Who’s helping you read your greens? …Par 5

Recently, while checking in to see how the 2016 Sony Hawaiian Open was progressing, I happened across the photo below:

Jan 15, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker hits his approach shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 15, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker hits his approach shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The caption clearly indicates what is transpiring at the moment. But my interest in the game and my hunger for more detail keyed a whole group of questions the photo could not answer. I wanted to know what kind of lie Snedeker was hitting from and what club he had selected?  Did his shot come to rest in the cup, on the green or somewhere else?  If on the green, what kind of putt did he leave himself. I wanted to know what kind of input he had gotten from his caddie… or… was he even considering his caddie’s counsel? And by the way, “who is his caddie in the picture? I don’t recognize him.”

At this point you might be asking…”who in their right mind gives a rats tail about who Snedeker’s caddie is?  Answer…It doesn’t make a huge difference to me who the caddie might be but I would be willing to bet the ranch that it makes a big difference to Brandt Snedeker.

His first place finish would net him a winners check with six zero’s in it to the left of the decimal point—that’s at least a million dollars in case you are running out of fingers—and, come to find out, he was playing with a “substitute” caddie, Steve Underwood.  His regular caddie, Scott Vail, was off  the tour, recuperating from debilitating foot surgery.

Win a million dollars?

That brings to mind another question.  How do you find a caddie in whom you are willing to invest a million dollars of faith and trust—on short notice? That’s got to be a fairly short list to choose from.   My guess is you would start looking around for the best in the business that’s available at the moment.  Then, for starters, that guy or gal would have to have more than a modicum of experience in your arena. They would have to have a demonstrable proficiency at reading the wind, weather, sun angle, sight lines, grass/green composition, topography and geography.

In addition, whoever is going to ” tote the bag” would need to come with a proven record of dependability. That is to say the desirable candidate would be someone for whom you do not have to set an alarm, is punctual, if not early, will be appropriately prepared with proper equipment in tow (a maximum of 14 clubs, and don’t forget the PB&J’s and granola bars, umbrella, rain gear, and oh yes..plenty of  towels, golf gloves and balls ). You would want to know if they have a track record of doing “the whole job” including  scoping out the course, knowing the current pin placements as well as the best “leave” for each shot and always having the distances readily available.

Most importantly, you would want a sense that they would know how to read you, when to talk and when to remain silent, when to encourage and when to provide constructive input. 

When you think about it, that’s a tall order for anybody to fill. It’s a big and demanding job, but then again the reward is substantial if the efforts yield a victory for you and your Caddie.

I would be hard pressed to make a hasty decision on the subject. Remember the challenge is to get the best help you can find.  On the PGA Tour you must have a caddie. How you put that caddie to work is up to you—you’re the boss. Your can use them simply as your “beast of burden” to slog along beside you, clean your clubs and carry your bag…or… you can employ them to not only do the “heavy lifting” but embrace them in a team relationship, as your key adviser and confidant, involved in every playing decision you make as you take on the course for your mutual enrichment—win the prize, share the bounty.

It’s your life, your game, your choice.

Now shift gears with me for a moment to the big picture of life.  Isn’t the same set of assistance criteria available to you and me?

Jesus said very clearly to us who have accepted Him as our Savior,  that when He went to be with His Father in Heaven he would send “the Comforter”—the Holy Spirit—to assist and guide us on our journey heavenward. We have a choice as to how we interact with our guide. We can treat him as a necessary tag along, there to do the heavy lifting but seldom tapping into the unbridled wealth of wisdom and help the Comforter brings to the table…or…we can take full advantage of this special relationship and keep him as our closest confidant, involved in every aspect of our lives on a day to day basis.

Just one last Question:

Is the The Comforter (The Holy Spirit) a “wasting asset”… or… a fully embraced confidant and highly valued  adviser in your life?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Great perspective and parallel between a golf caddie and our Comforter/Counselor!


  2. Thanks John – More to follow as I get back in the saddle.


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