by Danny Silbor, BCBP Makati
It is said that golf is the most over-instructed game ever invented. That I do not doubt, especially as I gaze upon my four foot high pile collection of golf magazines. . . alongside a few golf books.
One professional golf player, probably Lee Trevino, was interviewed and asked if he ever had instructions from a golf pro. The practical answer was: “If any of these great golf instructors ever beats me in a regular game or wins any PGA tournament, then yes, I would take lessons from him.” To this day, as far as I know, none of these glamorous golf instructors have recorded one single PGA victory. They include Hank Haney, Tiger Woods former instructor, Dave Pelz, Phil Mickelson’s guru of the short game, and Dave Leadbetter who has sold tons of books and videos on golf “faults and fixes.” One asks himself why. The adage “Walking One’s Talk” comes into mind.
Perhaps if these pros were interviewed, you could imagine a reply (excuse) like this: “My mission in life is to teach golfers and correct their faults and not to participate in tournaments.” Perhaps they, knowing their exact purpose in life, stayed in this little instructional niche of golf instruction. Perhaps unknowingly alluding to Romans 12: “ 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
So what do we have here? Is this a unique “allowable” case of NOT walking one’s talk? Lessons not necessarily applying to the teacher? Golf lessons, like life lessons, present themselves everyday whether one has a good day with a bad game or vice versa. Some lessons, born out of observation, I have accepted . . . BCBP, golf and life in general.
1. Speech and wrongdoing, you know the BCLP talk, disappears in the golf course. Even the brother golfer who delivers the talk on a Wednesday will forget the talk he gave once he hits the fairways on a Friday.
2. Wrong doing will not sound so bad on a rainy soaked golf course. A muddy golf course like Alabang or Villamor can offer more than a dozen interpretations of “Winter rules, preferred lie or free drop.”
3. Be Honest, will always be challenged, by the player or caddie who fills up his scorecards, in order to win bets, specially if these bets are obligatory.
4. The loose adherence to “Be Honest” will be masked as “Loss of short term memory” when counting how many strokes are needed to hole it.
5. Taking off from Laurie Beth Jones’ book, there are no permanent bad swings – only lessons. If you don’t learn a lesson from your bad swing, you will repeat that bad swing.
6. You will keep repeating that bad swing until you learn the lesson. This is only learned by hitting the fairways more often. Not by compiling more golf magazines, not by watching golf lesson videos on You tube.
7. Your golfing happiness will be improved once you start being yourself and really enjoy the game. For instance, stop imagining yourself as Tiger Woods if you are a short, stocky Filipino Sunday golfer. Your swing styles differ as much as your racial features.
8. From the book Zen Golf, the moment of your swing in the actual fairway is NOT the time to think of the appropriate lesson for that swing. Just swing it.
9. You can always plan a Tagaytay golf game along with such retreats as BCMR or Family Encounter retreats, but not if you are the head servant.
10. Finally and proudly, golf can be an evangelization tool. This is the best reality check so far. New Brothers John San Juan, Ferdie Inacay, Joey Ortega and couples Ruel and Liberty de Castro, long time golfing buddies of BCBP Makati, just finished their BCLP in 2011.
But I believe the bottom line whether in golf or in life should be “Brothers (and sisters), get real, learn the lessons, and WALK YOUR TALK!”
God is Good! So is Golf! Or should that be rephrased: Golf is good! GOD is BETTER!