Ocean City Today

Dalkiewicz gains respect for golf, compares it to surfing

Surf Report
By Dave Dalkiewicz | Apr 12, 2018

(April 13, 2018) “David, when you get out into the business world you don’t talk about surfing, you talk about golf.”

This sage advice was offered to me by a well meaning salesman at a Hecht Co. Warehouse Store. I worked there part-time as a college youngster and budding surfer, taking to wearing “surf” T-shirts, moving furniture and appliances for the high volume warehouse store.

The advice wasn’t taken and “surf” T-shirts are still worn. A respect for the game of golf was eventually acquired though, even to the point of now being able to compare it to surfing. Indeed, there are numerous analogies.

Both are practiced outdoors in generally beautiful surroundings. Both are individual activities though team formats can be utilized in various forms of competition.

Both can be challenges to one’s self, again on an individual basis and not confined to a team situation. Both can be taken to whatever level that the person desires and hopefully still be enjoyable.

Even the forlorn duffer who never comes close to shooting par on a golf course can still find value in being outdoors, in nature, breathing fresh air and getting a little exercise. So too with surfing.

The beginner, still trying to ride a wave in a stand-up position, or even the long-experienced surfer having a bad day or having to get back into shape after a long lay-off can still benefit from just getting into the water and getting wet.

It’s safe to say that the exercise level in surfing is going to be greater, everything else being equal, but that’s not really much of a concern to the aficionado of either activity.

Conditions are another factor that can be analogous in both sports. One will often hear how the upkeep of a golf course will affect the experience of a particular round of golf.

Are the fairways kept in good shape? How will wind direction or humidity affect a drive off a tee? Are the greens trimmed and manicured enough to keep from interfering with the long putt? Are the greens fast, slow, wet, or dry?

Conditions in the surf will make all the difference as well – Size and direction of swell, tide levels and wind direction. Bottom contours governed by the relative permanence of rock or coral reef, or movement of sand made most dramatic by recent storms or human manipulation as in beach replenishment.

Equipment and fashion can enter into the picture. Having the most functional gear goes a long way to enhance the quality of the experience of either sport/activity, such as a bag of proper clubs to hit the ball in various areas of the course, and a quiver of surfboards to adhere to various conditions in the surf or desire of the surfer at a particular time.

The garb of the practitioner can be considered. Are jeans or shorts and a T-shirt acceptable on the golf course?  Does the golf course or club require a more ”proper” style of dress.

Is it cold enough for a “golf” jacket?  Maybe a moisture wicking garment for a humid day? How about the surf?  Cold enough for wetsuit gear?  Maybe a new pair of trunks or board shorts because you’re suddenly tubby over the long winter layoff.  What about protection from the sun?

Travel as well comes into the picture. A little jaunt to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina or Ocean City, Maryland for a long put-off golf vacation?  A late season escape to the Caribbean for some quality waves before the crazy summer season gets underway here at home?

Never did I think that golf would become a part of any thought in reference to surfing, analogous or not.  No, I’m not a golfer myself, but maybe that long ago sage advice has finally come to fruition after all.

—  Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City.

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