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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

Date Posted: August 11, 2022

Our congregation had its pig roast Sunday evening. It was a wonderful time. A Number of people from the community came in to share with us and we were able to get acquainted with them. One of our young couples brought their corn hole game with them and set it up in the parking lot. I now have a new name for frustration. Of the five games I played with a partner we won all but five of them. Funny thing was, I went through the first three games without ever getting one in the hole while everybody else, even the kids, had holed one.

Then I took my glasses off. The corn hole target became this fuzzy blob that I really couldn't see very well. I arched one of the bean bags high in the air toward what looked like the right blob. My partner shouted when the bag went through the hole. "Why didn't you take your glasses off earlier?" she asked. I thought to myself how hard it was for me to put the bean bag on the silly board let alone in the hole. Then it came to me. Thirty years of golf and no holes-in-one. No aces. Nada. Zip. Nicht. Nuttin'.

In 2002 a seventy-four year old probably heard the shout of, "Oh, my Gosch," when he got his first hole-in-one on the 204 yard tenth hole at Sunrise Golf Course in Rancho Mirage, California. Jack Gosch hit a driver for the ace. Then he pulled out a an eight iron for the 135 yard 11th hole. Double Oh, my Gosch? Yep. He aced the 11th hole, too. What was his reaction to doing what only a handful of people have ever done in the years that golf has been played? "The feeling was one of disbelief," was all he could say.

However, the strangest hole-in-one has to belong to Fergus Muir, a thirteen handicapper from Scotland. It was a windy day at the Eden Course at St. Andrews. The wind was dead in his face as Muir sized up his shot on the one hundred twenty-five yard 5th hole. The crafty Scot had watched others hit long irons on the short hole with no success. Muir decided that his best bet would be to hit a long putt. That is not a misprint. Fergus Muir aced the hole with his putter. A seventy-four year old gets back-to-back aces and a Scot gets one with a putter while I have none. Fair? Who cares?!?

What's most important is not who has the most holes-in-one but whether or not one is whole-in-One. "Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3, 4 Newness of life. Simply put, we are made whole again in Christ Jesus. That's the best whole-in-One.

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Biography Information:
Tom Kelley, pastor, speaker, lived with his wife, Becky, in Georgetown, Kentucky

...He was the Minister of the Minorsville Christian Church located near Stamping Ground, KY.

...Becky and Tom have three children; John, single and in worship ministry in Nicholasville, Kentucky; Sean, married (Jennifer, elementary school teacher) with twins (Grace and Patrick, b.d. 10/31/04) and regional director of Papa John's Pizza in Central KY; Kara, married (Vince Taylor, prison guard) and working with Hospice East in Winchester, KY.

...Tom went to be with the Lord on November 13, 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer. If you have been touched by Tom's writings please send an email to Tom's son at
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