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Ladies’ Scottish and British Opens – August 2018

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.

http://gty.im/965152118

Alison Nicholas

 

DEER PARK MASTERS – AUGUST 2018

Deer Park Masters – 31/7 & 1/8

This is one of the better events of the year due to the location and the hospitality that’s put on over the two days. It’s almost worth qualifying just for the food and always a pleasure to return to Deer Park for this order of merit event.

Our team of four started at the 17th hole which is not too far from the clubhouse and it was a pleasant surprise to see one of them who used to be a member of Westerwood many years ago.

We got off to a good start right away and I did manage to briefly chat to one of the players regarding my role and the Logos Pro-Am before and after teeing off. I still felt my movement was not where it should have been after my last outing here but I was getting away with it and the guys were good to play with due to the relaxed nature of the group.

After a few 3 putts I managed to keep things going till the back 9 but definitely not feeling 100%. The team were doing great and Ian especially pulled off some great shots in the middle of the round to set us up for a good finish. Two of the other players chatted to me more regarding my role as foster carer but I’m always happy to share anything about my life for those willing to listen.

Over the last few holes I could sense the guys were flagging so gave them all a target for 3 birdies for the last 3 holes. This gave us a bit of a lift and everyone gave it one last charge which resulted in exactly that. A true team performance and a score that would not be beaten that morning. We finished winners and that allowed us to enjoy lunch even more and also gave a special mention for Logos at the prizegiving!

As we sat there chatting about the day, I was pleased to have helped the guys to a winning score and especially surprised by one of them sending me an email that night saying how much he enjoyed the day and also my Logos reports! Great to hear.

I had mentioned to my wife the next morning that I was still not feeling right and it wasn’t just the movement I was talking about. I wasn’t sure if I was coming down with something but you probably know the feeling that you cant quite put your finger on it, just something a bit off.

Nevertheless, I made my way to the course for day two and as I was sitting just about halfway in the field I thought a good round could maybe get me a top 10 finish. Hitting balls felt ok and putting felt ok but I knew in my mind the focus was slightly off.

I sat with a few of my fellow pros for lunch and we spoke about Jarrod Lyle’s cancer situation which is not going to end well. I gave the opinion that at least his family would get the chance to say goodbye to him and I got some funny looks with one guy saying “You’re supposed to make people feel better Vin”. I was trying to convey that loss sometimes can be worse if it’s sudden and at least the family can prepare. Not sure they all agreed.

As I met my team at the 14th tee I got the chance to share with them about my work, but in mid conversation one of them stopped me a said, ‘Oh we don’t need the full story’. This really bothered me as I’ve always been quite respectful if someone is talking but I quickly finished what I was saying and we started.

Quite early on I was struggling a bit and no matter what I tried it just wasn’t working. I was still striking the ball ok but it was offline enough to be a problem. One of the players chatted to me a bit regarding his experience of adopting a child and how he found the experience very drawn out. He was almost at the stage of giving up on it but then they got their newborn after nearly two years. So often we are ready to give up on what life throws at us but just another example to keeping going to achieve the goal.

I kept going myself during the second round despite not feeling great and now my neck movement began to become very stiff. I kept going for the guys in the team and now half way through the back 9 the rain started coming down which just summed up the day. On the last hole I hit my drive over the trees on the right but thought there would have been plenty of room to play from. As I got down there I realised my ball must have caught the top of the trees and went out of bounds. As the rain became stronger I made the decision not to go back to hit another as this was the last hole and I was about 10-over for the round so not going to make any difference to the outcome. A bit of a contrast from the previous day, but just life in general at its best.

After a good showing at the event last year, I was very disappointed but nothing much you can do when you’re not firing on all cylinders. The strange thing about it was I went out the next day and hit the ball great in practise with no adverse affects. No point in dwelling on the past and I now look to the next event which I will do everything I can to get back on track.

Please pray for the future of the ministry and for those mentioned in this report,

In His service,

Vincent

Vincent Brown, PGA Professional on the Tartan Tour
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email vb@logosgolfministries.com

 

 

Scottish Open & The Open – July 2018

Scottish Open and The Open – July 2018

What a fortnight in Scotland! It’s been a privilege to have been involved for the full duration of both the Scottish Open and The Open – the first time I’ve worked at both of those events in the same year. They were staged at two links courses – Gullane and Carnoustie – totally deserving of top level golf, with the sun shining almost continuously throughout adding to everyone’s enjoyment.

Let’s start with the Scottish Open in Gullane, East Lothian – a region of Scotland known for its amazing golf courses. With this being a lucrative Rolex event and also a handy warm-up opportunity for The Open, there was a formidable field. Masters champion Patrick Reed played, as did the likes of Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, who had won at Gullane in 2015.

On the Wednesday before the Scottish Open, seven of us met for Bible study at a table in the sun outside the players’ lounge. Present were three players, a caddie, a coach, me and Ken Revie – the man who faithfully served in the LOGOS chaplaincy role before me. As I said to Ken, the amount of people who came to him as he walked along the practice range that day was testament to how good a job he had done establishing real relationships with those on the European Tour.

Scottish Open at Gullane

The seven of us read and reflected together on Exodus 3; the story of Moses being called by God from the burning bush. We reminded each other to be listening out for God’s voice and call, to have the confidence and faith to accept the calling and not to underestimate the power of the God who leads us into and through the calling. Afterwards we prayed together and it was heartening to do that as the busy-ness of the Scottish Open build-up went on around us.

One of the other highlights of the Scottish Open week was spending some time with one of the staff on the European Tour. He is extremely interested and supportive of the work and I’m so encouraged by that as we move forward.

The Open at Carnoustie was equally meaningful in some of the same ways and in some different ways. As many of you will know, The Open championship is referred to as ‘the one true test’ and arguably the best major of them all. All the big names were in the field, including a certain Mr Woods!

The Open at Carnoustie

The magnitude of the event means that everyone seems busier and more focused than at other regular events, yet it was great that five of us were still able to put all that to one side for 45 minutes on the Wednesday. Only one of the players we normally meet with had managed to qualify for the Open; so he joined us, as did a caddie, a coach, and a member of the European Tour logistics team.

‘Be part of forever’ had been the 2018 Open’s catchphrase on their advertising, so I thought it was an appropriate chance for us to be reminded how, as Christians, we really can go into every day knowing we can ‘be part of forever’ through the eternal life promised to us through Jesus Christ. Again, we finished our meeting with a time of prayer and also a parting encouragement for us all to ‘Be still and know that I am God’ amidst a whirlwind week.

During the week of The Open there were other good opportunities to let some other Seniors Tour players know about the work on the European Tour. They are very open about their faith and were pleased to hear what goes on. I also had good chats with a Christian PGA Tour player from the USA, and a Christian caddie for another PGA Tour player.

At both the Scottish Open and The Open, I stayed on for the full events to fulfil BBC Scotland duties, and I was encouraged further about how the two roles continue to compliment each other.

I’m currently on holiday with family but look forward to resuming the Christians in Sport/LOGOS work at the Czech Masters near Prague towards the end of August.

Thanks for your support and prayers over this busy July!

Kenny

Kenny Crawford, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour.  You can follow Kenny on Twitter here.

DEER PARK MASTERS QUALIFYING – JULY 2018

Deer Park Masters Qualifying – 10/7

Having already played Deer Park this year in what was very tricky conditions, it was nice to go back to the course that seemed more familiar to me this week. A change in the weather brought some welcome cloud coverage and as usual the course was in very good condition.

I was pleased to play with a good friend. Due to a call off in our group it was only the two of us along with his caddy, He already knows the background to Logos and as we got going I chatted about the Pro-Am for this year and how we still had a few team spaces left but were making good progress.

He is more than happy to come along again and I was asking his opinion on who else to invite including some lady professionals. We were both agreed that I should try and get at least two along with teams attending due to Alison Nicholas being present, so he gave me a few names to think about which helps the process.

I knew early on in this round that my swing was not as comfortable as usual and had to make a decision to play smart golf rather than pretty golf. The task was to get it round and not take on anything that could cost me the chance of qualifying. The difference in playing a round like this is you have to putt well and that was something I had been struggling with recently.

After holing a 20-footer on the 3rd and then a difficult 6-foot par putt on the 4th, I knew my putting was in decent shape and I felt comfortable with it for the first time in a while. After working hard to get the toe of the putter more flush to the ground, it was finally paying off. Looking forward to when the swing comes back again and then its open season.

I managed to give the caddy a quick rundown of my life and work which got some funny looks but in there was a hint of respect which was something I suppose. He commented on how well I was getting it round and I explained I felt I was having to force it due to not swinging well. I could feel my neck becoming quite painful and this was a result of not being able to release the club properly and over compensating. I was not going to give up on this round though as I knew I could do it despite the developing injury.

I have mentioned recently having great peace of mind on the course and this situation was no different. I could’ve focused on the negatives and had a good old whinge to God that this was not fair, but sometimes we just need to play the hand we have as best we can, and one outcome is for sure – God is always there with us despite the situation or the outcome.

My playing partner struggled towards the end with the driver and this cost him the chance of qualifying with a ball out of bounds at the 15th. I was just focused on keeping the ball in play and played through the pain to post 2 over and a very satisfying finish to the round despite 3 putting the last for bogey. Job done and looking forward to the event at the end of the month. We both agreed to catch up again and I will definitely see him over the summer.

Please pray for those mentioned and for the ministry in the year ahead.

In His service,

Vincent

Vincent Brown, PGA Professional on the Tartan Tour
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email vb@logosgolfministries.com

 

 

 

 

ASI SCOTTISH OPEN QUALIFYING – JULY 2018

ASI Scottish Open Qualifying (Longniddry)  – 7/7-8/7

With the Scottish Open returning to Gullane this year, qualifying was at Longniddry Golf Club just a few miles along the road. Having never played the course before I went for a practice round on the Friday and was pleasantly surprised.

I was due to play on my own for the practise round but after I hit my opening shot I was joined by a player who I had never seen before and he was also on his own. He introduced himself and we strolled down the 1st hole giving me a great opportunity to tell him all about myself, Logos and the Pro-Am this year.

He currently plays on the Challenge Tour and it was good to play a practice round with such a good player and even better to get to know him a bit. We had plenty to chat about and I gave him my card so that he could get in contact when back in town. I look forward to our next meeting.

A really pleasant round in beautiful sunshine gave me a good feel for the course.  On the first round of the event I was paired with two guys I have come across before at points and knew this was going to be a quiet round. For the front 9 there was very little conversation at all. There was the odd small talk about the World Cup but I knew the guys were not interested in my work and thought it best to leave it there.

I’ve not played in many games where so little has been said but this had to be the one that sticks out for me and nothing much you can do but play your game and be as courteous as possible. A poor finish to the round left me 8 shots off the lead, but there was still a chance of moving up the field with a good second round. The putting stroke is getting better but still too many 3 putts to make a challenge. I bumped into a friend at the clubhouse and he gave me a couple of pointers that backed up what I had been practising, but I’m still finding it difficult to consistently make the right stroke. It’ll get there.

The second day was very refreshing as I was playing with two young lads. Normally younger guys don’t really say that much during a round but right from the start they both asked about my attachment and for about 6 holes I was talking to each of them on and off about my life, faith and golf.

It’s great to have these moments on the course and especially when the boys appeared genuinely interested. One of them struggled a bit on the back 9 but the other and I played fairly solid and each of us bettered our scores from day one.

During this event I also bumped into a pro and fellow believer. We hadn’t seen each other for a while but it was good to invite him along to the Archerfield Pro-Am and, all things going well, he’ll be there. It was great that he enjoyed my reports over the season and it means a lot to have his support in all aspects.

Please pray for the ministry and the Logos Pro-Am this year.

In His service,

Vincent

Vincent Brown, PGA Professional on the Tartan Tour
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email vb@logosgolfministries.com

 

 

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – JUNE 2018

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Kemper Lakes, Chicago – 26th – 28th June 2018

Last week I was in the USA teaming up with Cris Stevens of Global Golf Ministries in a planned fellowship and Bible study time at the tournament site.

Time was spent connecting with many players, caddies and Tour staff from Europe and America which gave me the opportunity to let people know my plans to be out on Tour again this year representing Logos Golf Ministries as a fieldworker.

The fellowship and Bible study took place in the clubhouse at Kemper Lakes and 7 people attended – made up of players, tournament staff and past players. It was great to open the Bible and discuss passages from 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, Romans 12:10 and 2 Timothy 1:6-7, encouraging and challenging each other to excel still more in love, so others can see the difference in us as we continue to strive to be more Christ like.

I had the opportunity to share my experiences at major tournaments from a spiritual and playing perspective and everyone joined in the discussion. We ended the meeting by praying together.

I look forward to my next event in Scotland where I can continue to build on the connections made in the USA, both new and old.

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Alison Nicholas

FRENCH OPEN – JUNE 2018

Open de France, Paris – 27-29 June 2018

Hype surrounded this year’s Open de France because the course upon which it is played – Le Golf National – is the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup in September. Several big-name players were in the field with the added objective in mind of getting a proper peak at the course in advance of the iconic event in September.

World number two Justin Thomas (USA) was there, as were Jon Rahm (Spain), Graeme McDowell (NIR), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Ian Poulter (Eng) and Sergio Garcia (Spain). Le Golf National is a beautiful course, but a tough one, and the 25mph wind on a scorching Thursday made scoring difficult. Only 14 players in a field of 150+ finished in red numbers after the first round. The rough was unforgiving and it will be interesting to see if it is cut back slightly for the Ryder Cup.

On Wednesday, four of us – two players, a European Tour support staff member and I – had an encouraging hour studying Matthew chapter 8 and praying together. The phrase leading our time was ‘faith and following’, delving into the chapter and looking at the different stories in which varying levels of ‘faith and following’ manifested themselves.

There was the leper (v 1-4), the centurion (v 5-13), the teacher (v 18-22) and the disciples (v 23-27). Working our way through each of those four short accounts, we noted and reflected on examples of amazing faith, wavering faith, dedicated following of Jesus, or following that was outmuscled by other priorities. Laced through all that were constant reminders of the power, consistency, hope and reliability there is in Jesus Christ.

The notes from this study were circulated to five more people not present at the Open de France; two players and two caddies competing in the Asian Tour event in Thailand, and a golf coach often present on the European Tour.

On Thursday, during duties with the equipment survey, there was an unexpected conversation with a caddie. His response to hearing that I was involved in a Christian role was that some of his grown-up children find church meaningful back in the UK, therefore he has a healthy respect for the Christian faith.

Later on Thursday evening, I had a chance to catch up with a player-caddie partnership who I’ve regularly met with and got to know quite well. This was a shorter get-together, but an equally valuable one, particularly from the perspective of offering encouragement when it was needed.

So, all in, a lot squeezed into a couple of days and God blessed us in many ways. Through study, through fellowship, through unexpected conversations, through success in tasks needing completed and through safety in travel. I am thankful to Him for all of that. He definitely ‘goes before’ us.

A sincere thanks again to those who pray and support this role on the European Tour, which is continuing to be such a worthwhile one.

Amy, Jessica and I are having a week’s holiday in Scotland now, before a busy fortnight at the Scottish Open and The Open. At both I will stay on for the full week for BBC Scotland duties.

Bye for now, Kenny

Kenny Crawford, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Tour.  You can follow Kenny on Twitter here.

Belleisle and Bathgate ProAm – June 2018

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,

Vincent

ASI Scottish Par 3 – June 2018

The first I had heard of this event was during a call to my friend after the Northern Open. He had contacted me to say unlucky for just missing out on the final day and then proceeded to invite me to attend Paul Lawrie’s Par 3 tournament held at his own course in Aberdeen. Although it was short notice I felt that I should attend and what a great little event to be part of.

I asked for a late time on the Thursday so that I would only be away for 1 night and this also allowed me to travel up that morning. On arrival I was blown away by how the event was organised and I suppose this is due to the host trying to make it similar to a tour event set up. Although this was a par 3 tournament over a 9 hole course, you could have been forgiven for thinking we were at the biggest event of the year due to crowds, sponsors boards round each tee and in particular, a Players Lounge. Very well done.

We were to play the 9 hole course twice each day and after looking online at the layout of the course I was thinking how hard could this course be with the longest hole at just over 200 yards. I then saw some of the scores earlier that day and knew it was to be much harder than anticipated. It was the day of the high winds that battered most of Scotland and the wind never really went away all day. Apparently we had it easier in the afternoon but I don’t see how the wind could have been worse than we had it that evening. A well struck 3 wood going 165 yards says it all.

I was playing with a European tour player and former British Amateur Champion and I could tell right away how good a player he was. It didn’t take long for us to chat about our stories and its incredible how someone half my age has already played on Tour and even more impressive, The Masters, US Open and The Open. My golfing CV was just a bit less illustrious but my personal story caught his attention and he liked to hear that my wife and I were helping kids who needed the help. He didn’t mention much about my Logos story but it was a good interaction.

We really struggled in what was borderline conditions but this was a fun course to play and all you can do when its like that is get on with it. At times it felt like crazy golf but was really enjoyable and both of us almost made holes in one at the 100 yard 7th/16thdespite being downwind to a half island green. Only 1 professional out of the field broke par and that shows just how tough it was. Feeling a bit hard done by, we both finished our last hole and were glad to get in after losing to the course that day. We would get another crack at it tomorrow and the forecast was slightly better.

A drinks reception was held at a local hotel that evening and this gave me a chance to catch up with some friends and network a little. Two there are coming to the Logos Pro Am this year but I got chatting to one of the Loch Lomond Whiskey reps regarding Logos and he was very interested in this due to his family having ties with the Church of Scotland. As we chatted he expressed interest in attending the event and also providing some prizes courtesy of the distillery. Loch Lomond Whiskies is now a major sponsor for some of the big events this summer and they are really trying to put themselves on the map with the branding. A really positive chat and unexpected to say the least.

Day 2 was a bit calmer but still a very strong west wind to keep us on our toes. As I was hitting balls on the range I got that chance to chat with a former European Tour player, who is from the Aberdeen area, and I wanted to ask him about potential venues for a Logos Pro Am in the North. There was always a vision about have a few events around the country so that we were reaching all areas, and he felt our best venues would probably be Royal Aberdeen or Trump. Personally I think Royal Aberdeen sounds better but we wont get political. He was more than happy to support the event and I definitely think this is something to pray about for next year or the year after.

I was playing with Michael from Elgin for the 2ndround and we got off to a reasonable start despite ‘the breeze’. Michael is a really easy going guy and it was great to chat with him during our game. It turns out he has family that stay round the corner from me, so next time he is down we will definitely meet up and have a few holes at Dullatur. Always good to sow a new seed and it lays the foundation for more in-depth discussion. We managed to shave off some shots from our first round and both posted 3 over for the second round which shows just how difficult a little course this is. During the event I used every club in the bag apart from the driver and that gives an indication of how different each shot was over the course of the two days. This is a testament to the variation of the holes and slopes round about them which is a cracking par 3 course that tests the best.

I hope to return to this event and would encourage anyone who has not visited the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre to go and try it if you are ever in that area. I know that we will have a Logos event in the North East soon and I really feel God is going to work greatly in that area. Please pray for Logos Golf Ministries working throughout Scotland and beyond and for those mentioned in this report.

In his service,

Vincent

Northern Open at Nairn Dunbar – June 2018

It is quite sad that over the past few years now this event has ran without a sponsor. This is supposed to be the 2ndbiggest event on the Tartan Tour behind the Scottish PGA Championship, but with only 85 entries it shows that many professionals simply will not play due to the dwindling prizefund. The field used to be 150 players made up of Tartan Tour, Challenge Tour & Top Amateur golfers, but after expenses it’s only profitable by finishing in the Top 3!- I understand the lack of support.

I had never played Nairn Dunbar so it was good to get a practise round on the Monday to get a feel for the place. As I scooted round on my own I could see this was a very strategic course that required accurate driving. Very tight in places and certain sides you just could not miss the fairway. This was going to be a good challenge but I liked the course and felt I could do something round it. It was nice and calm during the practise day – never a good sign.

As I arrived for the tournament we were greeted by sunshine and blue sky and it was very warm. With a stiff breeze coming off the east it was going to be tricky but probably the easiest wind to play the course. I was playing with good young players so it was a great draw and got the chance right away to share something on the 1sttee. The Starter was just about to announce us when he came over to me and asked about the pronunciation of ‘Logos Golf Ministries’. This gave me the opportunity to go over what we do with everyone standing there and after I was finished the starter patted me on the back and said, “Good for you lad, well done”.

The front 9 was tough as we were into the wind most of the way, but the back 9 played a bit easier so some good opportunities to pick up some shots on the way in. Both Chris and Sam are quite chatty so we spoke quite a bit going round and I mentioned the Pro-Am again which Chris is definitely coming to play. We all played well coming in but I had dropped too many shots on the front to post a decent score. I would need to score under par on the second day to make the cut with there only being 30 places available.

After the round I got to chat with Chris’s friend, Ross Leeds, who is attached to Archerfield Links, and I asked him if he wanted to attend the Logos Pro-Am due to the fact that is his home course. He was more than happy to accept the offer and good to have a Professional from Archerfield present. Overall not a bad day but should really have been a few shots less.

After a good nights sleep, I was off a little earlier on day 2 so had breakfast early and headed to the practise ground. I bumped into Craig Ronald who was hitting balls just along from me and we chatted about the previous day and what was required for getting through. I knew that I would need around 2 or 3 under at least and was ready to give it a go anyway. Craig had attended the Logos Pro-Am last year and I felt he should come along again to hear Alison Nicholas so I took the opportunity to invite him again and he gladly accepted. Craig knows the story with what I do and the fact he is coming back again after hearing what Luther Blacklock had to say last year is very positive.

I was playing with Chris and Sam again so we could continue our chats from yesterday and got to know Sam a little better and his very dry sense of humour. He didn’t say much about my work after the chats from yesterday but he was impressed by the fact I am an ‘ambassador’ and thought this was very regal. As we made our way through the front 9 the boys struggled a bit, but I seemed to be the one setting the pace in the group and by the 12thhole I was under par. Chris was struggling but I gave him a quiet word and told him he was doing fine and to trust his game. He then proceeded to eagle the following hole and get himself back on track so I was glad to have helped a bit.

I knew I was still a few shots away from qualifying so needed a couple more birdies at least. Over the last few holes I missed a few 10 foot putts for birdies which would have put me in a really good position but was still in with a shout if I finished with a birdie 4 on the last hole. We were all feeling tired after another day of golf in quite blustery conditions, but we all hit decent drives and were left with mid-irons to the green. Both the boys were sitting around the 1 over par mark which was going to make it in comfortably but I was sitting at 5 over for the tournament after a bogey at 17, and knew I needed at least a birdie to finish. As I glanced at the board I could see that I now needed to make the 20 foot putt for the 3 to post 3 over for the tournament and be sure of getting through. I had a go at it anyway and unfortunately just misread the break so it left me 5 feet by the hole. I missed the return.

After play the boys congratulated me on a good second round and thought I was unlucky not to qualify with how I played. I was just hoping the cut didn’t go to 4 over as I wouldn’t have been happy 3 putting the last hole and missing by 1. The cut was 3 over, I needed the 3.

It’s disappointing to just miss it again this year but overall a very positive event with some good play and more important some good conversations. Please pray for those mentioned in this report and for the continued support of the Logos Pro-Am this year.

In his service,

Vincent