I gave up playing golf in my 20s to concentrate on competition fishing and just this week I was reminded why I likely chose fishing over golf at that young age. Except for a very short period some 12 years ago, I had not swung a golf club until a friend convinced me recently to once again take out my golf bag and dust off my clubs.

Let me quickly say that I do not expect the game of golf to win out over fishing even now that I have retired from competitive fishing. Even though competitive fishing is probably a thing of the past for me, I still enjoy fishing more than any outdoor activity.

I learned this week that chasing that little white ball around a golf course can be just about as difficult if not more so than fishing for largemouth bass when the temperature is 100 degrees and the fish have lockjaw. Golf seems like it should be a much easier activity than it is in reality. 

Even on a bad day of fishing there seems to be more time available to just relax and enjoy God’s creation. You know, just take a break, look around, have a bottle of cold water and just wait for the fish to bite. Now with golf you can also enjoy God’s creation, but looking for a golf ball in the woods, in the weeds or in a lake just does not seem to be the same.

The golf course I played this week has some resident geese and I know they are part of God’s creation but they do not belong on a golf course. Trying to putt through goose droppings was a new experience for me. Even though the geese are on area lakes, they have never interfered with my fishing.

I have somewhat enjoyed this latest adventure into the game of golf, but I am not quite sure it will get a good grip on me yet. I have a ways to go before I declare that some outdoor activity like golf will compete with my long love for fishing.

When I am out on the lake fishing by myself and I make an errant cast or have a backlash, nobody sees or knows other than maybe my fishing partner, but when you duff a golf ball off the tee and it rolls only 20 feet, the other members of your golf foursome sees you and likely the foursome in front and back of you, also sees your every miscue. You just cannot hide your miscues on the golf course.

I have spent many hours on the water fishing, studying fish, and developing fishing techniques and I feel completely comfortable in just about any fishing situation. Playing golf is a whole different story. Two trips to the driving range and two rounds of golf over the last two weeks have not resulted in much improvement in my game or encouraged me to continue this trial. My friend who reintroduced me to golf just says I need to be patient and give it some time.

I remember at a young age when I could walk up to the golf ball and consistantly hit the ball some distance off the tee, could chip well and could putt very well. I was a decent golfer when I was25. But some 40 years later, when trying to recount those early days of playing golf and the success I had back then, my body just does not react and function the same. That little white ball wants to go everywhere but straight, if it goes anywhere at all.

Older is definitely not better when it comes to playing golf. Now age does impact my fishing somewhat, but I can always fish for a couple hours, take a break and then fish some more. In golf, you are expected to continuously play for 18 holes or look like a wimp. When you’re having a bad day of golf, it just seems to get worse the more you play.

My wife is really encouraging me to hang in there and give my revisit to the game of golf a chance for improvement. However, she might just be wanting me out of the house and out from under her feet.

Now as for my friend that has attempted to renew my interest in golf, he may just want to pay me back for catching more fish than him on our fishing trips.

The fish are biting really well right now and I am beginning to think this golf adventure should be shelved until a hot day in August when the fish won’t bite or a cold day in January when even the boldest of anglers will stay home rather than fish. Maybe on those days I could be persuaded to give golf a better try.

Good fishing and see you next week.   Outdoor Columnist Bobby Peoples can be contacted via e-mail at brpeoples@windstream.net.  

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