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Here at the Church of Golf we take all comers. We take sinners of many colours. You might be a chilli dipper or a shanker. You may even be a hooker or a slicer. We don’t care what your particular crime against golf is – cause there is a place for you here. We offer salvation from the lonely path they call the bogey trail.

We provide succour for the sinner who is way over par. The Church of Golf was built for the man and woman who is woe betide on that scorecard.

Revd. Scotty

The golfer who hath lost his or her way and requires the charity of the brethren of swingers. Ye shall not walk the course alone. Ye shall not suffer the indignities of failure without the helping hand of brother or sister. Golfers of the world unite under the banner of the crossed clubs and dimpled ball.

That flapping flag up yonder beckons to us all. The sweet perfume of promised birdies in the paradise of tomorrow. The soaring drive that clears the trees to land so softly upon the Lord’s fairway. The rolling putt that drops unexpectedly from long range.

These are the treasures inherent within the crucible if we can all just last the distance and turn the corner on our next round. Golf was never said to be easy. Golf was from the very beginning more challenging than any other activity of its kind. The game of golf – and is it really just a game – demands a great deal from its participants and adherents. Eighteen holes in which to do your best somehow. What is the significance of the number 18? Why did God choose to have 18 holes, with 18 greens and 18 tees? Two sets of 9 add up to 18.  Each 9 holes is a journey out in one direction. An expedition or adventure we all embark upon with hope in our hearts. Hope for the lightness of grace to fall upon our shoulders. That the round ahead may be touched by divinity or good fortune at the very least.

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A Sanctuary For Golfers

The hopeful golfer is an archetypal figure in the history of humankind. The fool, if you like, who sets out equipped with a bunch of clubs in a bag and hopefully enough balls.

This golfer sees the fairway ahead and peers into the horizon of his or her future. Will there be plain sailing in front of him? Will the path be fruitful or barren? Will her swing hold up over four plus hours? Will those putts drop or not? The future is not ours to see. We have no crystal ball despite the plethora of GPS devices now available. The journey of our hopeful golfer is akin to the lifelong journey undertaken by us all from the moment of birth.

From rattle in hand to pitching wedge we undertake the tasks ahead. We meet the challenges head on. We stand on that first tee with little more than hope in our hearts.

We might feel the breeze on our cheeks and ascertain the wind direction. We may say a little prayer for the dimpled ball at our feet. God bless you ball and may you find the fairway.

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Praying On the Pews at Golf’s Church

The Church of Golf offers an understanding pew upon which to seat your disappointments and unmet expectations.

For the game of golf is a hard task mistress or master. That scorecard is brutal in its insistence on only numbers telling the story. There is no space for excuses or caveats. There is no place for whys or why nots. Just figures and maybe crosses or dots.

Golf can lack the charity  necessary for humankind to flourish. Making the cut or striving to reach parity with your numerical handicap can be a torturous and brutal affair. The scorer and scorecard take no prisoners and provide no mercy for failure. You are either in or out, under or over par, there aint no exceptions to the rule. This does provide a certain stark clarity for which we can sometimes be grateful for. Prolonged failure, however, leeches love from the hearts of golfers. Continued underachievement can grate like skin from knuckles upon rock. The pain of poor golf can wash up on our wounds like vinegar. They say time is a great healer but bad golf can last a long, long time.

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Here at the Church of Golf we ask only one thing. Honesty. That you open up with frank and simple honesty about your dilemmas on the links. There is no healing and forgiveness without the truth. The Lord giveth and taketh away. Lies and obfuscation only prolong the pain. Your golfing slump may or may not have a reason. Acceptance and surrender are the only keys to open the doors of salvation. There is no judgement proffered here. We accept you totally in all your rankness. We accept your ineptness and inabilities with clubs and ball. We offer love and sanctuary from the harsh judgements of the scorecard. We provide a place for you to pray in silence for your salvation free from worldly expectations. This is your space for communion with God.

We wish for your reunion with your innate talent. We pray for your return from the golfer’s slump. From the wastelands where winds blow sand in the face of hope. From the watery hazards where pond scum stinks to high heaven and balls disappear never to be seen again.

We entreat thee Oh Lord to grant this golf sinner an even break. May the rub of the green go your way. May love loom large when next you seek a fairway. Let us all pray.

Golf Book Green Cathedral Dreams by Robert Sudha Hamilton

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