God and golf

Two of my favourite writers hate golf.

Simon Barnes simply says it isn't a sport, whilst AA Gill denounces it in the most strident of terms in Previous convictions:

Naff is a synonym for golf. It is also overtly racist and class-ridden, groundlessly snobbish and humiliatingly sexist. Golf is the standard-bearer and pimp for the worst types of gratuitously wasteful capitalism and conspicuous consumption. It makes widows of decent women and de facto orphans of blameless children.

Whenever I play it I find myself agreeing with them a great deal of the time (though this may have something to do with my manifest inadequacy at it). It is perhaps the most legalistic of sports, both on and off the course, and thus utterly devoid of grace and all the goodness that brings.

That said, there are some amazing stories of faith on the fairways, Stewart Cink's being the latest I have read of. If more people hear about Jesus because of his victory at The Open then that will more than make up for my sadness at seeing Tom Watson miss his chance to finish off a wonderful story of his own.

PS The photo above does not do justice to the amazing contrast in skin colours between the half of Cink's head that usually resides under a cap and the half that doesn't - it was a sight to behold.

PPS For those of us who love Jesus and sport, doesn't the book mentioned at the bottom of the article about Cink look like a great read?