An Afternoon Sundae With Phil

Phil Mickelson’s withdrawal from the Memorial Tournament citing fatigue got me to thinking about my optimum golf schedule. Before you laugh too hard, I know comparing my golf habits to those of Mickelson is like comparing how I celebrate my wife’s birthday to how Phil celebrates. I take my wife to Dairy Queen; he takes his wife to Europe. With that understood, here goes:

Now that I’m retired, I could play every day if I wanted to. I know guys who play every day, and they love it. Several years ago I tried to play every day for few weeks, and I began to feel harried.  I wasn’t physically fatigued, but I was psychologically fatigued by thinking about all the other things in my life that needed my attention. Some of them were chores, but a lot of them were things I really wanted to do that I couldn’t fit into a daily golf schedule.

Like a lot of folks, I used to daydream about how I’d like to play golf every day when I no longer had a 9 to 5 job. Now that I’m no longer working (to be more precise, now that no one is paying me for working) I can’t figure out how I had time to hold down a regular job. There would be simply no time for me to go to work and do what I do, even without golf.

I still feel pulled both ways, wishing I was playing golf when I’m not and feeling distracted by things I want or need to do when I play too much. But I’ve discovered that a 2 or 3 times a week golf schedule works pretty well for me. Sometimes it feels like playing 3 times a week is pushing it, but if I cut back to 2 times I start to miss the game and the guys. So I cycle back and forth, averaging 10 or 11 rounds a month. That’s not much different from the golf schedule of some guys who are gainfully employed. But it suits me now.

If I play more than that I start to get a choppy swing, my scores go up, and I get impatient. I feel like Phil looked on Thursday: easily frustrated and distracted.

Maybe Phil needs a visit to Dairy Queen. They make a good caramel sundae.

(Image by Billy Hathorn, via Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons License.)

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