Shot Clock Masters, Austria, 5-7 June
A busy three-week spell ended with a great few days at the Shot Clock Masters in Atzenbrugg, Austria – about an hour west of Vienna in the car. I had been to Austria once before in 2010 but was again struck by how pleasant a country it is. The towns I passed through or stayed in were all very clean and people seem to do a good job of looking after their own patch.
This was a lower profile European Tour event than the likes of Wentworth’s PGA Championship and the Italian Open in the weeks earlier, but still a really productive one in terms of relationship building.
Two Scottish players and a caddie arrived at Vienna airport at the same time as me and we ended up sharing a car journey to the golf course together, which was the first of several nice, unplanned opportunities that week to get to know people better.
On another occasion, I shared a meal with five caddies and it was interesting to have conversations with them about some of the joys and challenges of that role.
Of the players I normally meet up with for a Bible study, there was only one of them playing at this event, but we still had a meaningful time together looking at the closing part of the story of Joseph in a few different parts of Genesis 45 – 50.
We focused on the mercy and grace shown by Joseph to his brothers, when he revealed his identity in Egypt. The brothers, in the knowledge of their wrongdoing towards him, expected Joseph would want retribution, yet Joseph was forgiving and willing to give them a fresh start.
Genesis 50 v 20-21: Joseph said to his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid, I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
We then paralleled that with a well known verse in Romans to reflect on God’s mercy and grace towards us through Jesus Christ.
Romans 5 v 8: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Even if all the players I normally meet with are not there, the content of the study is still circulated to them so they can reflect on it wherever they are in the world!
Further chances and opportunities to get alongside new people arose unexpectedly during the week, and it highlighted again to me that God goes before us and prepares the way for encounters he wants to happen – even if it is just to talk about normal things. I am hugely encouraged and excited about the week in Austria.
The next event I’m attending is the Open de France at the end of June, so it will be nice to have a couple of weeks over the next fortnight where my work keeps me in the Glasgow area.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.
Kenny Crawford, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour. You can follow Kenny on Twitter here.