It seems that this year that started with numerous hospitals visits is turning out to be a good year after all. On the morning of Feb 10, more than 10 months ago, all I was asking for was that my wife Tess recover uneventfully from the her brain operation. The Lord answered my prayers. By June I was humbled and thankful for the fact that we were able to celebrate 25 years of marriage. God is Good! I could not have asked for more this year with Tess so back in her natural flow of life. But the Lord provides and provides mightily.

Our God was still very busy throughout the year. We were blessed with some resources left for travel and we were even able t0 send Mike to a preppy culinary school as a second shot toward his establishing a career.

Now to golf. Christians in Golf Association aka CIGA – the golfers group of BCBP Makati, is about to survive its second year. And in its own small way we have been slowly – too slowly it seems – achieving a dream of keeping a true BCBP golf group alive. We staged our second annual “golf for a cause” tourney. This is actually our third or fourth tournament since the BCBP Makati Golfers had been active even before the CIGA days. We now have two BCLP graduates from our golfing buddies. We are hoping to see more.

We have gained some attention to the point where our Tatang Louie Morales’ BCBP Alabang Golfing brothers have challenged our seemingly unproven golfing skills. Three “Ryder Cup” like events were staged. Makati prevailed in two out of three. This leads me to wonder if the post game joyful camaraderie from the locker rooms to the cafeterias was one of the things envisioned by the originals who created this “Brotherhood of Golfers.” I would call this post game gathering as brotherhood in its fun moments.

Personally (sorry, this is still my column) I have made slow gains – too slow in fact. After my three month golf fast for Tess sake, I have managed to eke out a few Class C trophies from both CIGA and non CIGA events. True, this is still a far cry from the A and B collection of Makati Golfing greats like Caballero, Robles, Rubin, Zamora, and Avellana . . . . But just consider that I started playing at the ripe old age of 47! And from where I stand on the green it looks like the way to a B trophy is indeed through Class C.

Notes to myself and notes about other players learned from my 2010 CIGA experiences:

A new improved driver and a set of irons from Annual SMX Golf expo is NOT equivalent to a new, improved swing. The golf ball does not care whether it is hit by an old Callaway Warbird or the latest R9 by TaylorMade. “The swing’s the thing” !!!
A wall to wall collection of Golf Magazines and books is not equivalent to an improved swing either.
A streak of good games does not go on forever.
Do not mock the saying “let’s just enjoy the game” – a favourite of golfers having a bad day. You will have bad days yourself – plenty of them.
Do not mock the “tournament players” who are after the raffle prizes when they join a tourney. Class A players are like that as well.
I also believe in the those guys who dress up for a game – if you can’t win the game, then at least look good whilst losing.
Commitment takes on a whole new meaning as one is always ready to hit the fairways at 7 am even if the last minute text game notice came at 11 pm the previous night – AFTER coming home from the Chapter Assembly.
Despite the betting, the unavoidable cursing, and the jokes about females caddies – which no amount of formation talks can seem to stop anyway – BCBP and Golf can co-exist. And please stop using evangelization as an excuse to chat up that pretty caddy or umbrella girl.

A prayer full start before the first tee is one of the best things you can ever do. If done the right way, it can help you feel calmness and trust in your swing as you hit your first ball.
A BCBP favourite line from “Sirach 2” is “Gold is tested by fire”. Let’s do our practice runs since, as previously said, there will be bad days.

Our Christmas wish for all Golfing Brothers sums up to:
– May your new set of clubs actually lead to better scores and lower you handicaps.
– May your new sharp looking dry fit shirts and power-band golf shoes make you look good, win or lose.
– May you have the chance to bring a new golfing buddy into the BCBP world of Golf.

Have yourselves a Merry Birdie Christmas! From now on our Bogeys will be out of sight. (I wish)

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