While many golfers head to the range after a missed cut, Stewart Cink heads to his grill.
Barbecuing has become his happy place over the past few years, and an up and down 2012 has seen him practice the hobby probably a little more than he'd like. Cink has three Top-25s this year, but has also missed three cuts. It's the result of some tinkering with an eye on the future.
"It's a work in progress for me right now," the 2009 British Open champion says of his swing. "I've made a lot of changes to lead me to the latter part of my career. It's taking a while to get comfortable."
Cink has had several rounds at 80 or above this year, and needs to find some consistency as he heads into the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club next week if he wants to win another major. Thankfully he's got a place to clear his mind and not over think the game: Barbecuing.
"It's a passion of mine," says Cink, who is currently hosting a series of interactive golf clinics for Chase Sapphire card members. "It's something I like to do on the side for, you could call it, relaxation or therapy."
It all started about four years ago when a friend suggested buying a smoker and cooking a big cut of meat for July 4th. To say it went badly is putting it nicely. But Cink has perfected a few recipes and posted some amazing looking ribs and other final products on his Twitter account, @StewartCink.
He's worth a follow for the pictures alone, but he seemingly replies to just about everyone who writes to him. The added bonus is that Cink can be pretty funny too. Last month he tweeted that his wife, "suggests we go to a vegetarian diet on regular recurring days. I vote for February 29."
As proficient as Cink has gotten in the barbecue game, he's happy to keep it as an avocation. Unlike so many athletes who try their hand in the restaurant business, Cink says that's not in his future.
"The thing that scares me about that would be that it would become something I have to do instead of something I want to do," he says. "Golf, at times, feels that way to me and I don't want anything else in my life to become that way."
Cink derives a lot of his joy from the labor intensive process by feeding his friends and family. If you want to try some of his famous 'cue, you'll have to get into the inner circle.
They're the only ones who know if he's ever served barbecue sauce out of the Claret Jug.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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