NISSWA -- At first glance, golf and superbike racing seem like opposites but for Team Suzuki's Jason Pridmore the two sports have their similarities.
Pridmore, who's in Brainerd this weekend racing at the Colonel Truck Accessories American Motorcyclist Association Classic at Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway, took time away from racing to enjoy 18-holes at the Pines at Grand View Lodge Thursday with teammate Mat Mladin.
The driver of the No. 43 white and blue Suzuki GSX-R750 superbike is also a scratch golfer (0 handicap) and for him the two sports go hand-in-hand.
"When I first started golfing I didn't think there were any similarities, probably like a lot of people," said Pridmore. "As I learned more about playing the game, I realized, you have a lot of course management out here and just like in racing you have to have a plan of attack.
"You don't want to try and think too far ahead of yourself. You have to plan things and try and keep your composure here. It's very hard for me to keep my composure out here (on the golf course) because it's such an individual sport. In racing you have a whole team behind you."
Last year Pridmore was sixth overall in the points standings of the AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Series. His first year with Team Suzuki. This year hasn't gone as well as he would like but that has no relationship to his golf game.
"I've had a really bad year so far," said Pridmore. "The thing is this is something we can do to take our minds away from that stuff. It doesn't really carry over.
"For me it's just to come out here, have fun and play a nice course."
At the age of 15, Pridmore first picked up a set of clubs. After his second round he was hooked and like his racing he's made a point at making himself competitive.
"I started playing golf 15 years ago," the 30-year old, Californian said. "I stated playing one summer with one of my friends and I didn't think I would like it. I just continued and it was one of those things that I enjoyed because it was so individual.
"I saw improvement the second time I went and played. I did better than the first day and I thought this was kind of cool.
"After that, all through high school I kind of dedicated my life to golf."
For 11 years Pridmore has been traveling the states racing his bike and along with his travels he's had the opportunity to play great courses.
"I've met so many neat people over the years that I've been fortunate enough to be able to play a lot of really neat courses," said Pridmore. "We (Pridmore and his team partner Mat Mladin) have a lot of connections at a lot of different places so we can go play.
From the Atlanta Country Club to the big three on the Monterey Peninsula (Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Spanish Bay), Pridmore has seen the world from behind his bike and from the middle of a fairway.
Pridmore enjoyed the Pines layout and the Minnesota scenery but said he wasn't playing very well -- he was four over after 14 holes. He did mention that he hadn't played in two months and was glad to be back on course.
"We plan it to be a fun day," Pridmore said. "Usually by the end of the day there's a lot of tension because very rarely do we both get to play good at the same time.
"It's just like anything else you have your ups and downs and we always want to do better than the next person. We're both competitive.
"At the end of the day we can look back and say it was fun but at the time sometimes it might not be."
After racing Pridmore is interested in concentrating solely on his golf game. He has ideas of the Buy.Com Tour, the minor league tour of the PGA.
"I want to try and find a good swing coach and do it right.
"I'd like to get on the celebrity golf tour because there's nobody really representing motor sports. I'd like to get on that if I could because they're making a lot of money out there."
Whatever his endeavor, Pridmore will be dedicated to his undertaking. Who knows, he could be the one to finally challenge Tiger Woods.
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