The Golf/Music Continuum

Ted golf

T on the Tee

I’ve been a sporadic golfer for fifteen years or so. At times I’ve risen to the level of mediocrity, which is actually good since the average golfer is bad, scorewise. Only ten percent of golfers can regularly break 100. Since I don’t have a lot time to devote to this time sucking activity, I admit that I’m more often average, and therefore bad. My short game needs work but I generally only practice the long game. This, too, is par for the course, so to speak.

On occasion I’ve told people about my thoughts on the similarities between playing an instrument and playing golf. This generally results in vacant stares, even from golfing musicians.

Let’s ponder this: both require practice – constant repetition to develop a golf swing or instrumental technique. At least in the learning phase, they are solitary pursuits. In order to gain any enjoyment you have to achieve a certain level of skill. A sense of rhythm and timing is needed for both. Sensitivity and touch are pluses. Focus is essential. If you play either one badly you will feel bad about yourself, since there is no one else to blame; it’s all on you.

Avid golfers are obsessed about equipment, swing tips, lessons and game improvement. They subscribe to golf magazines and watch tournaments on TV. Avid musicians (sometimes amateurs even more than pros) are the same. They gobble up info on the latest gear and follow their heroes obsessively. Both spend a lot of money and time on their passions.

I suppose I could go on and on but I’ll spare you. It’s time to either go out and hit a bucket of balls or go down to the basement and practice some frame drums. It’s a tough choice.

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