Here I am putting for my par after barely missing a birdie shot.
Keep Your Own Score
Golf is a gentleman’s game and as I continually learn the game of golf I continually learn to become more of a gentleman. Golf will test your etiquette skills as much as your athletic skills. In football the opposing team’s crowd will make as much noise as possible to distract the other team’s offense. In golf you must be quiet and considerate of your opponent when he is swinging. In baseball a pitcher will throw at a batter’s head. In golf you must yell “fore!”* if your ball is sailing close to someone else. In football you cheer when the opposing kicker misses a field goal. In golf you keep a straight face or give a sympathetic word when your opponent misses a putt. The list goes on. Golf is a game that will test your manners as well as your skills.
I have learned something important this year about golf and about life. I love to keep score. I love to win but more than just wanting to win I am a statistics freak. I have to know all the numbers and I have to know what the score is. As a matter of fact I have logged into my computer every game I have played this year, where I have played it and what the scores were.
However I have learned that some do not like to keep score. A while back I was golfing with my older friend Ron who has been teaching me how to golf but more importantly has been teaching me how to be a better gentleman. The two of us set out to start the first hole when a man golfing alone came up behind us. Being the gentlemen that we are we invited him to join us which he did. After each hole I would ask him what his score was so I could write it down with ours. After a couple holes Ron told me not to ask his score. If he wanted me to know he would tell me. The fact that I had to keep asking was a sign he really did not want to give it. I should have known that.
Since then I have run into other people who don’t like to keep score. As a statistics freak I have a hard time dealing with that. But here is what I have learned. It should not matter what the other people’s scores are. There is a par for the course which is the standard for the course. Instead of comparing myself to others I should just focus on reaching the standard. I should be matching my performance against the standard and not against my fellow man. Once again the game of golf has taught me something no other sport will. I once saw a t-shirt on a teenager that read, “Inspiration is not when you outdo your opponent. It is when you outdo yourself.” How true!
In life Jesus does not inspire us to compare ourselves to others or be like them. Christ inspires us to compare ourselves to Him and become like Him. He is the par for the course and we will never make par while comparing ourselves to anyone else but the Standard Himself. It does not matter what anyone else’s score is in golf or in life. There is a standard to be reached.
Like a wise sea captain once said years ago, “we must set our course by the stars and not by every passing ship.”
* When someone yells “fore!” most people look around to see where the ball is coming from. The correct response is to quickly cover your head with your arms.
Check out my friend’s sports blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/