Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Golf's Sacred Journey

I recently read "Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia" This book is about rising golfer named Luke whose meltdown in a recent tournament leads him to the small town of Utopia. While in Utopia  he meets Johnny, a former golf instructor turned small town man. He tells Luke if he gives him 7 days he will get his game back on track. Over the next seven days Johnny leads Luke through an incredible journey that returns him the the fundamentals and gives him a blueprint to follow for each shot. On the 7th day Luke meets Johnny at the course which is adjacent to the cemetery. When Luke arrives Johnny has been digging a grave for a pending funeral. Johnny explains to Luke how he has no clear direction in his life needs to turn to Jesus and bury his old self and start relying fully on Christ, which he does.

After Luke spends seven days in Utopia he is off to play in an amateur tournament. Luke played the first two rounds well and was able to make the cut, but fellow competitor Joe was not as fortunate. Joe did not take missing the cut well and stormed off. Luke with his new found direction decides to go talk with Joe. While over dinner, Luke was able to tell his remarkable transformation to Joe and learn more of Joe's recent personal troubles. Joe was currently separated from his wife and two small children and his anger was driving a wedge between his family. Luke is able to lead Luke to Christ and challenge Joe to tell his wife about his transformation.

On the final day of the tournament Luke finds himself in contention and his playing the best golf of his life. While coming off the driving range on his way to tee off, Luke was stopped by Joe with his wife and two children. Joe had restored his relationship with his family and was going to take time off of golf to commit to his family. Through out his round Luke relied on the see it, feel it, trust it approach that Johnny had instilled in him. As Luke approached the final hole he was tied with heavy favorite, Travis. They both pared the 18th and headed for a playoff. Luke did not waver from his mindset even though Travis made a poor shot. Travis made par while Luke had a chance for birdie and the win. The book ends with the author, David L. Cook leaving uncertainty whether or not Luke made his birdie putt to win the tournament, but does it really matter?

This story is about so much more than the great game of golf. It was about Luke realizing that his life was consumed with golf and how he played determined his mood. Johnny was able to show Luke how to play under control and that life was more than the number on his scorecard at the end of his round. Luke was able to bury the lies that his life was focused on for so long and turn to Christ. This book was an encouragement to me and a great reminder that life is more than the temporal and what really matters is eternal. I encourage you to read this book especially any golfers like myself. If you are not in a reading mood there is a movie based on the book, but it is not as good as the book.

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