By Pastor Mark Hopper
A group of men from our church play golf each Monday afternoon at a local golf course. We reserve a tee time for the same day, and the same time, every week.
Some of you may wonder why men and women play the game of golf. Basically, it involves hitting a little round ball with a metal stick (club) for about three miles. It usually takes from four to five hours to complete a round of golf. Some people probably think that this is a strange way to spend your time. What is the purpose of trying to steer that little ball across miles of green grass just to get it into some very small cups?
One benefit of playing golf is the physical exercise. Many golfers will walk the entire 18-hole course and most of them carry their own golf bag. The group from our church isn’t quite so ambitious, so we rent golf carts that you can drive around the course.
Another benefit from playing golf is the social interaction that it provides. Although you are not supposed to talk when someone is getting ready to hit their next shot, there is plenty of time along the course to talk about family, work, sports and more. In fact, many people conduct a lot of business on golf courses. There are few distractions and during a round of golf you can discuss a lot of business related matters. Contracts are negotiated, sales are closed and new proposals are presented. Golf can be good for business!
Golf also provides a peaceful setting where you can enjoy the outdoors. I often feel like I am walking or riding through a park when I am playing golf. There are shady trees, busy wildlife and usually a couple of lakes or ponds. Most courses are quiet and away from traffic noise. A golf course is a nice place to spend your day.
I have two criteria for enjoying a round of golf. First, don’t take it too seriously. Some golfers are so serious about every shot and every putt that they fail to enjoy the experience. Yes, it is nice to get a good score, but there are no trophies or prize money for the average golfer.
In addition, I enjoy the game more when I can find the ball! It can get frustrating when you hit a shot into the bushes or into the water. It is irritating when you and your partners have to spend time looking for a lost ball.
I feel like I have had a good round of golf if I can finish the round with the same golf ball I started with. But, when I start losing golf balls and start getting too serious, I find that I am really not enjoying it.
Let me encourage you to find something that you can enjoy – whether it is a round of golf with friends or something else that you enjoy doing. Make sure that you make time for a little recreation and relaxation.
If you would like to know more about our weekly golf group, please feel welcome to contact our church office.
Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Ave. Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit http://www.efreedb.org.