Originally printed in the Connexion’s Voice magazine
I have always respected our revered editor’s power of persuasion but when he asked me to show my support for Sierra Leone by coming on a golf day I thought I had an impregnable excuse – I had never played golf and felt no golf shaped hole in my life. Alas, that was brushed aside as an irrelevance and I found myself having signed up to play a game full of mysterious things like handicaps (I thought I had plenty of those) and tee shots. Our firstborn son, David gallantly agreed to join me and gently suggested that perhaps we should find a way of practising and so we visited a driving range a few times to learn which way up to hold the stick (properly called “clubs) and to discover the mysteries of hook (where the ball goes nowhere near the hole) and slice (where the ball goes nowhere near the hole but in the other direction)
The day dawned, glorious and beautiful, and along with our secret weapon – David’s Father-in Law who has a very low handicap which is apparently a very good thing – we made our slightly nervous way to Horsham. There we met up with a generally joyous and excited bunch of golfers and had great fellowship before we were called at the appointed time to “tee-off” (that means start.)
Dear reader, if I needed an assurance of God’s goodness the first hole was the place for it for here were a crowd of people watching for signs of talent and prowess. I addressed the ball, looked, in vain, for the hole and took a mighty swing. The ball flew like a startled partridge up into the blue sky and curled just the right amount round the corner towards the hole to the amazement of those who knew me and the admiration of those who did not. I probably should have retired on the spot but we can draw a veil over the rest of the day for what can I say about the attraction of water and the poor placing of trees. It was a brilliant day and tremendous fun and the odd good shot was incredibly satisfying and blotted out the memory of the many wayward ones!
The winner was The Sierra Leone Mission but the opportunities for fellowship and being out among some of the beauties that our Father has made were a great privilege and joy. I have learned enough about the game of golf to be able to enjoy it even if I haven’t worked out how to find the time for it yet and I am grateful to have been invited