I am not a golfer, but I admit, I want to start playing golf — wish ko lang at wish ko talaga. After getting engrossed with the technicalities of the game after visiting an actual driving range, I suddenly realized how the sport embodies God’s infinite love for humanity.
There are iron golf clubs, as well as levels of “irons”, specifically made to pitch and maneuvre difficult, short shots through thick grass at each hole — pure alchemy if some would consider it. And having a negative score is better than having a positive one. Like St. Peter, who seems to be the Hari ng Sablay among the apostles due to his being impulsive and aggressive, more emotional than logical; God chose each one of us to love and champion, unworthy as we are. Our negative becomes positive because of Jesus.
This game also suggests that having what they call a “handicap” does not necessarily elicit pity; it even imposes an advantage because a higher handicapped player lets the competition go first. Less handicap, less experience, equals less skill.
While the world drives us to compete to be at par with the norm, God, on the other hand, allows us to grow in our freedom. Comparing it to golf’s “driver club” which hits the ball as far as possible and the “par” which means the prescribed number of shots that has to be equalled; God lets us enjoy freedom, while driving us to grow. But just like golf, He teaches us within those bounds called the “par” – regardless of external factors like water, sand traps, as well as the weather conditions of the day.
Further reflection about golf even suggests that wood is more powerful than iron, which is normally contrary to logic as metals are harder than wood. But in golf, wood clubs are the ones used to make powerful-long distance shots. In the story of our salvation, The Wood saved humanity from its doom — yes, The Wooden Cross where Jesus was crucified and forsaken. And with one putt (A putt is a gentle stroke to hole a ball), the ball goes into the hole, suggesting that it just takes God’s touch to end our sufferings.
In the end, the Filipino term hampaslupa acquired new meaning because of golf clubs striking the soil. Ang paghampas sa lupa is now a privilege and even called the game of the elite few. With that, imagine how it would be a much bigger honour and privilege to let our lives be the winning strokes of God’s golf.