Rowallan 36 Hole PGA Event – 9th & 10th May, 2017
The PGA events have been a bit later in starting due a lot more of the events being played later on this year around September and October. I think this is due to weather conditions and it being milder at that time of year compared to March and April. This might work quite well and could be the template for future seasons, especially with the winter alliance events running up to April anyway.
I had never played Rowallan Castle before and was interested to play a Colin Montgomerie course for the first time. A practise round on the Friday before definitely helped as there were a lot of holes that required specific tee shots due to well placed bunkers. Monty obviously imagined how he would have played the course and accuracy was a big part of his game.
The first day I played with Michael from Edzell and Campbell from Strathclyde Park. There was not much conversation during the game until the end of the round, but on the 1st Tee I got to chat to the guys about what I was doing as Michael was sure we’d played together before and he asked me to remind him of what I was up to these days. Always good to get in there early. When we got to the second hole I experienced some adversity that seemed to follow me through the round but when I look back on it I smile and just shake my head. I hit my ball into the hazard on the second hole which I thought may have caught up on the bank and not actually went in. As I stopped to look and crossed over the hazard I parked the trolley. While I was looking I heard Campbell shouting, ‘Vincent, your bag!’. As I stood on the other side of the burn I witnessed my bag rolling into the water and almost fully submerging without being able to do much about it. When I finally fished it out and emptied the water I then had to go back to play another ball which resulted in a 7 at the par 3. I looked on the positive side that it was a nice warm day so everything dried within a few holes. Small Mercies.
By the time I got to the 11th hole I was still only 4 over so had played all the other holes in even par and felt quite good but then experienced something that believe it or not has helped me more than anything this year. I made an 11 on the 11th hole. Yes, that is correct and yes it helped me a great deal. The hardest hole on the course has out of bounds all the way down the left of the hole and I have been fighting a slight pull recently. I tried to trust the swing but the balls just kept going out of bounds. After this experience I was still able to finish the final half a dozen holes in 1 over and mulled over how I could have prevented what happened. It wasn’t till the second day that I understood why this happened and what needed to change.
I have always been a great believer in what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and when you read the scriptures it is filled with stories of individuals overcoming tremendous adversity to fulfil God’s purpose. My adversity is nothing compared to what they went through but it is my own personal fight and one that I try and do on my own maybe too often. I don’t give up easily and always try to keep going but as I was playing my second round with a young lad from Paisley called Euan, it became clear what I must do.
Euan is just staring out in his career, and at 17 years old I could see the enthusiasm and desire to do well. I was able to chat to him briefly regarding my role but I could see his mind was focused on the game more than anything and talking about the top professionals and how good they are. We were both playing fairly well, and I managed to make it by the 2nd hole with a dry bag! What I could see in Euan was myself 25 years ago. So eager to play well and getting very frustrated when things don’t go your way. He was being very hard on himself and openly admitted he lets bad shots get to him. As I have gotten older and hopefully a bit wiser, I am not anywhere as bad as I used to be, but from making an 11 on a hole when not playing that badly and watching Euan at his young age, I realised that I was still trying too hard and my expectations were too high for now. I need to play to my strengths and look at the best route for me, not so much how someone else does it. Everything that is worth while takes time and I know God’s plan for the ministry will work hand in hand with my own performance and the example I will set for others no matter where it is.
I encouraged Euan not to let things get to him so much as I was speaking from experience and know it will not help him to be so hard on himself. He seemed to take it well and I hope I see him again soon to keep encouraging him.
Another positive note was that I got the chance to speak with 6 of the Professionals who I was planning to invite to the Pro-Am this year and all of them responded positively to attending in September. Only a few more to speak with and then we will have our full compliment of Professionals for the event.
Please pray for myself, the Pro-Am and those mentioned in this report.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador to the Tartan Tour
To get in touch with Vincent email firstname.lastname@example.org