'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' with Tom Kelley
Originally posted on 03/19/2020
Golf has produced some rather interesting swings over the years. Some are so buttery smooth as to invoke poetry. Others, well, let's just say that someone sneezing and chopping wood at the same time looks more coordinated. That little bit of commentary helps to explain why many golfers are referred to as "hackers." They literally look like they are hacking away at something rather than making what one would call a stroke.
Of all the ugly swings that worked Arnold Palmer has to be at the top of the list. When viewing Palmer's slashing jab at the ball one gets the feeling that they can hear Frank Sinatra on the wind singing, "I took the blows and did it My Way." Arnold endeared millions of fan to him because he didn't look like all the other pros such as Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. Their swings were legendary for their fluidity. Arnold's swing was more on the rocks; a short burst of power punctuated by a jab of a follow through.
But ugly worked for Arnold. Even though there were many who told him he needed to change his swing he stuck to it, recalling the words of his father, Deacon Palmer. "Be tough, boy. Play your own game. If you start listening to other people when you're out there, I have a job for you pushing a lawn mower back here at Latrobe Country Club."
Life is not a matter of style or grace or beauty. Just like Palmer's game, the proof is in the results of the living instead of the lifestyle. Take the instance of one James "Slim" Cowman. I met Slim at the Bainbridge Church of Christ in Ohio back in the mid 70s when I was their minister. He was gruff and unkempt; lacked tact and could have stayed a little longer in grammer class. But as I got to know the community of believers in Bainbridge I found out that Slim Cowman was the one that most of them attributed with reaching them with the gospel of Christ.
I asked Slim point blank one time why he was able to reach people. He told me that he only had one scripture memorized other than John 3:16 and John 11:35. "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." Philippians 3:20, 21 Slim said, "I ain't gonna look like this in heaven. I figger if I don't hafta look like this nobody else oughta hafta either." It's not in the swing; it's in the results.