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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

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 )

July 22, 2021

This past weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to visit with the good folks of the Bainbridge (OH) Church of Christ, a former ministry of mine. Bainbridge provides some bittersweet memories for me. It was my first legitimate full-time ministry. The reason I say legitimate is because the White Oak Christian Church in Bath County, Kentucky, was supposed to be a full-time ministry but it was based on the men of the church hiring me out during the week to make up what was a definite short fall in pay. But back to Bainbridge.

As a minister I am supposed to be friendly, understanding,…  ( Click for more )

July 15, 2021

I've "been around." That is a polite way of saying that I have not settled in a church for the long term and had that landmark ministry of more than twenty years. As a result, my children have vowed that they were going to try to settle in one place and stay there for the rest of their lives. The thing is, they'd like us to stay where we are for the rest of our lives, too. We would like that and are working toward it. But there are a lot of memories from the different ministries I have served.

Becky and I will be at one of those places this weekend. We leave after…  ( Click for more )

With the North American Christian Convention being in our "backyard" over at the prestigious Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, we had contacts with a few people who were interested in bunking out with us for the convention to save hotel/motel costs. The ones that contacted us first were Brian and Misty Gorman. Brian is the former Senior Minister of the Robinson Christian Church near Cynthiana, Kentucky. He is currently the Senior Associate Minister of the First Christian Church, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Brian and my oldest son, John, are good friends. John introduced…  ( Click for more )

July 1, 2021

The North American Christian Convention is an annual convention for the Independent Christian Churches, or, as we are known to the government, the undenominational fellowship of the churches of Christ and Christian Churches instrumental. Usually there is one convention held in one city somewhere in the forty-eight contiguous states. However, this year was different. Three conventions were being held at three separate locations. The Corona, California and Lexington, Kentucky conventions have already been held. The Jacksonville, Florida convention is yet to come.

While one of…  ( Click for more )

June 24, 2021

Animals have played a rather bizarre part in many chapters of both history and fiction. Rodents have been a fixation for some famous people. President Andrew Johnson kept pet mice while he was in the White House. There was no word on whether or not they performed any information gathering functions. Rats were important to the famed Indian Yogi K. N. Udupa. He actually figured out a way to train rats to perform many of the different postures of yoga.

European settlers had long viewed Africa as a place for expansion. However there was a problem with which the Europeans were…  ( Click for more )

June 17, 2021

What is it that attaches worth to an object? In "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the first of the Indiana Jones movies, Jones is talking with his adversary, Dr. Rene Belloq, who wistfully comments that his watch is worthless unless he buries it in the dirt for a hundred years and then it is valuable. Then it becomes an artifact of the age in which it existed. It lends itself to explaining the people of that age through their inventions. Worth is not necessarily objective, but curiously subjective.

My collection of Ohio State University memorabilia has a dollar value based on the…  ( Click for more )

June 10, 2021

Many famous people have overcome some sort of physical difficulty to excel at what they do. Even some who were infamous became so through overcoming some handicap. Tamerlane, the Tartar who conquered all the land from India to Russia in the fourteenth century, was partially paralyzed. His name actually meant, "Timur the Lame." His feat is all the more remarkable when it is noted that superstition was rampant in the fourteenth century to the point where paralysis was viewed as a curse and those so afflicted were normally put to death.

In more modern times such celebrities as…  ( Click for more )

June 3, 2021

Many of Major League Baseball's teams have moved a time or two. The Los Angeles Dodgers started out in Brooklyn. The San Francisco Giants began in New York. The Minnesota Twins started out in our nation's Capitol as the Washington Senators. The Oakland Athletics began in Philadelphia. Then there are the twice removed. The teams that just kept moving from city to city until they found a climate more conducive to baseball and less conducive to comparisons with other teams in the area.

Among those teams are the Atlanta Braves. The Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee,…  ( Click for more )

During the two weeks leading up to the contesting of the our national golf championship, the U. S. Open, all the talk was about how the cream rises to the top at the Open like no other golf championship. The top ten golfers in the world will be the ones who will shine. Surely the champion will come from this elite group of golfers. Maybe one of the "Big Four" will win. Maybe Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els will claim victory at the end of play on Sunday. After all, it is the Open.

At the beginning of play on Thursday, Phil Mickelson was heard to remark…  ( Click for more )

May 20, 2021

Had a good laugh the other day. I saw a flyer for a golf tournament. The people who run the tournament evidently thought that they needed something to really grab people's attention. Right there it was in beautiful red ink on the flyer; the attention grabber. One single word that should grab attention. After all, it grabbed mine and I'm currently wrestling with it to get my attention back. The word is, "INVITATIONAL."

In professional golf, an "invitational" tournament is one in which you contact those whom you wish to compete and offer them the invitational to do…  ( Click for more )

May 13, 2021

Wealth has its advantages. Just ask the players of the Professional Golfers Association. The guys whose names are synonymous with the PGA have a distinct advantage over those who are less well known but just as traveled. Money can play an important part in the ability for a tour pro to concentrate on his game and devote himself to playing the best he possibly can. How can money help a golfer concentrate? Let me explain.

The players who are wealthy outside the PGA tour are those who have parlayed their golf abilities into fame in commercial endeavors. Before Tiger Woods ever…  ( Click for more )

May 6, 2021

Came across some really outlandish facts the other day concerning the laws that exist in some corners of the United States. These are actual laws. I wonder how closely the local police watch for these things or whether or not those who see these terrible crimes perpetrated turn people in as vicious criminals. There are several things concerning these laws that I will point out, but, for now, here they are courtesy of the "Bathroonm Reader."

In Tennessee it is illegal to drive a car while you're asleep. What I wonder is, does that mean it is illegal to fall asleep while…  ( Click for more )

Not long ago some of the neighborhood kids stopped by for a visit. The two boys are ones with which I talk quite a bit when I have the opportunity. One boy especially, Nicholas, is my personal project. I hope to get him and his family coming to our church and sharing in our growth. Nicholas is such an inquisitive kid. Everything is interesting to him. He was curious to see our house since his is just two doors down and looks a little like ours.

The downstairs area looked very familiar as did the upstairs area. However, when I showed him the middle bedroom something caught…  ( Click for more )

April 22, 2021

I first started making golf clubs back in 1976. I remember the day when making a wood involved more steps than just "epoxy the metalwood to the shaft." I used to buy the blanks. Blanks were rough wood turnings of either persimmon or laminated hardrock Canadian maple. They were not smoothed down and ready to be finished and were not bored for the shaft to fit. They also needed the areas for the face insert and soleplate to be routed out. The first job was to trim and bore the hosel (neck) for the shaft. The shafts at that time were predominately tapered steel shafts so the hole…  ( Click for more )

April 15, 2021

A week ago, a very dear man passed away in Bellville, Ohio. Lewis K. (Jack) Snavely was a fascinating man. He was one of the more brilliant people I have ever met in my life. But even I didn't know everything about Jack. His family filled in the cracks for me when I met with them This past Tuesday evening to prepare for the funeral the next day. What I was told was mind-blowing for a man who lived in a little place like Bellville.

Jack Snavely was a very clever and industrious man. When his children wanted something to play on in the backyard he built them a motorized…  ( Click for more )

April 8, 2021

First tee jitters. You've just stepped to the first tee. You're stiff. Your last round of golf was not a good one with the driver. You were hitting your tee shots like a radical Republican; everything was far right. But the course was one that allowed you to stray right and not be punished. Now you're on another course. Twenty yards right of the fairway you see them. They stand there silently, challenging you with their presence, warning you that beyond them is the death of your score. They are the white out-of-bounds stakes.

Deeply ingrained in your thoughts…  ( Click for more )

April 1, 2021

In which room of your house do you spend the most time? Now, in which room of your house do you spend the most time actively doing something? The room in which most people spend the most time is the bedroom. However, time spent there is just that; it is time not activity. Bedrooms are for sleeping. Unless you're a restless sleeper chances are you do very little other than dress in your bedroom. However, here is where the differences lie. The room you're most active in is dependent upon your gender and role in your family.

If you are the wife, you probably spend…  ( Click for more )

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