Tag: golf

Insider’s lingo: a quiz

With nearly every post I write on this blog, I try to push people to think more deeply, take a step of faith, and find Jesus more captivating.

Not this post, though. This is just pure randomness. Enjoy.

image credit: Creative Commons user Turbo Toddi

I played golf yesterday with a good buddy of mine. He’s the best golfer I know. He played on the European tour for a decade, and if he hadn’t injured himself in 2010, he would’ve been on the senior PGA Tour right now.

He’s an instructor, a master club fitter (1 of only 20 certified in the world), and has worked with countless guys on Tour.

To top all of that off, he talks a big talk. (don’t most golfers?!?)

Throughout the round, there are phrases that Larry says. I call them “Larry-isms.” Little goofy sayings that he drops that have me in stitches throughout the round. Growing up playing golf, I can piece together what he’s meaning. But I wonder if you can decipher any of these phrases.

If you think you know, leave your answer in the comments section. I’ll report back in and let you know if you got it.

Golf Lingo

1. “It doesn’t take a Lamborghini long to warm up. It may cough at little at first…but then it purrs.”

2. “That’s right in the honey hole.”

3. “Oooh…that’s downtown Joey Brown.”

4. “I’ll buy you a cold drink at the turn if you hit that.” Followed immediately by “The water fountain is on the left.”

5. “Be the number!”

6. “That a 9? Don’t be afraid of it.”

7. “You’re dialed in right now.”

8. “Ride!!”

9. “It wouldn’t have looked better if you’d painted it.”

10. “I want you to start it at that brown pine and let the baby’s breath float it.”

11. “You had that read, you just didn’t get it to the depot.”

Any guesses? Leave a comment!


10 Leadership Lessons I Learned from Golf

I grew up playing golf. Throughout elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, I spent countless days hacking that little white, dimpled, frustrating ball. It was a sport that I grew to love, and still love even now.

image credit: Creative Commons user Turbo Toddi

You may not think of the golf course as a beaker for leadership testing, but there’s a ton to learn, besides how to hit it long and straight. Which, between you and me, is a task much harder than leadership. 🙂

The leadership I’m putting into practice today is specific for pastoral leadership. At the end of the day, though, people are people. Being a leader takes on nuances from profession to profession, but there’s a ton of overlap.

10 Leadership Lessons I learned from Golf

1. Timing is everything.

Golf: The moment your wrist snaps, the club head releases, and your foot turns is crucial in getting any power.

Leadership: The moment you choose to have a key conversation is oftentimes just as important as the conversation itself.

2. What you do off the course is just as vital as what you do on the course.

Golf: Mentally prepping for a round is unbelievably important. “Golf is a game played on a 5 inch course – the distance between your ears.” – Bobby Jones

Leadership: The way you spend your time while you’re off-work builds your character way more than what you do while you’re working. Character is vital to leadership.

3. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Golf: It’s easy to practice-in bad habits and muscle memory.

Leadership: Read the wrong books, follow the wrong people, put your energy towards the wrong things, spend your time battling the wrong issues…and you may as well have not “practiced” at all.

4. Practicing a lot will leave you with a sore back.

Golf: Even practicing the right way will leave you sore.

Leadership: Making the right decisions doesn’t mean you’ll have a problem-free solution. It just means you know where you’re headed.

5. Community pushes you to dig deeper.

Golf: When I played with someone else, instead of by myself, I found I was more willing to dig deeper instead of giving up.

Leadership: Leading with a healthy team pushes everyone to do more gut-wrenching, high quality work.

6. You have to practice from the bunker in prep for the bad days.

Golf: Practicing from the bunker was vital, because it doesn’t matter who you are…there will be days when you have to blast a few out of the sand.

Leadership: Understanding your own weaknesses is a key to being a good team member and leader.

7. There will always be someone who’s better than you.

Golf: Don’t be intimidated when you play against someone better than you. Stick with your game. Dance with the girl you came with.

Leadership: You’ll have team members that you lead that are more skilled, think more sharply, and communicate more clearly. Thank God that He’s gifted your team with them.

8. There’s no substitute for time spent on the course.

Golf: Practice all you want, but don’t forget to spend time on the course.

Leadership: Everything you need to know about leadership you will NOT learn from college, or in a textbook.

9. Nobody will practice for you.

Golf: If you want to be a better golfer, you’ve got to put in the hard work yourself.

Leadership: If you want to be a better leader, you’ve got to read the books, find the mentor(s), test out ideas, and stretch the box yourself.

10. The days you practice by yourself are crazy important.

Golf: The days when you’d rather go home early are the days when you most definitely should not.

Leadership: There are certain things that can only be done by you, in your office, by yourself. Don’t neglect these tasks. They’re good for your resolve.

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28


Did I leave anything out?

* image credit: Creative Commons user Turbo Toddi 


Practicing from the bunker

I was playing golf with a friend of mine the other day.  He pulled his shot off of the 4th tee box, and it flew into the bunker in the left rough.  He was pretty upset, and was dreading his next shot even before he got into the cart.

“I have no idea how to hit out of a bunker.  Do you?”

“Actually, yes.  It’s easy.  I used to practice at it.”

Even as the words came out of my mouth, I was laughing at myself.  Who practices out of a bunker? I mean, shouldn’t we all practice from the tee box and the fairway?  Because if we get better and better off of the box, we’ll never be hanging out in bunkers.

Apparently, I was never good enough to steer clear of the traps.

Which means I’m just like the best players in the world.

You see, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the game of golf, you’re going to have to hit from the bunker at some point.  You’re not good enough to avoid every trap.

In our small group meeting this week, we talked about our weaknesses.  It wasn’t what I would call a joyous occasion.  But it was really good.  Some of us could easily identify areas where we’re weak.  For others, it was a bit tougher.  But we didn’t stop there.

Identifying your weaknesses is like saying, “I don’t know how to hit the ball from the sand,” but not planning to do anything about it.  That statement needs to be followed by, “Can you help me?”  Because hitting the ball from the sand is tough.  And it’s an art form.  And it takes somebody being patient with you and helping you figure it out.  Showing you where to stand.  How to stand.  How to swing.  And the thought process that goes into blasting one out.  You don’t just innately know how to hit a sand shot.  You need a patient coach.

God allows us to be weak.  Because if we weren’t weak, why would we need Him?  And if we could figure out this life all on our own, we’d have no need for Him and His people (the Church).

How do you grow through your weaknesses?

1. Identify your weaknesses. You have to start with this.  If you’re having trouble doing this, just ask some of your friends.  Or, better yet, if you’re married, ask your spouse.  They’ll have no trouble identifying them for you.

2. Come up with an action plan. Write out tangible goals that will help you grow through these weaknesses.  Without tangible goals, achievable goals, how will you know if you’re ever making progress?

3. Identify a person who’s strong where you’re weak. Share your weakness(es) with them, and your action plan.  Let them know that you’re going to be a work-in-progress, but that you’d like them to know where you’re headed.

4. Be open and honest about who you are and ways you still fall short. You’re going to mess up.  Again and again.  And while that’s not okay, it puts you in company with guys like the apostle Paul.  (Philippians 3:12-13)

You need to find somebody who is strong in areas where you’re weak.  Lean on them.  Let them into your struggles.

If you never work on your weaknesses, you’ll find yourself in the bunker one day with no idea how to get out.

Do you find it difficult to identify your weaknesses?

Or is it more difficult for you to actually do something about them?


Tiger Shanks it in the Woods

I recently wrote a sports editorial piece for a local paper here in middle Tennessee, the I-24 Exchange.  For your convenience, I thought I’d re-post it here on my blog, though you can also find it HERE.  Keep in mind…this was written last Thursday, before the news of Tiger’s indefinite leave from the game of golf.

Tiger Shanks it in the Woods

Tiger Woods

Unless you live in a hole, you’ve heard the news about “the greatest golfer of all time.”  Tiger Woods was taken to the hospital for an accident he had in his SUV just outside of his Ocoee, FL, home, at 2:25 AM on Friday, December 2nd (momma always said that nothing good happens after midnight).

It was suspected that Tiger was driving under the influence that night.  Rumors of marital troubles between he and his wife, Elin, only led to confirmation of years of infidelity on Tiger’s part. Elin, at this point seems to be sticking around…for the kids.  His sponsors are sticking with him (though who knows for how long).

Tiger’s life is spinning out of control.  To say that more accurately, Tiger’s life has already spun out of control.  He’s reaping the fruit of years of poor decisions.

Why are we as a society drawn to stories where people’s lives seem to be spiraling into an absolute dumpster fire?  Maybe it helps us to feel better about our own life. Maybe we see ourselves somewhere in the story.  Maybe it’s because we have a morbid fascination with the failure of others. Maybe we’re just thankful it’s not us.

Tiger messed up.  But so have I.  And so have you.  None of us have lived a life immune from bad decisions and moral failures.  Tiger, on his website, says, “I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.”  You may, or may not, have cheated on your spouse, but you’re not perfect either.  I’d venture to guess that, at least one point in your life, you’ve been in need of someone’s forgiveness.  You were guilty, and there was no denying it.

There’s hardly a greater feeling in life than being forgiven.  To be granted a fresh start.  To have your slate wiped clean.   It’s as if a heavy, unbearable burden has been lifted off of you.

Is Tiger’s career over?  Is he going to be counted as “the greatest golfer of all time?”  Or has this exposure marred his fame and fortune forever?  Only time can tell.

But instead of our eyes and hearts that are quick to judge, and quick to thirst for more and more dirt, maybe we would be better off extending grace and forgiveness.  Tiger doesn’t deserve that.  But by very definition grace is not deserved.  It is not earned.  It’s granted by the one who has been wronged.

I vote to give him a second chance.  And I’m thankful that others have done the same for me.


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