Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, 8 – 10 May 2018
The third trip of 2018 was to the Rocce Forte Sicilian Open at the Verdura Golf resort near Sciacca, on the south coast of Sicily. A combination of the sunny weather and the links set-up of the course made this a stunning venue for a European Tour event.
Many of the higher profile players chose not to put this on their schedule, preferring instead to have some rest or practice time at home as they gear up for Wentworth in a couple of weeks. Indeed, the players I had met up with on behalf of LOGOS / Christians in Sport at previous events in Madrid and Morocco opted not to travel to Sicily. However, my prayer was that God might let those circumstances mean that new relationships could be established.
On Wednesday morning, I had breakfast with a Christian caddie who had been at the previous events with a different golfer. This was a good one-to-one time to catch up on family, golf, and spiritual matters.
Throughout the couple of days there were several opportunities to briefly share about the LOGOS / Christians in Sport role with other golfers, caddies and some who work in media circles. Often, the short explanation doesn’t draw too many further questions, but it gets the cogs turning in peoples’ minds I’m sure!
I took the chance to walk round a few holes with four players on Wednesday afternoon – two of them Scots who I knew a little bit already. Given they were all just practising, it provided a lot of opportunities to chat to them about several things and all these times are so valuable in terms of relationship-building.
Thursday is always a very busy day helping with the equipment survey, but in the hour break between doing the morning starters and preparing for the afternoon starters, I met with another Christian golfer who had not played at the previous events in Morocco or Madrid. Unexpectedly, he introduced me to another golfer from Zimbabwe, and his American wife (who also caddies for him). That couple are Christians and there was much mutual encouragement from that crossing of paths.
Amongst other subjects, we reflected on the story of Zacchaeus and how although people might have written him off, he still “wanted to see who Jesus was”. Therefore we reminded each other not to assume that people on the tour are not interested in Christ, but take encouragement that sometimes the unlikeliest individual’s heart can be curious and ultimately transformed.
Overall, Sicily was a really worthwhile time and I’m heartened by the group of Christians who are emerging in this golfing world. I’m also thankful to God for answering the prayer that this event would still be meaningful, even without the players who I had met up with before.
Next week, I’m not at the event in Belgium, but the following week will be a big one at Wentworth for the PGA Championship. I’m staying on the full week for that to fulfil BBC Scotland responsibilities, too.
Thanks to all of you who are faithfully praying for me in this role, and be sure to know that, three events in, I’m already excited about how God is moving in and around the European Tour.
Bye for now, Kenny
Kenny Crawford, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour. Tastylia .