In God's Grip: What Golf Can Teach Us About The Gospel
In 1953, as legendary golfer Ben Hogan accepted the U.S. Open Championship Trophy for the fourth time, he pointed to several specific elements that he felt made his accomplishments possible. He referenced "adequate preparation and knowledge of the course." He thanked his wife, Valerie, who, in his words, "has helped me more than she knows." Tucked within his gratitude were words that might have surprised some: "But there's something else I'm thankful for-you just can't do this sort of thing without God's help."
This is a book about God's help.
With permission of the heirs of Ben Hogan, author, pastor and priest, Russell Levenson, Jr. employs Hogan's timeless Classic "Five Lessons, " as a metaphor for growing and living the Christian Faith. This is a book for those who love the game of Golf and those who want to know more about the living an active and vibrant faith. Golfers and Disciples alike will love this journey with Ben Hogan and Levenson, as the words blended together within the fabric of a deeper understanding of how one comes to faith, grows in their faith and shares their faith with others.
In the Preface, Levenson quotes Hogan,
"In 1946 I ... honestly began to feel that I could count on playing fairly well each time I went out, that there was no practical reason for me to feel I might suddenly "lose it all." I would guess that what lay behind my new confidence was this: I had stopped trying to do a great many difficult things perfectly because it has become clear in my mind that this ambitious over-thoroughness was neither possible nor advisable, or even necessary. All you needed to groove were the fundamental movements- and there weren't so many of them."
Then Levenson goes on to suggest that Hogan's premise that embracing a new confidence in playing golf came not from acquiring more skills or new insights but from homing in on a few key fundamentals, was a breath of fresh air to any frustrated golfer trying to find his or her way to excellence. Hogan was offering not more to do and learn, but less. In fact, only five lessons that would enable a golfer to enjoy the game for a lifetime.
In today's multi-faceted world with its information flow beyond anyone's ability to receive or process, it is tempting for the Church, for religionists, and for Christian authors like me, for instance, to hand others a long list of things to do, and pray, and study in order to become a follower of Jesus and to live the life he calls his disciples to live. What if Hogan's principles speak to our own hunger not for more, but for less? That is precisely what this small, simple volume is intended to offer you-five key reflections to promote understanding and growing in the Christian life.... Toward that end, I bid you to hear Hogan's counsel: "Generally speaking, a teacher is no better than his pupil's ability to work and to learn."