Deer Park Masters & AAM Scottish Open Qualifying
A very busy week this week with two visits to Deer Park and Barassie for qualifying events so I will try to condense this into one report without rambling on too much.
The Deer Park Masters is one of the main order of merit events of the year and an event I enjoy playing due to the course and a fantastic buffet lunch. This qualifying event normally consists of around 60 players playing for 25 spots, so 75 or 76 normally gets you in to a 50 player Pro-Am field played over two days. On my visit I managed to catch up with an old contact. He and I have not spoken much over the past year but it was good to chat with him and I was very happy that he has agreed to participate in the Logos Pro-Am at Dundonald this year. Please pray for him going forward as I know he could be a great man for God but struggles with the ‘Christian thing’.
I was playing with pros from Musselburgh and Bothwell Castle at 8.27am, an early time which was supposed to be catching the better weather, but half way down the 1st hole the brolly was in use. Both lads were relatively young again and the conversation was quite slow with very little mentioned regarding my attachment.
After 9 holes I made my way to the 10th tee to find out from one that the other had just left the course without saying much. He was not playing well but thought he might have carried on or at least said something. We were now just a 2 ball and we started chatting a bit more about our background as we had a bit more time due to moving along quicker. He didn’t really comment much regarding my role and I didn’t want to push it but we did find out more about each other and I feel this has laid something for the future. He is a nice lad and a very solid golfer who I think will do well in years to come. I look forward to speaking with him again and hope future conversations go further. Both of us qualified comfortably with rounds of 71 & 73 (he was 71) and I will look for him when we return to the event in August.
AAM Scottish Open Qualifier – Barassie
Barassie is one of Scotland’s well known links courses and has hosted numerous qualifying events when the Open has been at Troon or Turnberry, so is very well respected. I played a practice round with a fellow pro on the Friday and was glad I did as the layout had changed since last time I played it.
A very tight course with lots of tricky tee shots and knowing the right club to hit off the tee is imperative. He and I managed to get round the 18 holes but he was really struggling with his game due to a debilitating knee condition and he was trying to ‘find something to work with’ before the tournament started.
He was contemplating not playing in the event, but I said to him to wait and see how he felt the next day. I mentioned to him that we have almost got our full compliment of teams for the Pro-Am booked but he was definitely more interested in his golf, which was understandable given he was struggling so much. He felt a bit better towards the end and the last few holes gave him a bit of confidence which was good. He has just become a father and must have a lot going on just now so please remember him in your thoughts and I will continue to check in with him as the year goes on.
During the first round of the event I was playing with pros from Peebles and Inverness. A very blustery day but warm and sunny which was a first for me this year. It felt strange to play with short sleeves but I wasn’t complaining. There were quite a few people about around the 1st tee so it was good to get the announcement of my attachment with so many people to hear. The boys did not really say much at all during the course of the round but I managed to chat with one of them’s dad, who was walking round with him, and got to explain my role with the ministry as he seemed quite intrigued by who I was representing.
A good chat and another seed planted. As we got to the end of the round, both the boys had struggled, but one really began to get annoyed and frustrated which ended in a few choice words after a couple of shanks. I wanted to go over to him and tell him from personal experience that anger really doesn’t help but I knew he was not in the frame of mind to take anything in.
I wouldn’t say that I struck the ball much better than the boys, but to finish 5 to 10 shots ahead of them showed that frame of mind is something that can take shots off or add them on. I know that my faith has helped me in my golf and I don’t let anger and frustration affect me as much as I used to. I know I have a job to do and part of that is being an example to others I play with, which can simply be how I act on the course. It is much more enjoyable to play golf when you’re calm, trust me.
The second day I was out with two other guys in the middle of the field so just wanted to get a good round in to finish higher up in the top half. To qualify for the Scottish Open you had to finish in the top 4 out of 130 so it was a very tough school with the standard of players there. My target was to finish top 50 which would have got me a cheque.
As we waited to play it started raining and we all huddled in the tent at the 1st tee. With about 10 people there the starter asked about my attachment. It’s not often there are so many people there to hear about my role but a good opportunity to share to those who may not have heard. One of my playing partners has already agreed to play in the Logos Pro-Am so it was good to consolidate that and as we played round we had some good chats about the vision for the Logos events and how this would help the Tartan Tour.
A very wet day for the final round and I found out that my waterproof trousers are no longer waterproof. I will need to rectify this soon as we simply cannot guarantee good weather for our Scottish summers, whatever they used to be! It was tough playing round but I just focused on doing the best I could which kept me in a good frame of mind. A dry few holes to finish and a ten foot put on the last hole placed me inside the top 50 for the Professionals and secured me a welcome payday. Never giving up with the right attitude is not only one of the keys to golf, but life itself.
Overall, a decent few days with progress made on all fronts and I look forward to the future events leading up to our Pro-Am. Please pray for all mentioned in this report and for what God has for us in the near future.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email firstname.lastname@example.org