Popular golf commentator David Feherty likes to say that the Lord’s name is invoked more on a golf course on Sundays than in churches. He speaks in jest, but he has a point. Golf is an incredibly frustrating sport that causes players to use language, sometimes blasphemous, that they otherwise wouldn’t. That’s golf. That’s life. We’re sinful people.
Some of the sport’s biggest names are devout Christians and host bible studies throughout the PGA Tour season. Bubba Watson is likely most famous among them, but he’s often joined by cohorts Ben Crane and Rickie Fowler among others. For some, the injection of religion into sport rubs them the wrong way.
For golfers with faith, it’s a necessary part of their lives and profession. Golf is the most introspective of sports. Players have only their caddies to bounce ideas or feelings off of. Other than that, they are virtually on their own. The spirit of a golfer is nearly as important to his play as his swing.
Scott Lehman recognized the relationship between religion, specifically Christianity, and golf long ago. The certified teaching professional started ‘In His Grip’ in the late 1990’s to spread his experience in golf and spirituality with all who would hear him. The organization has since hosted more than 250 events with the help of local churches.
Lehman is also an accomplished author. He recently published More than a Game: Finding Life’s Answers through Golf. The book is part autobiography, part reflection, and part Christian testament. But it’s also a guide for golfers. Lehman’s passion for teaching goes beyond the course. He wants to help men improve their lives.
More than a Game is an easy, enjoyable read. That’s exactly the intent. Someone looking for an in-depth analysis of Christianity’s history in golf or for a memoir of a reborn man will be somewhat disappointed. Instead think of the book as a helpful introduction to Christianity and golf, or a necessary supplement for the faithful man.
Lehman’s passion in all his teachings, golf or religious, has made him a popular man in golfing circles. He’s spoken at a prestigious events and carries an impressive network of contacts. In His Grip might not be for everybody. Nor is More than a Game. But both offer a different perspective on a sport that millions love. They may just be the answer to more fulfillment on and off the course.
You can follow Scott Lehman on twitter @inhisgripgolf.