Alliance at Irvine Monday 3rd April & East v West Match Thursday 6th April 2017
With both of these days so close to each other I have combined the two reports into one. The last Alliance medal round was at Irvine and the East of Scotland V West of Scotland Match is always held at Bruntsfield Golfing Society Links, Edinburgh.
Irvine as always presented a stern test with yet more wind just for a wee change. I was paired with Frank and John who were decent single figure handicappers and I remembered them from about 20 years ago playing around the amateur circuit when I was just a lad. Frank remembered me right away but I had never really met John before, only knew his name from seeing it around back then. As we got going Frank asked me what I was up to these days which gave me a good chance to share about my life and where I was with my faith. The condensed version took about 5 minutes and I think I might have tried to squeeze too much in as I could see the shell-shocked look on his face, but he seemed to take it ok. John didn’t really say much, but again we had such strong winds that day so conversation was limited.
Each of us were playing in the East v West match a couple of days after so we used the round more like a bit of practise for that with the conditions worsening as the day went on. As we finished the round we were happy to get home and looked forward to a better forecast for Edinburgh. Not much else to mention about Irvine unfortunately but we take what we can get.
Every Alliance so far this year has been the windiest day of the week bar none and it has felt like a slog every time we have been out. Thankfully when we reached Edinburgh there seemed to be a calmer clear day on the horizon and this was the first day of the season that I had not needed to wear a waterproof suit. It was still chilly, but dry and playable, and I was very thankful for that. Before play I met with Crowwood Pro, Ian Graham and his father in the clubhouse. They were also playing for the West and I was able to sit and have a bacon roll and chat about how things were going. This gave me a good chance to talk about the family, work and the ministry to which they seemed quite intrigued. A good sharing time that I wasn’t expecting.
We play foursomes in the morning and then singles in the afternoon with one of our foursome opponents. My playing partner was Jim who is friends with Frank and John. Jim and I were playing against Colin and David from the East of Scotland and right away Jim started the conversation on the first tee. He asked me where I was playing my golf out of, hence the attachment, and this was just as half a dozen people gathered round us, including Colin and David, which allowed me to speak to about 6 people at that moment about my role with the ministry and my faith. It was quite a surreal moment but its amazing how these encounters come about. Jim then commented, “So your out spreading the word then.”
As we started our match Jim began to share with me about his family and how he introduced his children to their faith as he wanted them to have a choice as to what they wanted to believe in. I explained to him that I basically ran away from my faith for such a long time because I thought that was what I wanted then, but realised what a mistake I had made. Jim definitely gave me the impression that he has a ‘faith’ but is not quite sure of which denomination to trust. I spoke about how many times as Christians we can get lost in denominations when the real faith is in the title -CHRISTian, we believe in Christ. This is the basis of our faith in God and our salvation, and if we could just see past the cloudiness of denomination what a united and powerful people we could be. A good chat.
Jim and I managed to win our match in the morning and after lunch Colin and I played singles which gave us more time to converse. Colin didn’t really go there much regarding what I had said on the first tee that morning but spoke more about golf in general and his experiences in competitive golf. I managed to throw in a couple of small bites regarding the ministry during the afternoon, but there was no continued interest or questions so I left it alone until otherwise asked. After our match, which I lost on the last hole, we gathered in the Clubhouse for the presentation and I’m pleased to say the West retained the trophy, 13-11.
A long and tiring day playing 2 rounds but well worth it and I look forward to this match next year which gives some great opportunities due to the nature of the event. Please pray for those mentioned in this report and for God’s continued blessing on the ministry. His will, not mine.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
Contact Vincent by email firstname.lastname@example.org