The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open – Gullane Golf Club – July 25th – 27th July 2018
The first event in the UK for the 2018 season was a joint sanctioned tournament with the US LPGA & the Ladies European Tour at Gullane Golf Club. Cris Stevens, from Global Golf Ministries, joined me at Gullane as we partnered together to support the Christians on the Tour.
I was able to chat casually to players and build those relationships of trust which will enable me to continue to support the players at other co-sanctioned events in Europe when Global Golf Ministries cannot attend.
Cris had many one on one meetings with the US players to catch up and encourage them with their small group studies of the Sermon on the Mount. This study is helping them understand Jesus’s call to be salt and light and the importance of being different. They hope to show different characteristics to those around them to facilitate conversations about faith and then invite others to a fellowship meeting. Excitingly some Europeans who play in the US have shown an interest so prayer and building of these relationships is ongoing.
I was able to chat and build some old and new relationships with the European players who have shown some interest as well as sharing with others why I am out on Tour. I also connected with the staff of the Ladies European Tour and explained my presence at the event.
It was a good week and an encouraging time as relationship building is progressing to new levels which bodes well for the future.
The Ladies’ British Open – Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club – July 31st – Aug 2nd, 2018.
Cris & I travelled onwards to the Ladies British Open. The qualifying took place at St. Annes Old links with the encouraging news that many of the Christian players had qualified for the big event at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
We organised a fellowship dinner for the Tuesday evening at Lytham and 17 people came along (7 players, 2 LPGA staff, a parent and 5 caddies attended as well as Cris & me) and I gave a talk on the Sermon on the Mount. I encouraged the players to embrace the characteristics Christ wanted his followers to be and to do in Matthew 5 v 1, 2 and 13 – 16. A tough ask and one that challenged everyone – I expressed the need on a daily basis to live out afresh our identity in Christ and encouraged everyone to compete (or in whatever you do) for His pleasure.
I prayed that we will all be fully alive in Him as we take part in sport, reflecting His love and mercy. This counter cultural message of the Sermon on the Mount is difficult, but the encouragement was to embrace His word and be changed for a higher purpose so that we can make a difference which gives us the opportunity to share the gospel message to others.
It was a fun evening and conversations continued during the week as the players have been looking at Matthew’s gospel more deeply in their small groups. They have been challenged to perhaps think of a community project to get involved with so that difference (being salt and light) is played out in real life.
Unfortunately, a few players could not attend the fellowship as they were playing in the Pro-Am which started at 2pm, so Cris and I were able to connect with others the following night. More connections and relationship building took place throughout the remaining time we were at Lytham.
I was able to talk with a member of the Ladies European Tour staff who wanted to arrange a get together with me and the players to explain the purpose of why I was attending tournaments as she felt it was a good thing and would benefit the players. I am very excited about this, although we are only in discussions at the moment. This idea needs to be approved at a higher level and be thought through.
Next up, it’s the Evian Masters in September.