A Firm Foundation

In Golf and In Life


Luke 6:46-49

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.   Luke 6:47-48

Most if not all golf teaching professionals have said the grip is the foundation of the golf swing.  You may get by with an improper grip for a time, but it will break down on you at the most inconvenient times.  When the pressure it on, it will be shown for what it is worth.

Your foundation needs to be “firm” in the sense that it will hold up to the challenges faced on the course.  It is firm, not in the sense of rigid or hard, but in something that will last and be effective in all circumstances – tournament play, the final hole of a difficult match, over a pond, or blasting out of the sand.  Without a good foundation you have little hope of playing consistently in difficult circumstances.

God offers a firm foundation for life which is like that of a man building his house by digging deep into the earth and putting the house upon rock – a rock solid foundation.  Such a foundation is available to anyone who comes to God, hears his words and does what God says.


Your life and my life needs the solid foundation of God’s Word.



Living With Purpose

KEY VERSES: Joshua 22:1-5

“But be careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5

Imagine a dream in which you are playing a very beautiful golf course.  Can you see it in your minds eye?  The tee boxes are perfectly manicured, the fairways are green and lush, the bunkers full of white, heated raked sand, and each hole has a spectacular view and a challenging, but fair design.

But, as you set up to hit your approach shot into the first green, you notice there in no flag.  Later you find it does not even have a hole.  The same thing happens on the second and third holes.  You realize it is a perfect golf course except for one big problem.  Someone forgot the targets.  Despite its beauty, this course is devoid of purpose and meaning; it is empty and unfulfilling.  Nobody wins, everybody loses when they attempt to play this course.

That is like the course of life with Jesus Christ.  Life without him is a life without purpose or fulfillment.  Have the things you thought would give meaning begun to fail you?  Have you not yet grasped, or perhaps forgotten what God has done for you by sending his Son to give his life for you?  It is time to focus on the right target.  Guys, I have been there but I know that each and every day I must commit to living “In His Grip”.

How about you?



The purpose of life is to know Jesus and to make him known.  That is the true target in life.

One of The Best PGA Tour Events…Ever!

Up close and personal with the pros...

I am looking forward to returning to the RSM Classic (formerly known at the McGladrey Classic)  You can click here for the Media Tent and get the story behind the scenes.

My last trip to in 2013 I had the blessed opportunity to caddy for Zach Johnson in the Pro-am.  Here are a few pics from that experience:

Here is a link for pics and video of this great event that allows you to get up close and personal with the pros: http://www.rsmclassic.com/media/photos/

Attention Churches: Reach the Man and 93% of the time the family will follow

I pray that this note finds you blessed beyond measure. It is hard to believe that we have turned the calendar into October, the best month to get the best date available booked for your IHG Golf tournament in 2016. The early bird gets the worm and you want to get ahead of the pack of events starting to book their dates and locations next year.

Here is a recent article by Lifeway Men to remind us of the eternal importance of reaching men for Jesus Christ…and we get to do it through this great game of golf. How awesome is that? Reach the child and 3.5% of the time the family will follow, reach the mom and 17% of the time the family will follow BUT REACH THE MAN AND 93% OF THE TIME THE FAMILY WILL FOLLOW IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST:


In His Grip Golf Vision Video below:

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Who Are You Imitating?

Let me boil it down to THE ONE!

One of my all-time favorite golfers is Phil Mickelson. He is exciting to watch because he rarely plays it safe. His second shot on the par-5, No. 13 hole from off pine straw and apparently stymied behind the trees during the final round of the 2010 Masters at Augusta National will forever be one of golf’s greatest shots. Just thinking about it gives me chills.

But one of the curiosities about Mickelson that I love is that although he plays left-handed, he is actually right-handed. He wound up a lefty by mirroring his father’s swing when his dad was teaching him to play as a child.  Here is a great clip of Phil’s and his dad sharing their experience of learning golf and doing life together.

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I believe the spiritual application couldn’t be more obvious. There is an age-old debate about whether leaders are born or made. The truth is, everyone is designed to lead even if the only person you are called to lead is yourself. Leadership isn’t incubated in a vacuum. Every developing leader is influenced in some way at an early stage by others. It shapes the person and the leader they become. This is why choosing your influencers is critically important. Do you see in those you imitate the traits of the person you want to become?

Ultimately our model for leadership is our Heavenly Father. Like young Mickelson learning a golf swing from spending quality time with his father, the best way to develop as a godly leader is to spend time with God and mirror Him as revealed in Scripture. Mickelson submitted to his father’s instruction; likewise we should submit to our Heavenly Father’s instruction.

Jesus is our example of both submission and mirroring God the Father. He came to do the Father’s will on earth, even to the point of death. It was His joy to do so (Hebrews 12:2) and the irony is in Jesus’ total submission to the Father, He became the ultimate leader.

If you want to have an influence on the people around you, take your instruction from Jesus and imitate Him as He imitated God the Father. There is no better instructor than the One who is perfect.

Practice, then Play!

Golf is a game of precision and precision takes practice. Sure it’s great to get on the range and work on your game, but at some point you’ve got to tee it up and play for real. However, some people would actually rather spend all their time practicing rather than playing!

Range Time

Some people live the Christian life like that. God never intended for you to spend your time sequestered in your quiet place working through the daily drills. It’s okay to deepen your relationship with Jesus so that He can transform your character to reflect His glory, but who sees His glory if you don’t get out there on the course of life?

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22; NIV).

I love the book of James because there is no subtly. James follows verse 22 by saying that if you stare intently into the Word of God and walk away from it unchanged and forget what it says, you’re like a man who looks at himself in the mirror then walks away forgetting what he was looking at. James’ cure for forgetting is doing.

Let’s face it, you spend time with God, then get in the car to go to work. You catch every light red, get cut off in traffic and spill coffee on yourself; traffic is backed up and you are late. You get there and the elevator is down so you take six flights of stairs and sit down to a billion e-mails that came in over the weekend. Um, yeah, what was that you were saying this morning, God?

Life can swallow you like a water hazard swallows a golf ball. We can drown in the day’s minutia. That daily devotional prepares you for those hazards, but Jesus wants us to get out there on life’s course and aggressively take our shots; to play life with confidence knowing He has prepared us to be the salt and light to others.

Without the preparation, we’ll never reach the potential our Heavenly Father has waiting for us. However, the balanced Christian life requires both preparation and “doing” all that God is teaching.

Let the Orange Whip you into Golf Shape

With so many golf training aids out there, which one(s) should you have in your bag.  Well, for me and hundreds of touring pros don’t leave home without your Orange Whip.  I recently used it before playing a round at Musgrove CC in Jasper, AL.  We only had 10 minutes to warm up so I spent 5 minutes on the putting green and 5 minutes on the first tee swinging the Orange Whip.  Went out and shot a 70.

We all are crunched for time to improve your golf game but for me and my house, we keep swinging the Orange Whip and you should too.

4 Key Benefits of swinging the Orange Whip on a regular basis (5 minutes/day)

1. Flexibility: The weight on each end of the flexible shaft provides a low-impact stretch while swinging.

2. Strength: The Orange Whip provides a core muscle workout when used during repetitive motion drills. The wrists and forearms receive a workout doing various drills and during the hinging action while swinging.

3. Coordination: The Orange Whip synchronizes the arms and body while swinging it repetitively. If this motion is out of sync, the user will lose their balance and/or feel awkward.

4. Tempo: As the arms and body work together, a natural rhythm takes over the swing. This is how your tempo develops, some may be fast or slow, yet always in balance with an efficient motion.

Orange Whip Trainer has become one of our Key Partners for In His Grip Golf and when you order, be sure to use the Promo Code: IHG2015 for $10 off and $20 will be donated into the IHG Golf Ministries.


Be Bold Enough to Have Courage

All great golfers seem to have a defining shot. There have been so many through the years. One of my favorites, however, was Phil Mickelson’s second shot from the pine straw of the 13th hole during the final round of the 2010 Masters.

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Mickelson rocketed a ball between two close-together trees, over the creek and softly onto the front of the green where it rolled to within 6 feet of the pin. When asked the difference between a great shot and a smart shot, he responded, “I don’t know. I mean, a great shot is when you pull it off. A smart shot is when you don’t have the guts to try it.”

Steve Loy, his college coach and manager added, “He’d rather be bold enough to have the courage to do what most people can’t.”

Doesn’t Loy offer a great picture of courage? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.”

I believe the people of God must muster mental and moral courage if they are to embrace adversity and lead others through it. Consider the courage to fight sin. Let’s face it, the trappings of this life circle us like sharks in a tank. Like God said to Cain in Genesis, “Sin is crouching at [our] doorstep and it desires to have [us].” However, the Apostle Paul challenges us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

A renewed mind (mental) results in spiritual transformation (moral). If you are struggling with sin, you know it is most certainly a war for the mind, emotions and the heart. It takes incredible courage to fight for purity and holiness. The battles are constant.

But it isn’t just in sin where courage in the face of adversity is required in the Christian life. There is so much injustice around us every day. Sometimes the Bible calls us to have the courage to stand in the gap for those who can’t stand for themselves.

Living the Christian life isn’t for the faint of heart. Ultimately courage exists because adversity exists. But courage rooted in the promise of Jesus to strengthen you (Philippians 4:13) really does enable to you to do all things, and it is that confidence in Him that is the foundation of our courage to live boldly in this life.



How Do You Deal With Adversity?

Steven Fox’s breaking putt trickled down a slippery slope on the 37th hole of the 2012 U.S. Amateur championship and dropped into the cup, capping an amazing – and improbable – three weeks of golf.

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Fox, a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga student at the time and a Hendersonville High School graduate, just made it through the qualifier before heading to Cherry Hills (Colorado) Country Club. He opened with a marginal two-round performance that sent him to a 17-man playoff to make it through to the next round where he secured the No. 63 seed. He began working his way through match play, beating some of the top amateur players in the world to eventually win on the extra hole. He became the lowest-seeded player to ever win the U.S. Amateur since the USGA began seeding stroke-play qualifying in 1985.

His goal was just to make it to match play but he persevered and made history.

I love the definition of persevere: “Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition.” Fox kept pressing forward to the final goal. What a long shot, but he did it!

What about you? Are you content to just play out the holes of your life because you have setbacks? True, adversity can be a momentum killer. Fear sets in and you become reluctant to be courageous and take risks. The easiest thing to do is to do nothing, so you become passive..

Perseverance, however, is the opposite of passivity. It is active. It means even if you have no paddle you are fighting for all your worth to get upstream.

In Matthew 24 Jesus is teaching the disciples about the adversity of last days and he tells them, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (v. 13). It is obvious that the expectation of God for His children is that they persevere. In fact, the books of Romans, Corinthians, Philippians, Hebrews, James and 1 Peter all make clear that: A) If you are in Christ you will face adversity, and B) persevering through adversity is actually a reassurance that you are a child of God.

Don’t let adversity be the sand bunker in your life that causes you to back away from the love of Christ. Embrace it, and experience that love in a profound and real way. It will carry you through the adversity and to the end.


Play To Your Strengths

I have been playing this great game for 46 years as my Dad introduced me to it on April 12, 1969 on my 8th birthday. My first solid 7 iron was a little draw and it is still my go to shot. Dog leg lefts are definitely my friends.

I have had to learn that one of the keys to playing golf at a high level is the ability to eliminate one side of the course or the other. It must be in the name as Tom Lehman hits a draw and is able to eliminate the right side of the course. Jack Nicklaus was able to eliminate the left side of the course as he played his patented fade.

In most cases, I am teeing up the ball on the left side of the tee box to give me the best angle to take it down the right side of the fairway and allow my natural draw come back to the middle. What is your natural trajectory?

In life, we must also play to our strengths.


I love what my 85 yr. old mentor, Mr. Countryman shares with Back 9 men, “whether you are 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80, you are entering into the best decade of your life.” He goes on to tell guys that they should now know what they are good at and it is a season to perfect this God-given gift.

Jack and I had lunch with a guy that had just turned 60 and as Jack spoke into this man’s life by telling him that he will do more for the Lord in the next 10 years that he did his first 60 years. You should have seen how this man’s chest puffed up as he knew that he knew that he knew Jack was right as he had honed his skills of aligning the right companies to the right sponsorship opportunities to get the most bang for the buck.

For many of you that is making money. This next statement may go against the grain of what you have been told especially if you have been sold a bag of lies that you need to sell your business and go live in a thatched roof hut and share the Gospel in 3rd world countries. Are you kidding me? Come on! If you have the gift of doing deals, then go make another deal and seed into the work of the Lord to build His Kingdom and not your own Castle.  Be sure to align to a cause that deeply impacts your heart.

There is a great little book called Kings and Priests by David High. In a nutshell it talks about some of us are called to Preach and share the Good News on a full time basis, The Priests. The Kings on the other hand are to be the fuel to keep the Priests tanks filled as it still takes money to drive the message of Christ across this great land.

I hope this helps you play to your strengths…on and off the course.