God Carries a One Iron: A Christian Approach to Golf
by Jim Southard
Who would have guessed that the finest Christian television broadcast of 1999 would be the funeral of a professional golfer? There on CNN, The Golf Channel and even over the internet, the friends and family of U.S. Open champion, Payne Stewart unwittingly revealed that matters of faith permeate the game of golf.
The great, "Merry Mex," Lee Trevino once had a close encounter with lightning during a PGA event. He later quipped, "If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a one-iron. Not even God can hit a one-iron." Can He? What does He even care?
There are millions of Christian golfers in America. Does God have anything to do with the game that is so beloved to them? How should believers think about this burgeoning pastime? Who would have ever imagined the day when golf would become “cool” even to teenagers? Does God come along after the greens fees have been paid, the Footjoys are laced up that course Marshal calls the name of the next foursome? What is a responsible God-centered golf ethic?
"God Carries a One Iron: A Christian Approach to Golf" is a challenge a leisure-laden culture of Christian golfers to love the game of golf as someone who loves the Lord more.
King Solomon once said that ultimately, "Everything is meaningless," but that doesn't mean our games shouldn't make sense to ourselves and our families. "God Carries a One Iron" draws on biblical principles, anecdote, example and imaginative steps to make fresh sense of a magnificent pastime. Golf doesn't need to be merely an expensive, self-absorptive amusement, but a way to glorify God.
What does golf teach us about God and ourselves? How does the Bible guide the time, money and energy we devote to golf? This is theology, but not like you expect it.
Golf gurus like Bob Rotella, Harvey Penick, Michael Murphy and Scott Peck have all had something to say about the psychology of Golf, but what does God say? Let's find out. Let's live our faith in the sand trap, on the fairway, on the green and in the clubhouse--and let's see what difference it makes in our game and in our lives.
- Jim Southard, August 2011
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