Do We Need Olympians Who Take Stands for Christ?

I’m happy that Olympic Divers Steele Johnson, and David Boudia both won silver medals for their synchronized diving. I’m really impressed by what Boudia said. This is a wonderful story. I’m also grateful that both are brothers in Christ.

Where I get a bit wary with stories like this, is the implication that because they were “in Christ” that they won silver medals. They could have just as easily won the silver medals without Christ. In fact, there are many people who are doing that even this very day.

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NBA Shows Us the Nature of the Beast

The NBA announced on Thursday that they are pulling their All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC, for 2017 because of that state’s law that keeps pedophiles and perverts out of the women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Read the story here.

The NBA is perfectly free to make such a move. But it reveals two things about who they really are. The first is the more obvious: it shows that when it comes to morality, the NBA has cast its lot with evil doers. I have written on how commerce, and entertainment, are rooted in the worldly systems, and lack any real anchor to truth or morality. Through the league’s action, we are seeing this reality.

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Soccer, Easy to Understand, Hard to Play

As I sat watching my son play soccer, it dawned on me that soccer is not a complicated game. However, it is quite difficult. It is one thing to see what needs to be done in order to move the ball down the field and score. It is quite another getting 10 year olds to do it. But I guess the same could be said about a lot of sports, easy to grasp, hard to carry out. The following photos are of Andy’s (my son) team seeking to carry it out. They did quite well for a while, but their opponents finally overcame the sluggishness both teams were facing for playing so late on a Saturday. The Gunners lost, 3-1.

Andy got to be a team captain and witness the coin toss.

10/10 Soccer 002

10/10 Soccer 003

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Golf and the Meltdown

I did it again yesterday. I was approaching the Number 9 hole at Spring River Golf Course with a personal best 47 strokes for the front 9. For those of you who do not golf, this means that I was approaching mediocrity in my golf game as opposed to just bad golf. But for me, it was a big deal. My goal is to shoot less than 50 on the front 9 and back nine for a score less than 100 by the end of the year.

My goal yesterday was to shoot a 54 or less on the front nine. I learned a trick from my brother while playing golf out in Arizona with him. Realize what your game is, then set your own par accordingly. It’s the same principle that many use to figure a handicap, which is used in amateur golf all the time. My brother’s method was to set a 5 stroke limit for every hole. Five ends up being his par. Well, I know I’m not going to do that well, so I set a 6 hole limit for every hole, which would have given me a 54 for 9 holes.

Six is my par. That takes the pressure off me to obtain what I cannot obtain in the real game, a true par. Doing this gives the golfer a psychological advantage in that when you come to a par 4 and you decide it is a par 6, the pressure is off to make 4. To make a true par you cannot muff a single shot for the hole. To make a true par for each hole, your tee shot has to be really good, along with your mid-range shot, your short shot onto the green and your first putt. 90 percent of golfers cannot do that, especially given that most of the game is played in the six inches between one’s ears. (With my par at six, I actually hit a par on the Sixth hole. That truly helped my score.)

This is why handicaps were introduced. We may see great golfers like Tiger Woods shoot a 68 on any given day, but most golfers are not great. In fact, statistics show that 90 percent of all golfers never break an 80, and only about 75 percent of all golfers ever break 100.

My brother shot a 102 when we played, so he is above average, and falls into the 25 percent that do break into the double digits. It was the first time he has golfed in 4 years, so I imagine if he continues, he will drop back into the double digits.

Breaking 100 is my goal and I was trying to take a baby step toward that goal yesterday, just shoot 54 or less on the front 9. That goal was in reach when I came off the green at number 8 and headed for the tee box of 9. To be honest, butterflies begin bouncing in my stomach as I approached number 9. When it comes to Spring River Golf Course, number 9 has witnessed some of my biggest meltdowns. You could say that hole is doing her duty in getting inside my head, because she is there, sitting on a bucket, just laughing in my face when it comes to my game.

I tried not to listen to her. My mind immediately jumped to the facts. I have a 47, I simply need to finish the hole with 7 strokes to reach my goal. That is truly doable. In fact, I’ve done it before. I scored a par on this very hole… o so many months ago. She just laughed and shouted “meltdown!” I couldn’t get that word out of my head.

I teed up the ball, relaxed, took several easy practice swings and then launched my shot. I hit it well, but just slightly to the left and into the trees. “No problem,” I thought. “Just another opportunity for greatness to follow.”

Then I had to wait. There were four golfers ahead of me that I had not had to wait for since passing the elderly foursome back on the fourth hole (which is where my game really began to improve.) I had to wait to take my second shot… and I began thinking.

As every golfer knows, you must concentrate on your game because the most important aspect of the game is mental. Or is Yogi Berra once proclaimed, “90 percent of the game is half mental?” But to think too much about the game is catastrophic. In other words, you need to concentrate, but not think too much.

I was thinking too much. I thought I could hit my second shot along the tree line and get it closer to the green for an easy chip shot. That wasn’t clear thinking. I should have aimed for the middle of the fairway for the longer, but easier followup shot. Instead, my second shot went right along the tree line until it hit another tree and ended up behind a small burn.

OK,” I thought. “Wait for the foursome to get off the green and put the ball right up on it.” Again, I was still thinking too much. I should have shot for the front of the green, then my chip shot instead of trying to go for the green.

Again, another tree. The ball went left again and now I had bunkers to worry about.

The next shot went to far to the right, but actually landed with an easy chip shot onto the green. If I got the ball onto the green and two putted, things would be well. But it was too late. By now, the pressure inside my head to finish off the hole meant that the nerves between my brain and muscles were no longer firing as they should. I wanted so bad to finish off this hole so well, that my muscles could no longer function. The chip shot flew over the green and to the fence. I was officially in meltdown mode.

I haven’t figured out how to break the cycle. But I do know the feeling really well. I could tell what I needed to do, but my muscles, hands and arms couldn’t do it. Every swing was filled with an unbeatable tension, followed by complete disgust at the results. I even ended up in the sand bunker, twice. Normally, I can play the bunkers well, but not in meltdown mode.

Instead of getting on the green in 4 strokes, it took me 9 strokes. I was utterly defeated. The goal of 54 was long gone and Number 9 was dancing around me shouting “Meltdown! Meltdown!” 

OK,” I thought with futility once again. “Just 2 putt and everything will be well.” Only problem, I couldn’t putt either. Another normally descent aspect of my game had left me. It took me three strokes to get the ball in. Instead of getting my my 54, I ended up with my normal 59. What looked like it would be a good 9-holes of golf, was shattered with one hole. Number 9 had won. She had done her duty and humiliated me. I couldn’t help but think that had I had just found one decent stroke in all of that, I could have come away with something. But even my putting was putrid.

That’s why the call it a “meltdown.” It’s purely psychological. It’s not as though the ability isn’t there physically, but the hole itself truly is inside my head like a giant mountain standing between me and my goal.

I’ve talked to other golfers about it. Zach, who works in the pro shop, said that is the hardest part of golf. Getting over the psychological barriers we face is what makes the game so difficult. Good golfers find a way to play through it. I haven’t yet discovered the ability to do so. I know when I’m in meltdown mode, but haven’t found a way through it.

I know when I do… I will score a 54 or even better. But until then… I will have to face the meltdown again.

I did try to play the back 9. But I must confess the joy had left me. I was truly having a good time on the front 9. I did manage to get the ball on the green on Number 13, which is a par 3. But I 5 putted to get it in.

By the time I hit my tee shot off Number 15, the joy was completely gone. So much so, that the thought of a turkey sandwich sounded much more appealing than finishing out the round of golf. I picked up my ball and headed for home.

Here is a clip from the movie about Bobby Jones, the greatest golfer ever to live.

Here is one on the life of Bobby Jones.

Something About 100!

In golf, it’s shooting below 100.

In bowling, it’s shooting above 100.

I can do neither… and my son did just fine!

I took the family bowling yesterday. They local bowling alley offers free bowling with shoe rental, so we took advantage of it. Our shoe rental ended up costing only 50 cents more than one game per person. Needless to say, we were all over that one.

What surprised me was how horrible I have become at the game. I use to own my own ball. I use to be in a league. I use to be in shape. I use to be able to bowl a decent game. By decent, I mean in the 100s. I have even bowled two games above 200. Both of those games came in college when I was at A&M. I bowled a 214 on a date night, and 268 when a friend and I just went for the fun of it. Yes, the 268 was real. It was one of those nights where we were drinking, ahem, adult beverages which were served by the bowling alley, and the more I drank my pitcher of beer (he didn’t drink), the better I got. That really angered my buddy. I just relaxed, laughed and had a great time.

But I can’t do that any more. I was struggling to keep up with Andy AND Joey. Both got off to an early lead and Joey led into the 3rd frame. He tired of the game by the sixth frame and Andy took the lead. Andy finished out the game with 101. I needed 16 pins to catch him. I got the spare I needed. All that was left, was a decent shot down the middle to pick up 6 pins for the tie, and more for the win. Did I do that? Of course not. Barely picked up 3 pins and finished with a 98. Since Joey quit playing, that means I came in dead last. Yes, my bowling glory days (should I use the plural there?) are all behind me now. But if I work on Andy, maybe someday he will be ensconced in the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis Missouri.

But probably not.

By the way, Andy has really delighted in the fact that he won. We are trying to teach him to be a gracious winner. But it’s more than his 6-year-old ego can handle, which is really putting a head-lock on my 49-year-old ego. O how our Lord humbles us! Even in bowling, He keeps me humble through the talents of a six year old.

Just one last note, lest you think Andy is a natural, he had the gutter bumpers up when he bowled. Apparently, the lanes are so advanced that they come up for little children, and go down for aging fathers. What is up with that?

Andy, manhandling his ball up to the line. He played smart. On his first shot, he would use the lighter ball for accuracy. On his second shot, he would use the heavier ball for more effect. Notice the form below.

Maybe I should take some lessons.

Celebrating his shot!

Joey liked the pink ball. I think it’s his favorite color, except when red and blue are his favorite color.

One final note, when we put Joey down for bed, he really started crying big ol’ tears. It took us a minute to figure out what he was saying. We finally realized that he thought he left his new shoes, the bowling shoes, at the bowling alley and was saying we had to go back and get them. He was so proud of his shoes we would put him on his feet. We realized that was because it’s been quite sometime since he had a new pair of shoes. All his shoes are hand-me downs. We’re hoping to remedy that soon.

Sports Update

There is just too much going on in sports to ignore it all. I need an update to help you see it too!

First, Tiger Woods withdrew from Players Championship due to his sore neck, which could have been a result of that car crash he had last year, about the time all the news surfaces of his running around on his wife. Someone needs to tell Tiger that car wrecks AND adultery have consequences, especially when they are linked together.

That is newsworthy, but not nearly as fun is the fact that police had to taser a heckler on the 11th hole of the tournament. I love the use of a taser. It sends some 50,000 volts pulsating through the troublemaker’s body causing them to fall to the ground in a heap. Realize, it’s not the voltage that kills a person, it’s the current. This is why you can get zapped by so much voltage with static electricity and be OK. This is a perfect way to help the troublemaker realize he’s gone too far. And yes, it’s not only about deterring others from committing the crime, but also about zapping some yahoot into conformity. I’m sorry, I just love too much and I know I shouldn’t.

We’ve had two yahoots tasered in the last week. The other one, pictured, was tasered at a Phillies game. The irony is that they won’t release his name because he is a minor, however, they don’t mind plastering his picture all over the internet. Not to worry. Given that the guys if from Philadelphia, he is probably proud about his feat of fame and will use this story every time he enters into the local bar with the rest of the union workers.

Secondly, there was a perfect game thrown in baseball yesterday. Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s was the 19th man ever to throw a perfect game in the Major Leagues. Realizing that it has happened only 18 other times should show you how rare and special it really is. Here is the list of those who have done it.

Dallas Braden, Oakland vs. Tampa Bay, 4-0, May 9, 2010.

Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009.

Randy Johnson, Arizona at Atlanta (NL), 2-0, May 18, 2004.

David Cone, New York (AL) vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999.

David Wells, New York (AL) vs. Minnesota, 4-0, May 17, 1998.

Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California (AL), 4-0, July 28, 1994.

Dennis Martinez, Montreal at Los Angeles (NL), 2-0, July 28, 1991.

Tom Browning, Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles (NL), 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988.

Mike Witt, California at Texas (AL), 1-0, Sept. 30, 1984.

Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto (AL), 3-0, May 15, 1981.

Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota (AL), 4-0, May 8, 1968.

Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago (NL), 1-0, Sept. 9, 1965.

Jim Bunning, Philadelphia at New York (NL), 6-0, June 21, 1964.

x-Don Larsen, New York (AL) vs. Brooklyn (NL), 2-0, Oct. 8, 1956.

Charles Robertson, Chicago at Detroit (AL), 2-0, April 30, 1922.

Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago (AL), 1-0, Oct. 2, 1908.

Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia (AL), 3-0, May 5, 1904.

I think what shocked me when I looked at the list was seeing that Kenny Rogers did it all the way back in 1994. It seems like yesterday. O how time flies.

Third, and the final miserable sporting point… the Astros finally broke into double digits in the … win column. Yes, they won their tenth game of the season yesterday. That should show you just how miserable my Astros are doing.

Tim Tebow and the Feminists!

CBS has agreed to air a television spot during the Super Bowl by Focus on the Family and the feminist are fit to be tied. The commercial is starring Tim Tebow, of the Florida Gators fame. The basic idea is that when his mother was carrying Tim in her womb, she was very sick and the doctors said he probably wouldn’t live. They were encouraging her to have an abortion.

She didn’t. Tim was born and has gone on to a really productive life. The entire commercial is about the value of life and this has pro-abortionists enraged. WND reports:

Jehmu Greene, president of Women’s Media Center, demanded that CBS refuse to run the ad.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together regardless of background, faith, ideology or political affiliation,” she said in a statement today.

Yes, right. Like sports are meant to unite us. Where is that written? Sports are entertainment. Sports make money off of advertisements. Sports really don’t care who pays the bills as long as the bills are paid. To silence Focus on the Family would be censorship in the worst way. Of course, libs are always in favor of censorship when the message is not to their liking. This is because they know their message fails, and the message of life/truth/conservatism, etc., wins out every time.

So let the feminists get mad… well, get madder since most of the time they are mad about something. Tebow is not saying to shut down the abortion industry, as it should be shut down. He is just saying that life is precious. The fems know that such messages will damage their killing machine. They can’t have that, so they will do whatever to silence the truth. I’m glad Tebow is willing to stand up for truth. No matter who you are, when you do stand for righteousness, you will take a hit. Even Jesus felt that sting, why should we be any different. Let’s support Tebow all the more.

Here are the links to both stories. Look here. And here.

I Survived the Golf Marathon!

Yes, I survived the Young Life Golf Marathon! Thank you for all those who supported me in both finances and prayer. I do give all glory to the LORD for getting through the day without any major injuries and for being able to finish the day.

Paul Hunt and Mike Phillips were my team members. Paul was team captain and is one of two men who have played in all 17 tournaments. He really was an encouragement for me, since I was the least skilled golfer on the team. Mike… was a lot of fun, because he kept trying to play NASCAR with our golf carts.

This was the view of my ball from one of the fairways. I’m about 160 yards from the pin. My solution is to use my 3 wood and advance the ball. I’m sure I did just that, because I don’t remember the shot after taking the picture. I don’t know how it is for most golfers, but I usually only remember my really good shots, or the multitude of really bad ones.

Here I am on the tee box. You can see how my stance and swing really resemble that of Tiger Woods.. OK, more like John Daly. But you have to give it to us big men, when the ball goes in the wrong direction, it goes with power and authority. OK, OK, even that is not true. This shot… went about 30 yards. I topped the ball. It was one of the multitude of bad shots I remember.

Even if view of the fact that I had a lot of bad shots, I actually got better as the day progressed. I was afraid that the more I played, the worse I would get, but the opposite was true. My shots off the tee started to improve as well as the fairway shots. My putts never really came together, but I really didn’t putt the ball that much until the very last round. That is due to the fact that we were playing different formats of golf throughout the day, such as captain’s choice, alternating shots, etc. I really didn’t like alternating shots at first, but on the second round of it, really enjoyed the format.

These different formats really speed up the play and we managed to play a round of golf in less than 2 hours. That is how it is possible that you can play 100 holes in one day. But even when we were playing for individual competition, we had to speed it up.

Speaking of individual competition, I won! Yup! I won a prize for having the highest score in individual competition! For those who know nothing of golf, the object is to have a low score. I won some sort of putting gizmo that shoots your balls back to you so you can practice. I traded it away for a new driver. I know, seems like I need to practice my putting. But I’m better off doing that on the putting green.

Our teams also won second place in the Captain’s Choice event. We each got $50 gift certificates to the Woodside Plantation Country Club Pro Shop. I bought a shirt with mine.

Again, I want to thank all those who supported me in this tournament. I was able to raise more than $1,300. Not bad for my first year. The entire event raised more that $41,000 for Young Life of Aiken. That will provide most of their budget for the coming year. I’m not sure, but I think this was an off year. I hope not.

Hopefully next year, I will be able to raise more money and get some of my golfing buddies to join me in the endeavor. It was really quite a day, and course. The course was really a beautiful course to play, with lots of flowers and wildlife. I saw a variety of birds, including a red-headed woodpecker. I also saw some black squirrels which were bigger than regular squirrels and much bolder. One ran in front of me and didn’t seem the least bit fearful of me or my cart. That was also true for the… rats I saw on the course. Apparently, the prestigious Woodside Plantation has a rat problem. I saw at least three. One of them ran along side my cart and showed no fear of me. He had a large worm hanging out of his mouth. I had no desire to interact with him. No, the movie Ratatouie has done nothing for my respect towards the rodents. As that great rodent killer John Wayne use to say, “The only good rat, is a dead rat.”

I probably shouldn’t say anything about the rats. Those rich people in Woodside Plantation probably don’t want us knowing that they have rodents too. (How is it that I can go from golf to rodents to John Wayne in all one posting?)

Don’t Miss This

Ok sports fans. This has to be one of the most enjoyable highlights of the basketball season: Syracuse Orange and the U Connecticut Huskies go into six over times to finish the game.

Sad Sporting Event — True Christ-Like Character

I’m not sure if you heard about this or not, but the girl’s basketball team of Covenant School of Dallas beat Dallas Academy’s basketball team 100-0 the other night. The game was not only lopsided, but an embarrassment to the winning team. They are now seeking a forfeit of the game because of their unsportsman like attitude, i.e., they were still taking three point shots into the third quarter after leading 59-0 at half time.

But that is not what caught my attention. What caught my attention was the following paragraph from the story:

Covenant coach Micah Grimes and head of school Kyle Queal did not immediately respond to messages left by The Associated Press on Thursday.

In the statement on the Covenant Web site, Queal said the game “does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition. We humbly apologize for our actions and seek the forgiveness of Dallas Academy, TAPPS and our community.”

Kyle Queal??? Wait a minute, I know that guy! He used to be the singles pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. It’s rare that you see people you know making the news. and thank goodness, since most news is bad. Given the incident, it’s good to see Kyle seeking to do the right thing.

I’m proud he is taking a “Christ-like” approach to it all. It would have been nice to see the coach do that during the game, but I can understand that sometimes, emotions in sports get out of hand. Given that blunder, it’s good to see they are seeking a course of action that is honoring to Christ.

The other neat aspect of the game is the character displayed by the losing team, Dallas Academy. They never gave up, even though they were outmatched. That has caught the attention of Mark Cuban, who has invited the entire team to his suite during one of the Dallas Maverick’s home games.

At a shootaround Thursday, several Dallas Academy players said they were frustrated during the game but felt it was a learning opportunity. They also said they are excited about some of the attention they are receiving from the loss, including an invitation from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to see an NBA game from his suite.

“Even if you are losing, you might as well keep playing,” said Shelby Hyatt, a freshman on the team. “Keep trying, and it’s going to be OK.”

This entire story show that the axiom: “Sports don’t build character, sports reveal character,” to be true. And while the game itself was ugly, true Christ-like character is coming to fruition. Read the entire story here.

Lousy Moral Victories

You know your football team is terrible when you look for moral victories. Case in point: A&M was leading Texas Tech, the number 7 team in the country, at half time 23-20. That lead quickly disappeared in the second half and was never regained as Tech beat A&M 43-25. It’s hard living with lousy sports teams!

Big 12 Stronger than SEC and the Royal Seal of OT King

Big 12 Stronger than SEC

I love this report from the latest coaches poll on the Big 12. The coaches say that the Big 12 is the strongest conference in the nation. Living here, deep in the heart of the SEC, that is sweet music to my ears. Just yesterday, I had to endure the scorn of two Gamecock fans, and a Kentucky fan (both teams are bottom dwellers in football) because my team was in the Big 12. (All the scorn was done in brotherly love of course!) Why do the coaches say the Big 12 is stronger? Because it has five teams in the top 14!

Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas are ranked 14 or higher in the preseason poll. I would think that A&M would be up there, but since this is Mike Sherman’s first year as head coach… no one wants to jump to any conclusions.

Read the full story here.

Helmet Clash!!!
ESPN is having a competition, whereby voters can vote for the best helmet between two schools. Right now, A&M is in the quarter finals against Georgia. A&M has about a 13 percent lead against the bulldogs. Therefore, go and vote for A&M, especially all you SEC fans who can’t stand the Georgia Bulldogs. Remember, they “think” they invented the game and we should all just bow down and crown them national champs every year.

Go here to vote! I hope that link works. I had to get clever in order to find it because when I go back, it gives me the tally of the vote, and not the location to vote. So you can only vote once. If that one does work, go to Texas AGS site and look for the article: here.

Royal Seal Found
In a WND story, the royal seal from a prince that served under King Zedekiah. This is important because the prince, Gedaliah, had the prophet Jeremiah thrown into a well. He was later rescued before the Babylonians came in and reduced King Zedekiah’s kingdom to nothing.

This is something that is interesting. We don’t need things like this to validate our faith. The Holy Spirit does that along with God’s word. But it is good to see such items discovered. Read the rest of the story here.

Monday Golf

Ah yes! I got the opportunity to go golfing on Monday. The Intern was off. The deacon didn’t have to go to work until later in the day, and John hasn’t started work at his new job.

We got to Bogeyville, early, before they were officially open. That didn’t stop us and we were the second group onto the course. What followed: more bad golf! But fun more bad golf. Fred, the Intern, and I decided to keep score by the number of shots we were above par in friendly competition. It added a new dimension to the game.

ON the front nine, he didn’t take the lead until the 7th hole, and then ended up with a three-stroke win for the front nine. I sort of melted on number eight. My stroke disappeared and was on the green in… eight. I didn’t bother putting since we had a triple-bogey limit. I reached that before we got onto the green. On nine, I had a chance to catch him, but was unable to make the short chip shot with any accuracy. Then my putting… Victory on front nine: Fred.

We started over on the back nine, and the competition was much better. Fred didn’t take the lead until the 17th hole, and then only by one stroke. Heading to the 18th hole, I knew I would have to step up my game a bit in order to catch him. I did.

He teed off first, sending his ball over the lake and next to the trees on the fairway. It was a good shot. Then I teed off, and my ball landed 20 feet behind his. That turned out to be to my advantage because I had a better view of the green than he did.

On his second shot, he had to put it onto the fairway, since he didn’t have a clear shot to the green. I hit my shot just shy of the green by a few feet. The advantage was mine.

His third shot, placed his ball close to mine and my third shot put me five feet from the hole on the green. It was my best hole all day. I needed his next shot to go long in order to have a chance of winning the back nine.

Fred rose to the challenge and put his ball less than a foot from the hole. Uhg! That meant, just in order to tie, I had to sink my putt. I looked that shot over and over while John and Pat played out. Finally, I lined up… and drained it! Fred and I tied at 17 over! On top of that, I scored the only par for the day. What a way to end the day of golf.

Now, where is the phone number for that golf coach… I need more lessons before me and Fred head back out to the course.

BTW, the photo above is taken on the first tee.

Masters Update: Trevor Wins!

Yes, I know many of my readers don’t like golf or know anything about it. But I’m into it. It’s one of the few sports that middle-aged physically challenged pastors can still play. Basketball is out. Softball is out. There is bowling… but… most bowling alleys seem to have that sleazy feel of a late-night bar. So I don’t bowl, even though I once owned my own bowling ball and scored a 288. Yes, you read the correctly. It sent the guy I was bowling with over the edge, because the more I drank my pitcher of beer, the better I got (this was before I was a Christian. Now I would only have one beer, but a very good one). Football, rugby and hockey all are too physically demanding, and… I like my teeth. There are horse shoes… but very few to play with.
So I golf. I know that Mark from Pearls is strongly and fundamentally opposed to golf, but I’m not opposed to it. I like it. I love the wide open, manicured spaces. I love the wind when it’s there, the sunshine, even the rain when it comes. I love the feel of a good solid hit on the golf ball off the tee, and seeing the ball stay in the fairway. I love challenging chips shots. I love making great shots out of the woods. I love the occasional long putt that go in. I love my one birdie and four pars that I’ve made since I took up the game a year ago. 
I love the fact that I got a new club for my birthday, and may get another one yet, to complete my bag. I love the fact that I’ve found an inexpensive golf course to play on that has a special on Mondays: $15 for cart, green fee, AND a free hotdog for lunch. That’s hard to beat. Never mind that when you putt on the back-9 greens, the ball bounces along instead of rolls. It evens the playing field for us poor putters. 
I love the fact that my church now holds a yearly tournament for the men, and since our first tournament last June, it has brought me closer to some of the men in the church. After all, we have something in common. A love for the game and a love for Christ.
I love going to the driving range and practicing my swing, and on occasion, putting together a string of shots that shows definite improvement. I love the fact that someday, my boys and I will be able to head out to the driving range together, and then to the golf course together. 
I love playing the game with my Dad. We always manage to have a wonderful time, and now that he is set on selling his ranch in Texas, he will have more time to golf, and fly out to see us.
The point is that I like golf. It’s a delight to play. (BTW, I don’t put pressure on myself to do well. I play to have fun. That’s why a birdie is fun and delightful. But so are the double-bogeys when I finish well. I have has some of the most satisfying bogeys and double-bogeys because of the way I finished the hole. The is part of the love of the game. It’s about recovery). 
With all this being true, it has increased my interest in the pros. Watching what I could of the Masters was a delight. Watching Trevor Immelman keep it together for the win was also fun. I’m glad that he won, and Tiger only managed a second place finish. It was a great tournament.

Master’s Week

We are coming to the close of Master’s Week here in Aiken. Yes, here in Aiken, S.C. We are so close to Augusta, about 20 miles, that Master’s Week has its effect here as well. For instance, our public schools hold spring break during the Master’s Week. One reason for this is that many people here in Aiken, rent out their homes to people that will be here for the golf tournament. A lot of people do this. They rent their homes for something between $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the home, and go on vacation somewhere else. The neat thing about it is that you can rent your home for up to 2 weeks without having to pay taxes on the proceeds. Neat little IRS loophole for you.

Of course, we don’t rent our home because… it’s not the type of home that golfers would want to rent. It’s a nice home for us. But not for someone like Vijay Singh. Besides, I just don’t like the idea of someone like John Daly sleeping in my bed, even though he wasn’t at the Masters this week.

The one course of action that I’m looking into for next Masters is that of serving as a caddy. No, not at Augusta, but at one of the local golf clubs here. Apparently, they guarantee their caddies a minimum of $1,000 a week to serve as a caddy. The golf courses around Augusta all up their prices for Masters week. Even those who are members of the area clubs are told not to come around during the week since these clubs pick up so many golfers here for Masters week. Not the professionals, but spectators. When they are not attending the Masters watching Tiger Woods, they are on the golf courses in the area.

Since I like golf, and would love to go to this particular golf course, serving as a caddy would be some good money for a week off. Yes, it’s work, but it would be a nice addition to the bank account. I think I need to learn a lot more about golf before I do that.

Another effect is that for the hotels. Prices skyrocket this one week of the year and for some of the hotels, this is their make or break week for the year. Most of them have no problem making it. Even the roach motels do well this week. Apparently, those flying in bring their own roaches to the area.

Now for the tournament. I have to say, that I’m pulling for the field. For those of you are not aware what this means, the man to beat is ALWAYS Tiger Woods. So people either pull for the field or for Tiger Woods. Since I started typing this blog, he has moved from 4 under par, to 5 under par, putting him four strokes back from the current leader Brandt Snedecker, who is sitting at 9 under par.Tiger is finished for the day and has tomorrow alone to catch the leaders. Four strokes is nothing for Tiger to make up. He started at 1 under par today, and made up four strokes. So if Snedecker wants to pull this off, he better golf better tomorrow than he did today. Tiger is known for coming from behind and winning it all. I think it’s just the fact that the four men in front of Tiger, know he’s back there and can close the gap in one round. That tends to make them nervous and causes them to take chances they normally would not take. But who knows, they may pull out.

Currently, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman, Steve Flesch and Snedecker are ahead of Tiger. I hope they don’t get nervous and continue their play that put them ahead of Woody in the first place. It’s not that I don’t like Tiger, but just like pulling for the underdog, which happens to be “the field.”

That is how good Tiger is. He is ALWAYS the favorite when he shows up. He usually gets beat by men that don’t know they are not supposed to beat Tiger. Hopefully it will happen again tomorrow.

Oops, I just checked the leader board and apparently Snedecker has fallen out of first place and is now only two strokes ahead of Woods. Doesn’t look good for him.

I kind of wish that Phil Mickelson would pull it out. But he lost 3 strokes today and is only 2 under par. Don’t expect much from him tomorrow.


There are 15 laterals in this clip before Trinity University scores against Millsap. From what I understand, it was Millsap’s homecoming and they had already shot off fireworks to celebrate their victory before this play was run. It’s amazing. Enjoy sports fans!

Spurrier to A&M???

On the football forum at, there was a report that A&M may go after Steve Spurrier at the end of the season. That would be fun. Gamecock nation would definitely hate that.

But would that be a move up, or a lateral move? No, it’s not a move down. A&M has a National Championship to its credit and is known nationally. South Carolina doesn’t have quite the clout, but it’s not far behind. I grant that if Spurrier stays there for 10 years, South Carolina will have the clout.

Check out the discussion here.

Momentary Lapse of Class

In case you haven’t heard, Texas A&M beat Kansas in Kansas on Saturday with a last minute shot by Acie Law. This is the first time a team from the Big 12 South division has defeated Kansas on their home turf in 31 tries.

The interesting point is the Acie, after winning the game, ran down in front of the ESPN camera and showed off his jersey while taunting the fans. That only lasted a few moments. After he went inside, and gathered his wits, he immediately apologized to the fans for doing. That shows the program still has some class, along with the victory as well.