News from Logos Golf Ministries Chaplains on the Tour
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KLM Dutch Open @ ‘The Dutch’ GC Spijk Rotterdam September 12- 14
The second consecutive year at this venue and last year’s sunshine was replaced by high winds and rain then more rain. Add a pinch of chilly weather and you have a recipe for suspended play and a rain soaked, well, everybody and everything …
Golf is, a little surprisingly, the third biggest sport in the Netherlands behind football and tennis and there are terrific crowds attending this event. I’d have thought cycling was before golf, having been nearly run over several times in Rotterdam by the hordes of cyclists buzzing around, but what do I know ….
A good week was had and four of us got together for a Bible study on Wednesday lunchtime in the Players Lounge; two players and a caddie joining me.
I also had a good week of ‘cornering’ people in cars; a player and official from the airport to the course and then a caddie from the course to hotel. They’ll be hiring cars in future! I also had a good chat with one of the new players on tour after our study in the PL, so that was terrific …
There was one other caddie who showed an interest about the study and asked me to let him know when we were meeting, so keep him in mind please …
Our study dwelt on Hebrews 10:11-18 and 2 Corinthians 3:17 and we compared the constant need to sacrifice for sins in the Old Testament with the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus that is sufficient to cover all sin and then lead on to …
2 Corinthians 3:17
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’
We asked why when the curtain to the inner room, the Most Holy Place, was torn in two by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we keep sowing it back up again by falling back into the traditions and rituals of man, forgetting we are free ..
Next Event; British Masters in Newcastle – thinking umbrellas, waterproofs, woolly hats etc …
Ken Revie, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour. Catch Ken by email on Tastylia
Czech Masters Albatross Golf Resort Prague August 29 – 31
This is the fourth year of this ‘new’ tournament in a country where golf is barely even a minority sport – ice hockey rules! Mind you in the three days there we touched 30 degrees every day, not exactly ice hockey weather …
As with the general trend of greater openings at the smaller events [playing for the smallest purse of the season, £1 million], this week proved the same … We had a turnout of seven at the Wednesday lunchtime bible study and it was good to have a member of the event logistics staff with us. I also met up with a caddie 1 – to – 1. Overall I counted back on 8 long chats with a range of; players, caddies, coaches, physio’s and officials. I vote we do away with the increase in £7 million tournaments and have seven at £1 million instead ….
We had a SA player amongst us this week and he was in his element as we looked at the church in Laodicea, although that wasn’t enough for him who was prepared to go through the entire seven … We restrained him! Well, nearly ..
As an encouragement for those of you who have taken on people to pray for over the years, I had long conversations this week with a player, a coach and a physio. Then, on the 30 minute coach journey back and forward from the course I had a great long chat with another player.
I’ve put a request in the Tour’s suggestion box that the new Rolex series with eight £7 million prize funds be reverted to 56 £1 million purses, I’m not holding my breath…
‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ Revelation 3:20
Next Event; KLM Dutch Open
Ken Revie, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour. Catch Ken by email on Tastylia
Scottish PGA Championship Qualifying – Crieff 30/8/17
There always seems to be a good day for this event or maybe it’s just the location. A very pleasant morning in the heart of Scotland and not too far from Gleneagles sits the always well presented Ferntower course in Crieff.
I was playing with two players from the east coast, whom I have come across a few times in years gone by as they are my generation. As we started off at 8.30am there was very little wind and it does seem that every time we play Crieff there is a certain calmness about the weather no matter what time of year it is.
We all got off to a decent start and after a few holes both the guys asked me what I was doing with myself. One spoke to me at at the 4th hole which allowed me to give a simple explanation of family life, work and my role with the ministry. I’ve gotten used to condensing the information as I’ve had to do it a few times now and there is just too much to talk about if I was to go into it in detail.
He seemed interested enough but didn’t really pursue any of the things I spoke about however this left the door open for the other player, who on the next hole picked up from the previous conversation. He is fairly outspoken at times but I like him as he does not pretend to be anyone else than himself. What you see is what you get.
As we played the 5th hole he was interested to know about the ministry as he heard the announcement on the tee and probably saw it on the start sheet. I was able to give a bit more detail than normal as that was the main focus of the chat, and he had mentioned a fellow Christian pro had spoken with him a couple of years back regarding the whole faith versus evolution issue.
He was very clear that he has no problem with faith and has a live and let live approach to it all. The one thing that bothers him is when faith becomes religion and forces its views on the world. I agreed with him that faith and religion are completely different and each person does have to choose their path in life but it is important which path we choose. As I have mentioned to friends and family many times our beliefs are not true just because we believe in them, they are either true or false. An interesting conversation and I hope to have some more time with him in the future.
As we played round, the weather held good for us and during the back 9 we were all in with a chance of qualifying but the first player I spoke with had a couple of poor holes and I was not holing the putts that I normally would. The guy I chatted more with played well and scored 1 over to qualify but the other player and I both shot 5 over which was a few off the mark. We all played reasonably well from tee to green but Crieff can be notoriously difficult on the greens and the two of us struggled with the putting at times.
For me, I know I really need to analyse my putting stroke as it’s been bothering me for a while now and I haven’t really done anything about it lately. I’ve gotten away with it for a long time but for a part of the game that is used on average 45% of the time this needs to be addressed, especially at this level. It’s so easy to not bother with something because you don’t think it’s that important and the usual phrase ‘It’ll be OK’ prevents dealing with the real problem. We do that a lot with the simple things and end up finding out that’s what can make or break us. It’s the same with our faith.
Douglas Park Golf Club hosts one of the few Pro-Ams that I always play in each year due to where it is and there is always a healthy support for this Pro-Am, meaning plenty of Professionals required for it. After the weather of the previous 2 days I was not even sure if the event would go ahead but no messages from the PGA that morning so business as usual.
On arrival I made my way to the practice putting green to find a very wet and spongy surface which was not great to putt on. The alarm bells were going off already and I could see a number of puddles down the 1st and 18th holes. The course was probably borderline for playing and if this had been a Saturday medal I’m sure it would not have gone ahead. The problem the officials have in these circumstances is that a lot of money and planning goes into organizing a Pro-Am, so unless there are rivers running down the fairways and lakes on the greens they will always try and go ahead. The alternative is to rearrange for another day which is very hard to do at this stage in the year.
None of my playing partners had played the course before. As we walked down the 1st hole I got chatting to one of them about my role with the ministry as he asked what club I was at due to the announcement on the tee of my attachment. Its always good to get in there early and I got to give him a fairly comprehensive explanation before we finished the hole. I also had a moment with another partner around the 5th hole where he asked, “So what’s Logos Ministries then?”. He had obviously been thinking about it for a bit and then felt he had to ask, so this was another good chat which lasted for the duration of the hole. He thought it was good idea to have something like that on the tartan tour and was quite impressed we have got an event on the calendar. As usual this year, the weather changed from being fairly calm to being wet and windy. It was a tough slog for the back 9 with the course playing it’s full length, and Douglas Park’s greens are difficult enough when dry never mind being spongy with the amount of rain they had taken over the past days. All the scores that day were quite high due to this and definitely added to an ‘off’ day for me.
On completion of our round we headed to the lounge for dinner and we sat and had a good chat about various things from the Ministry to Golf Equipment. Despite the round falling short of all our expectations we thoroughly enjoyed each others company and will try too keep in touch. One of my partners, being an retired golf club maker, has even offered to meet up with me before next season to have a look at my equipment so that he can assure me of the shafts being ‘pured’ and balanced. Without getting into the science too much this is a great offer even with a new set of clubs and I will definitely meet with him over a few holes at some point before the end of the season.
Just as I was about to leave I bumped into a fellow Pro and friend who had finished tied for 1st place that day. He has struggled recently with his knee and even had surgery on it this year so is only now getting back to playing more. He asked me how things were going and I mentioned to him about the Logos Pro-Am in September. He is going to see if he can bring a team to the event as he would like to attend as one of the Professionals but will see how his knee is holding up. I pray he can make it. Overall, a very encouraging day despite the course conditions and nothing better than a chance meeting. Is there such a thing??
A very quick mention of thanks to my friend Ewan Forgie who invited me to the Grace Church Golf Day at Falkirk Tryst on Friday. This gave a great opportunity for Christians and Non-Christians to play golf with each other and I was especially privileged to share a brief story of my journey after a very enjoyable game and meal. During the day I was able to speak with my playing companion Aidan regarding the Ministry in more detail and we had a really good chat over dinner which I think will result in us meeting up again for a game. A real gentleman and a terrific golfer who along with 80 year old Jimmy was a pleasure to play with. By the way, Jimmy plays off an 8 handicap and still hits it pretty good – incredible.
Please pray for those mentioned in this report and for future conversations.
An early rise again for my journey down to Dumfries as I was off at 8.10am, and it takes about 90 minutes to get there. A beautiful morning was provided for my birthday and driving through the hills of the M74 with the blue sky above was clear evidence of God’s creation.
After arriving I got myself sorted and made my way to the tee. I was looking forward to the day but this course has always presented me with some issues due to the small quirky greens and subtle breaks. Dumfries and Galloway Golf Club is not by any means a difficult course but the one word I would use – tricky. When I got to the tee I was the first of my group to arrive and chatted to one of the PGA officials. He mentioned that I had been playing more this year which had seen some better results recently. The two of us were more pleased at the fact we were both wearing short sleeves and dry due to the number of events this year that both of us got soaked.
My playing partners were from East Kilbride and Turnhouse and after the usual introductions and ball identification we got started fairly sharp. It is sometimes unusual for my playing partners not to ask about my attachment but this is more common amongst the younger players which both boys were. I thought it was going to be one of those quiet rounds again but both boys surprised me by asking about Logos half way into the round – both on the same hole. This gave me quite a good opportunity to share about my role and my faith and I was pleased they seemed interested. Both boys were respectful lads and decent players and as they are not long into their PGA careers I will continue to look out for them and see how they get on.
The one thing I am very aware of now is whatever situation I find myself in I need to deal with whatever comes at me and make the best of it. During the round I hit my ball into one of the bunkers and as I walked up to see the lie, I was disappointed to find the ball was so far buried in the sand, I had no shot out. This is very unusual and a result of there being too much sand in the bunker. I attempted the shot knowing I could not get the ball out but simply trying to move it to a better position in the bunker. After finally getting out in two shots I missed a 6-foot putt for a bogey and walked off feeling slightly miffed.
It can feel really frustrating getting a bad break like that, but I look at it from the point of view that if I hadn’t put it in the bunker I would not have been in that situation, and I tried my best with each shot so can’t really complain. God is always with us even in unfair situations and he allows us to see the situation for what it really is which teaches us and strengthens us for the future. Despite not qualifying by a couple of shots I was pleased that I still gave myself a chance of qualifying by continuing on with some decent play and not letting that moment affect me. We never know what can happen until the game is over and I will be back next year to try again. We only ever really fail when we give up.
The Ladies British Open – Kingsbarns July 31st – 3rd August
Having made my LOGOS Golf Ministries debut at Dundonald Links in Irvine for the Ladies’ Scottish Open, I travelled onwards to Kingsbarns. This was the venue for the British Open – a major week on the other side of Scotland.
I visited Monday qualifying at the Castle Course where tension was high. For those who hadn’t qualified automatically, there were only 20 spots available from a field of 100 or so players to play in the British Open.
Cris Stevens (Global Golf Ministries) and I were able to support and chat with several Christians at the Castle with encouraging news at the end of the day that they had qualified for the big event at Kingsbarns.
Fellowship took place on Tuesday evening and three players and an agent of a player attended. The discussion revolved around sharing our faith with others and the challenge to take opportunities when they arose. The players expressed the challenges of tour life and the difficulty in competing well all the time. Everyone was encouraged to focus on our divine purpose as Christians so that the joy and beauty of knowing Christ can be received and shared as he intended.
We prayed for one another and encouraged each other to continue praying in the coming weeks for all that was shared.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – this scripture was the challenge for us to focus on.
Next up is the Solheim Cup in the USA – where a Sunday service will take place on August 20th for all the staff, spectators and competitors.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Ladies Open – Dundonald Links Irvine – July 27th – 30th
Cheap 20 MG Tastylia Tadalafil Oral Strips. The first event in the UK this season was a joint sanctioned event with US LPGA Tour on the west coast of Scotland. Cris Stevens from Global Golf Ministries and Jules Wilkinson from Christians in Sport joined me to assist me and support the Christians on the tour.
Time was spent connecting with many players, caddies and tour staff, which gave me the opportunity to explain my presence on tour and my role with LOGOS Golf Ministries.
The weather was rather inclement which delayed the tee times by 25 minutes, resulting in fewer players attending the planned fellowship/bible study meal. Several players and a caddie attended the evening and Jules and I had the opportunity to share our roles and points for prayer going forward.
It was a really encouraging time and the players shared their small group bible study experiences. It was exciting to hear their passion to want to grow in Christ and how their walk with Christ is so much more important than golf. We then prayed for each other.
A month after qualifying for this 36-hole Order of Merit Pro-Am, I was back at Deer Park to do it all over again. A course I always enjoy and was looking forward to the two days ahead. The top 25 players in the country along with the 25 qualifiers make up the 50-player field for the professional event and this is a good test of where your game is compared to the better players.
On the first day I was playing in a fourball and we were blessed with some decent weather for a change. These events always work on a shotgun start due to the number of teams playing over the 2 days, so we started at the 16th hole which means there is no announcement on the tee, just a horn that sounds at the allocated tee time.
Early on in the round I got to chatting with one of the group about my role with Logos and was encouraged that he was also a Christian. This led to sharing a brief testimony on the 4th hole which does not happen very often but is nice to share your own story when you get the chance. Overall we enjoyed a decent game and everyone contributed to the team score at some point so we ended up with a respectable 6 under which, although it did not win any prizes, was by no means the worst score of the day. I exchanged contact details with the Christian and will keep in touch with him going forward regarding any future developments in that area.
Due to my score on the first day I was out in the afternoon with the leaders on day 2, so it was nice not to have to get up too early. I was to start at the 11th hole that day which is not too far from the clubhouse, so not far to walk before teeing off which is always a bonus with shotgun events.
I was playing with two good players that afternoon. One was a 5 handicap and the other used to play on the Alps tour but was no longer a pro and now played off Scratch. One of them asked me on the tee where I was based due to my attachment, so this gave me an opportunity to explain my role as we had a 10 minute wait before we teed off. The guys did not really say anything else about it so I did not push things after that.
The otherplayer was a very good ball striker and you could tell he was a quality player from the off. Sometimes it can be difficult when a playing partner is striking the ball so well and you feel you need to keep up with them, but I have learned only too well that the score on the card is what counts and everyone benefits from playing to their own strengths rather than trying to do it like someone else.
The weather did not help us after the first few holes and it got extremely wet for the remainder of the round. The course was touch and go with greens filling up but we continued on with the help of the greenkeepers rolling the greens to keep the water at bay.
A final round of 1 over for me in difficult conditions was a decent score and I was happy with 19th place overall. For just a team of 3 players, another team score of 6 under was a good result also in those conditions.
I have felt a real calming influence over my golf recently and I know God is with me more than ever, especially in the difficult circumstances. It’s very easy to wait till things are a mess before we turn to God but as soon as we feel anything coming against us we should pray right away for peace of mind to see clearly, and then we can effectively tackle the job at hand.
Because of this I now enjoy the adversity in my golf because I see it as a challenge to overcome instead of a problem stopping me from my goal. It has been said that ‘golf is not a game of perfect’ and I would argue that could be said of life itself. Every golfer plays best when he realises what shots he can get the best results from and this is course management at its best. Prayer definitely helps with our life management.
Please pray for future meetings and those mentioned in this report.
In His service,
Vincent Brown, PGA Professional on the Tartan Tour
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Porsche European Open Green Eagle GC Hamburg July 25 – 27
A good week in Hamburg …. As ever at the ‘smaller’ events, although at €2 million prize fund that might be something of a misnomer, but you know what I mean, I am able to get around more easily without the entourages that are prevalent at the ‘bigger’ tournaments …
We had a super little bible study outdoors at the Players Lounge, with six in attendance. I was also able to meet up 1-to-1 with a caddie, who doesn’t have the luxury of dictating where and when he is at work … We had a look at the passage in Exodus 4 [verse 14] at why God burned with anger whilst he in the same breathe had made preparation for Moses to fulfil His plan for him … Good discussions ensued >>>
On the outreach front it was good to see another player again. He hasn’t had a card to play on the main Tour this year and has been dipping in and out, but he was as open as always and is super to chat with …
I also came across another old friend, who continues to be keen to talk when on his own but is like a cat on a hot tin roof when others are around in case I mention something about God >>> I think it’s called denial?
There were also meaningful catch-ups with some caddies I’ve mentioned several times before. Our courtesy car man was also there and so it was good to pursue his thoughts on Jesus … Do keep praying for these people as they know ‘about’ God …..
Next Tournament; Challenge Tour in my home town, Ballymena – where my travel expenses are very high as I have to cross the road, I go through shoe leather at quite a rate, and I wear very expensive shoes …
‘Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.’ Exodus 4:14
Ken Revie, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour. Catch Ken by email on Tastylia