunity for an important customers so what am I supposed to do????? So, a few weeks ago I ramped up the practicing and attempted to get the golf game in good enough shape to play in front of large crowds.
The Pro-Am was yesterday and it was just as much fun as I had hoped. My partner enjoyed even more than I did which was the intent as well. We were paired up with Chad Campbell out of the great state of Texas (UNLV Collegiate Golf) and he was a true gentleman. I even got to talk to Cal Ripken, Jr (Baseball Ironman) the night before at the Pairings Party-he is one really huge guy. Peyton Manning and other celebrities were there as well. In fact Dan Jansen-Olympic Speed Skating Champ in early 80's was sitting beside me for dinner.
My partner was pretty nervous but still managed to birdie the first hole at 8:00 in the morning!! He followed that up with a couple more birdies throughout the round. I helped out the team a few holes as well. In fact on a really long Par 3 (210 yards) I hit it in close-about 3 feet and the crowd showed their appreciation for a well struck shot. I also managed to hit a Par 5 green in two shots and then two putt for a birdie.
The rough was really tough-very much like US Open conditions. In fact they were planning on cutting it after we finished to shorten it an inch for the tournament. Yesterday was a long day as I got up before 5am to meet my caddie and get to the course in time to get in a little practice. Today I feel similar to what I feel like from having ridden a 100 mile ride the day before!!
Now that the golf distraction is over I can concentrate on riding. My brother and I are traveling to Alabama to do the Cheaha Century on Sunday. It's a nice tune-up for the Assault on Mt Mitchell which is 2 weeks away. It's been really hard to devote enough time to do both of these activities so I'm just pleased to have the Wachovia behind me.
Here's a couple pics of my partner, our caddies and our Pro Chad Campbell taken yesterday. My partners High School aged son caddied for him which was a big thrill for both of them. My brother, who is my cycling mentor, lugged my bag around for me. Maybe I was trying to wear him out before the ride Sunday. The picture of me addressing the ball was taken on the tee box on our last hole and just before I launched it.....probably should not say where it went!!