This was my first Pro-Am of the year due to a number of reduced Pro-Am fields, which resulted in a couple of reserve spots that I didn’t get the call for. A sign of the financial times again sadly rearing its head, but Bathgate is always a well supported event and always will be. Pro-Am fields are normally between 30-40 teams but over the past months we have seen this drop to 20-30 teams on average. This means there are more players looking for spots which have to be allocated on a rotation basis with only the top 15 in the previous years order of merit guaranteed a place. A bit frustrating when trying to organise a schedule but will most likely mean a 5/10 ratio this year as opposed to a 7/10 ratio in years gone by. At least this doesn’t affect the Order of Merit events and will still provide a decent amount of event this year.
Another very blustery day was brewing and it feels like I have still to play a competitive event this year in calm conditions. We teed off at 9.10am and my team were three members of the junior section of the club and aged between 15-17. All were decent players with single figure handicaps and after hitting the opening drives I was fairly impressed. I felt like the ‘Dad’ of the group as I was old enough to be their father by quite a few years. This gave me a bit of a reality check and I thought to myself it’s now official – I need to accept I’m middle-aged! I’d been kidding myself for the past few years on this issue and the fact I have a 21 year old son should have tipped me off but I was in denial.
Normally when I am introduced on the tee or identifying my logo ball this sparks some comment regarding my attachment. The boys did not say anything about this and I left it till the 2nd hole when we were walking up the fairway and one of them asked where I was from, so this gave me a brief opportunity to share a bit about my background. They were all very pleasant lads but after this brief chat they didn’t really give me much opportunity for the rest of the round to share much of anything else. To be fair, the wind got up quite a bit not long after we started and it is always difficult to cultivate conversation in these conditions, but the boys were very quiet and chatted amongst themselves on odd occasions.
The scores showed just how tough it was with only 1 player breaking par. This was due to 30-40mph winds and very fast greens that were possibly too fast for the conditions. Yes, there were quite a few 3 putts during the game.
On conclusion of the round we retired to the lounge for our lunch and again the conversation was quite slow, but I’m not sure if this was just due to the boys’ age or they maybe felt uncomfortable with what I shared with one of them earlier. As I said, all nice enough lads but probably too quiet for what I would normally expect. After I said my goodbyes and wished them well, I left the clubhouse and bumped into a player, who is going to be playing in the Logos Pro-Am in September. He is now going to join me for a practice round at Barassie next Friday in preparation for the Scottish Open and this will give us a good opportunity for a chat during our round. It’s amazing how a couple of minutes can make a difference.
What I learned from this day was that there may be times we feel there is not much we can do. We maybe struggle to see the value in the time spent and think more could have been done, but there will always be something of value, even if it is a moment. As always, nothing is wasted and remaining open to anything that comes along can reap a reward.
Please pray for those mentioned in this report.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email email@example.com