The P & H Championship – Renaissance Club(23rd/24th May, 2016)
After a month break in the PGA schedule and moving house at the beginning of May, I was more than ready to get back out there and was looking forward to an exciting event at The Renaissance Club which sit directly across from past Open venue Muirfield. This stretch of land is arguably one of Britain’s best golfing locations with courses such as Gullane, Archerfield, North Berwick, & Cragielaw all within a 5 mile stretch.
On arrival to the Renaissance Club, you realise just how exclusive it is due to the fact there are no signposts and in amongst the Archerfield estate you see 2 massive gates that have RC written in gold on the front. I suppose that’s the price of paying over £50,000 per year for a membership and yes, I know, that’s how much it costs. The opulence of the rich and the poverty of the starving kids of the world is a stark contrast and something I do struggle with, but sadly something we have to accept and just do what we can to help wherever we can.
The facilities of this venue are excellent with everything catered for, even range balls handed to all golfers on the specific bay you are practicing in so you don’t have to carry them any distance. This had the feel of a tour event and more and I began to wonder why this venue had not held any large events as of yet. Maybe the answer was they didn’t need to.
As I made my way to the first tee I bumped into Chris Tierney who plays out of Bishopbriggs Driving Range. He asked me if I was still doing ‘that ministry thing’ to which I had a brief conversation telling him that things were going well and we were now in our second full year on the Tartan Tour. He must have remembered this from the Drumpellier Pro-Am last year and it was good for that to have stuck with him. He wished me well in my endeavours and quickly rushed away as he was due to tee off. No doubt we’ll chat again.
My playing partners came from Mearns Castle Golf Academy and from Elie Links. We were chatting straight away before we teed off and I was able to share quite a bit about my family life and faith along with my Logos role before we had even hit a ball. As we made our way down the 1st hole we spoke about how quickly life can change.
Life can change in a heartbeat and I shared how my wife lost her mother many years ago suddenly and we simply just have to deal with the fact that this life as we know it will end at some point, sooner or later, but there is more to our life than the physical and that’s the part many struggle with.
As we played round we looked at our surroundings and realised just how privileged we were to be able to do what we were doing. Being very focused on his game so we did not get to chat much (the player from Ellie links) but a nice lad and a good solid golfer who has just started out in his professional career and has the potential to be a formidable player.
Sadly none of us made the cut for the final day as only 40 qualified out of the 126 field, so it was a tough school and the course was playing long and tricky around the massive sloping greens. It is always difficult to play a course that you cannot miss the green on the wrong side and this is a key feature of almost every hole at The Renaissance Club.
If I am fortunate enough to play in this event again next year I have learned that caution is the key and chasing birdies is not the best play. It was very easy to get frustrated when you feel you have hit a decent shot only to see it wind down and off the green into a very tricky position.
Sometimes we can feel like that off the course and the secret is to look around you and appreciate that what you have, even if you’re not happy with it at that moment, is still good compared to some situations we could find ourselves in. We are not guaranteed tomorrow and must make the most of the life on this earth that God has given which will in turn better prepare us for the eternity that waits beyond what we see here.
Please pray for those mentioned in this report and give thanks to God for the life he has given us.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour