image courtesy of onetreehillstudios
God must enjoy it when we play golf. Well, or he hates it. Because golf is either:
- a game that involves great amounts of discipline, concentration, and humility, while encouraging relationship with others…
- or it’s 18 holes of anger, rage, and the dirtiest of curse words, plus equal amounts cheating, lying, and beer.
[I told you guys several months ago that our families were allowed to join the Geita Gold Mine’s golf club, which enables us to use the gold mine’s village store and restaurant, swimming pool, and golf course. It’s been a real treat to be members — making life in Geita a lot easier by providing us with a good place to spend an occasional day with the family (and me a sport in which to compete).*]
Today Carson and I were able to play in our first golf tournament in Tanzania. Africa Explosives Limited, an explosives company doing business with Geita Gold Mine, sponsored a 2-man scramble, and Carson and I entered together. We played alright, though we had expected our games to complement one another a little more than they actually did. We shot a 75, and were not disappointed being only 3 over par. The winning pair shot 70, and the teams finishing 2nd through 5th (winning prizes) all shot 71 or 72. I really thought I had a chance at the award for longest drive — and I did hit my ball a mile on that 9th hole– but they apparently don’t measure balls driven the wrong direction and into the woods. [Of course I couldn’t find it anyway, so it would’ve been difficult to measure accurately. We took Carson’s drive on that hole.]
Just some observations on the day:
- I’d never played a 2-man scramble before. It doesn’t provide nearly the advantage of a 4-man.
- We were required to use exactly 9 of my drives and 9 of Carson’s. Interesting rule that required some forethought and planning.
- Miners — even the gentle and kind grandfatherly types — cuss like sailors. Or sailors cuss like miners, depending on whom you ask.
- Carson and I have been playing with old loaner clubs for 3 months, but his parents are visiting now and brought him a set from the states — that he’s very happy to be playing with. I have a set coming in December with one of Christie’s best friends. [I’m hoping that my new clubs are made of 4-leaf clovers and have magical powers.]
- AEL (the sponsor) gave each player about $60 worth of golf gear for entering the tournament. The entry fee was $10.
- We were served grilled bratwurst with onions and peppers after 9 holes. I felt like I was in America. AEL did an incredible job hosting this event. It was so much fun.
- Miners — even the gentle and kind grandfatherly types — drink a WHOLE LOT OF BEER during 18 holes of golf. It’s a wonder they can walk straight; surely we shouldn’t expect them to drive that way (golf balls, not vehicles).
Back to my original thought: Golf is either a game that involves great amounts of discipline, concentration, and humility, while encouraging relationship with others… or it’s 18 holes of anger, rage, and the dirtiest of curse words, plus equal amounts cheating, lying, and beer. It’s amazing how a simple (and quite popular) game can bring out either the best in us or the worst. It can develop in us good habits or it can further exacerbate bad behaviors already present. In essence, golf can be used for good… or for evil.
It’s not just golf, though. There are a lot of things like that, aren’t there?
* I told you even longer ago that I’d retired from golf. At that time I figured I’d never play again. I also explained in that post how very bad I was — and some of my anger problems while playing. I seem to have a very good handle on that these days. May God be praised for that growth in my life.