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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

January 13, 2022

A number of years ago (that's a euphemism for, "Hey, I'm old and this happened a really long time ago) I heard a Southern Gospel song with the nifty title, "I'd Rather be Late at the Pearly Gates than Arrive in Hell on time." I used to really be a stickler for promptness from people who attend church services but have softened my stance over the years. Still, I remember the discipline that my mother and father instilled within me concerning getting to church early as we always arrived fifteen minutes before everything started.

Recently, I have been re-examining…  ( Click for more )

January 6, 2022

I believe it was Andy Warhol who once said that everyone would have their fifteen minutes of fame. At least. There are those for whom fame just seems to follow them around and land on them from time to time. Then there are those who actively seek it. Those whose lives are spent in the vanity of finding the limelight, finding that one moment which can be milked for all its worth until they feel that the world finally understands just how great they truly are.

Sadly, those limelight seekers are the ones who subscribe to what the advertisers and programmers on television are selling…  ( Click for more )

December 30, 2021

Every now and then notices and advertisements are posted which could be worded a little bit better. If you're like me, when you read these kind of things you have to wonder if someone just wasn't quite on their game for the day. But that's what makes these kinds of statements and pronouncements such treasures. The effort behind them is absolutely sincere. The following samples of sincerity are proof that some of the funniest things come from the deepest effort.

Most of us have stopped to grab a meal at a McDonald's. The next time you go through the Drive-Thru…  ( Click for more )

December 23, 2021

Professional football is pretty much in full swing with preseason schedules being played right now to determine who will be on the opening day rosters and who will wind up on the practice squad. So many players have been displaying flashes of brilliance to demonstrate that they belong. But let's face it, at this level everyone has talent or they wouldn't have made it to the preseason roster. Speed, size, strength; these are givens. The ability to use those attributes; that's what needs to be seen.

Most players coming out of high school are amazed at the speed…  ( Click for more )

December 16, 2021

Our congregation held an ice cream social last evening. The fellowship hall was full. Right before divvying up the ice cream we played a Bible character game in which three of us were quizzed as to who we were and the only answers we could give were "yes" and "no." It was fun. And it reminded me of a much gentler time when the church was still fairly well ensconced in people's social calendar to the point that the church received the primary consideration when planning family matters. It wasn't that long ago.

I had the esteemed privilege of serving as the preacher…  ( Click for more )

December 9, 2021

Urban legends. Most areas have their own. However, some have spread over the years to receive a popular mention in a lot of different areas and media. They range from rumor to seemingly well supported fact. Some have even become so famous that, even though they have been debunked, they get dusted off and dressed up and paraded around anew. And people get sucked in again. I'll share one with you here as a sample of what can happen and how official it can look.

Bea Maggio is an actual person who got caught in one of the more believable urban legends of recent years. Bea…  ( Click for more )

December 2, 2021

Three other times this year Phil Mickelson performed a magic act; he disappeared from contention in the major championships of the Professional Golfers Association. Three times he not only failed to win but was not even a factor. Three times he merely showed up without really showing up. The Masters, the U. S. Open and the British Open all came and went without Mickelson even putting up a fight. Yesterday he walked off the eighteenth green at the Baltusrol Club near Springfield, New Jersey, as this year's winner of the PGA Championship.

He did it by leading all four rounds.…  ( Click for more )

November 25, 2021

Yesterday my son, Sean, and I did not make it all the way to Franklin, Kentucky, for a round of golf. But we did make it to Danville and played a round at the golf course in the Old Bridge subdivision. From a vantage point high on one of the tees on the course you can see the old steel bridge, one of the first of its kind, that lends its condition to the name of the subdivision and the golf course. The course itself is not spectacular but it is interesting and has places where errant shots can get you.

In several of these places that wannabe good shots go to die there was a…  ( Click for more )

November 18, 2021

Today is my fifty-fifth birthday. Double nickels. Finally hit the speed limit. I can now order from a lot of senior menus at restaurants. As a matter of fact, my favorite restaurant, O'Charlie's, has a senior menu which is for those fifty-five and over. There are also a number of golf courses which allow people my age to play for reduced rates. There are a few financial rewards for those of us who have gotten to this stage in life. However, there is also one other benefit which I will probably not be able to use; the gold tees.

I am still able to hit a golf ball…  ( Click for more )

November 11, 2021

My home congregation, the Jeffersonville (OH) Church of Christ, celebrated her fiftieth anniversary with a rather grand to do this past weekend. I was the first Timothy from my home church. I was the first person sent into the fields that are white unto the harvest by this group of people who were working their neighborhood field. I got to share my God given talent with them which I had already done while with them. I had sung a number of times for different services and had preached on several weekends and even held a revival once.

"A prophet is not without honor except in…  ( Click for more )

November 4, 2021

Ever since I was thirteen I have had the opportunity to work with children and youth. I have been told to make that distinction since the older children, ages 13 to 18, don't like being called children but are amicable to being called youth. I have enjoyed working with the younger ages a little more in recent years because of one simple fact. The younger the child, the less they have, or have not, been taught. The more open they are to receive the discipline of discipleship.

The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) record the presentation of children to Jesus for…  ( Click for more )

October 28, 2021

The story is told of a backwoods preacher who was preparing to preach a series of sermons on the Holy Spirit. He was a flamboyant sort and known in the area for some rather ostentatious displays in the pulpit. That's a fancy way of saying he had a lot of stomp and snort. If you don't know what stomp and snort is then I guess you'll just have to stay with flamboyant and ostentatious.

The first sermon he wanted to preach involved the story of the baptism of Jesus at the hands of John the Immerser. It was at Jesus' baptism that God, pleased with His Son's…  ( Click for more )

October 21, 2021

Watching children at Christmas time has always been one of my greatest pleasures. Seeing them tear into their gifts with a sort of maniacal glee is a joy for me. It means that they're excited. With our world of so many overblown concepts and approaches to things it's still good to see the genuine excitement of someone when they receive something that they were hoping for or wanting very badly. My children have grown up but still have a little bit of that excitement. Probably you do, too.

Take Mark Hamill for instance. In the closing sequences of the original Star…  ( Click for more )

Near London, Ohio, is a cemetery where my grandfather and grandmother Kelly, my uncle Mike Stevens and my mother and father are buried. Mom and Dad's burial place is the lot on the left. The center is where Granny and Pawpaw are buried. To the right of Granny and Pawpaw is my uncle Mike's grave and another grave. My Aunt Phyllis was to have been buried there. She was the sister of my Dad. Uncle Mike was her husband. However, after Mike died Aunt Phyllis had a couple of guys she married and the last one was the one whose family buried her with him. I think.

Have…  ( Click for more )

October 7, 2021

Ever have a bad day? Golfers occasionally have bad days. Let me describe a bad day for a golfer. Better yet, let me share some bad days with you for some pretty well known golfers and some you may never have heard about. Like Alvin Liau of Singapore. Liau was playing in the then prestigious World Cup tournament in 1971 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The 13th hole was very unlucky for Liau as he shanked six straight shots into a water hazard and finished the hole with an 18.

In the 1980 Masters Tom Weiskopf hit five straight shots into the pond at the 12th…  ( Click for more )

September 30, 2021

My grandkids are crawling. They're just a little over eight months old now. Actually they were born six weeks premature so I guess you would say they crawled at seven months. It's exciting to see them doing different things and beginning to develop. Now I wonder when they'll sit up independently, pull up on stuff and ultimately stand and then walk. It has made me wonder how my grandkids stack up with other children. Maybe you'll find these of interest.

Thomas Wolfe, the noted writer, was reading at the age of two. Guess that early reading spurred his…  ( Click for more )

September 23, 2021

I pride myself on being a golfer. I am not just someone who plays golf or who owns a set of clubs and maybe gets out on the course once or twice a year. I truly feel that there is a difference between those who are golfers and those who play golf. I feel that the difference is a marked one that shows up in a number of areas. Those of you who are golfers probably feel much the same as I do. Those of you who just play golf may get a rude awakening.

First of all, the golfer knows the game. He may watch it on television, but his way of playing the game is not based on what he…  ( Click for more )

September 16, 2021

How hot is hot? Here in the Bluegrass the days have been steamy ones. The temperatures have been hovering around ninety degrees. With the humidity the heat index has soared to near one hundred fifteen degrees. The days are slightly miserable with the tiniest of movements outdoors resulting in breaking a sweat. People have basically gone indoors. Where before there used to be a flurry of activity in and around our cul-de-sac there is now nothing. Even the kids don't want to be out in it.

Meanwhile, almost two thousand miles away the heat has become more than just a discomfort,…  ( Click for more )

September 9, 2021

Every now and then things can get testy in the world of professional sports. NASCAR has its moments when people get, as they say, tapped by another car and lose a race as a result. Retribution can follow. In hockey the retribution is a little more immediate. The old saw of, "I went to a fight last night and a hockey game broke out," bears a certain measure of respect. Golf is a little more subtle. The things that happen in golf take a little more time to settle than in many other sports.

Take the instance of Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods a couple of years ago. Mickleson…  ( Click for more )

September 2, 2021

Few things are as refreshing as a cool rain on a summer day. The way it breaks the humidity. The way it feels hitting the body. The wonderfully fresh scent that accompanies it. However, this simple rain can sometimes become deadly. The need for water for the ground to grow the plants that we call vegetables and provide the establishment of a water table is one thing. When rain just continues day after day is quite another thing.

1987 was an interesting year for the Kelley family. We were in our second full year in the ministry at the Bellville Church of Christ (now New Life…  ( Click for more )

August 26, 2021

Reality shows abound nowadays with programs such as "Survivor," "The Apprentice" and "American Idol" playing to great Nielson numbers. You would be surprised just how real some movies have been for movie stars who have had to do their own stunts and take the lumps. Sometimes it got just a little bit too real for these heroes of Tinseltown. They paid the price for their fame and your enjoyment with a number of real injuries that left them with some vivid memories.

Early in his career, Harrison Ford was on the set of a low budget TV western and had to do his own stunts. In the…  ( Click for more )

August 19, 2021

Games have rules. Golf is not different than baseball, basketball, cricket or rugby. Its rules book has been refined and updated over the years to accommodate the changes that have been made in course conditions and the ever-being-modified equipment. Invariably, some place in a friendly match I play, a question concerning the rules comes up. Usually it has something to do with a ball leaving the field of play and coming to rest in an area that is unplayable or out-of-bounds. Knowing the differences between the two can save a golfer a lot of strokes.

The United States Golf…  ( Click for more )

August 12, 2021

As many of you open this column and read it this morning you may be doing so while golf history is taking place across the ocean. This morning Jack Nicklaus may well play his final round of competitive golf on the venue that has long been golf's hallowed ground; The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The round is televised on cable channel TNT which will begin its coverage of the British Open at 7:00 A.M. which is noon in Scotland. Jack tees off somewhere around 8:45 our time.

If he plays well he will continue on through the weekend as is the custom at a golf tournament…  ( Click for more )

August 5, 2021

Rain. We finally are having some of the wet stuff falling from the skies here in the Bluegrass. After weeks of dry weather and parched lawns that actually crunch when you walk on them, we are getting rain. Kind of odd, though. What we are so thankful for here is the end of what caused tremendous damage down in the Gulf of Mexico. Our rain is the result of Hurricane Dennis which swept ashore this past weekend leaving in its wake a swath of destruction. And we get much needed rain.

It has been good the last few days to actually see wet roads. Oh, there have been the usual…  ( Click for more )

July 29, 2021

"Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield." A golfing buddy of mine said that the other day as he watched his ball take an unpredictable bounce and roll into a water hazard. Basically put, he was saying that sometimes the bounces go good and sometimes they don't. What happens from there is what counts. My buddy took his penalty stroke and laid out of the water hazard and then hit onto the green and two-putted for a double bogey.

If you play golf you know that double bogeys are the bane of a round of golf. That's two over par. Many golfers…  ( Click for more )

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