With back to back Pro-Ams last week its always interesting meeting your teams and what type of reactions you receive when explaining Logos Golf Ministries as my attachment and that I am not your usual Club Professional. There was a bit off a difference with both events and the conditions.
I’ve attended the Parkdean Pro-Am at Belleisle every other year and although not a difficult course, it always has swirling winds due to the tall trees that spread over the layout. The winds were very strong and we knew this was going to be tough day, but the sun was out and that’s always a bonus. My playing partners were Simon, Sam and Ross who had travelled all the way from Leeds just to play in this event. Simon loves this part of the world and he always brings a team from his company to Ayrshire each year for a day out.
As we got started I was able to explain to the guys about my background and the reasons for me playing on the Tartan tour along with our Pro-am at Archerfield. This lasted for about ten minutes or so and I thought I was in for some good chats about the ministry during the round as they seemed quite intrigued. Sadly this did not go any further and nothing else was mentioned for the rest of the round. It was as if I had said my bit and that was enough of that for them. They asked me about plenty of other things during the round but I could tell it was about everything else but the ministry.
We all found the golf very tricky due to the winds and the slick greens but overall we didn’t play that badly despite some challenging holes. I am definitely more patient with my golf these days but probably becoming more impatient regarding interest in the ministry. I’m still guarding against being pushy but really want to chat more in depth rather than just give it the usual summary. I know I can’t force things if people don’t want to listen but I am looking to be more aware of any possible opportunities that might be missed during a round. Something to keep praying about.
We had soup and sandwiches before departing and chatted about the world cup amongst other topical issues but that was about it. Driving home I felt a bit deflated due to the frustration of not scoring as well as I played and not feeling as though much came from the day. I was then quickly reminded that every day is a learning curve and this experience should help me for future events. Nothing is ever wasted with God and I will return here more positive.
Bathgate is always a very well supported Pro-Am and this is most likely down to the host professional Stuart Callan. Stuart was one of the first professionals I ever played with when I was still an amateur back in the 90’s and he’s a true gentleman who looks after all the Pro’s when they come to his club. I was chatting to him outside the shop as he was lending me a trolley for the day and I explained about the Logos Pro-Am in October and if he would like to attend as one of the Pros. He was honest enough to say he doesn’t play much and would not want to let a team down but I took the opportunity to say he could bring a team of his friends so that he wasn’t under too much pressure and this seemed to go down better. I’ll keep in touch with him.
I had the pleasure of playing with the Captains team made up of Brian, Mhairi, and Bobby. Brian and Mhairi are the Gent and Lady Captains of Bathgate and Bobby was a guest of Brian. Right away there was a different feel to the team and I got to share with all of them regarding the ministry which was received well over the front 9. Mhairi is also a past champion of Bathgate and plays of 5 so she was impressed that we had Alison Nicholas coming to speak at our event and hopefully this might result in a ladies team coming along.
My game has been feeling stronger all the time and this is probably the best I have hit the ball all year. When you hit 16 greens in regulation and only miss 1 fairway it feels really good but my putting was a tad off due to how fast and slick Bathgate’s greens were. I thought Belleisle’s were quick but these were off the chart and I struggled to get the pace for most of the round. It wasn’t till the last few holes that I felt more comfy with them but would argue that I played good enough to win if only the putts had dropped in the first half of the round. I’ve never said that before but know I am moving on to the next level and need to keep getting myself in these positions to let it happen.
My fellow Pro, Stephen Gray was playing ahead of me and watched as I hit a good shot into the 14thto about 10 feet. As I missed the breaking putt and walked back to the tee where he was waiting, I said I was struggling on the greens to which he offered to have a look at my stroke. Stevie is probably one of the best putters on the Tartan tour and I might take him up on the offer at some point. He asked if I was playing at Drumpellier on the Sunday but I said to him “No, I try not to play on Sunday unless I really have to”, to which he replied, “ Oh are you studying John Chapter whatever”. This is just Stevie’s humour and something that makes me smile. He did ask to come to the Pro-Am again after hearing Luther Blacklock speak last year so there is hope.
We did well as a team but just finished outside the prizes due to some very low team scores. After enjoying a terrific meal and friendly chat we looked forward to possibly meeting again in some capacity and it was a nice way to end the day. I caught Stuart just as he was about to start the prizegiving and thanked him for his hospitality while reminding him of my offer to attend Archerfield. I hope he can make it.
Please pray for those mentioned in this report and for the Logos Pro-Am in October.
In his service,