Golf has many interesting terms for wayward shots. Duck hook, shank, slice, chunk, chili dip, fat, skank, are just a few. There is also the dreaded double-cross. While these others come as surprises to most, the double cross happens when we actually play for the ball to intentionally move in one direction but the opposite happens.
One day while playing at Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden, Colorado, I experienced my most memorable double-cross. It was during a period in our family’s life when we had moved to Colorado to minister to men strategically at country clubs. Every Thursday morning I would meet with about 70 men at Rolling Hills. I fondly remember it as one of the most special times of ministry of which God allowed me to be a part.
After the session each week, we would often have a group that would play golf. On this particular day we were playing the road hole on the back nine. Left of the fairway was a tall thick impenetrable hedge and fence that separated the course from a street. I generally liked to cut my ball off the hedge with the intention to have it curve back to the fairway. My plan went awry. I aimed left and pulled the ball left as well—the dreaded double cross.
Of course my ball flew over the hedge and fence never to be seen again—we thought. I always mark my ball with an SFT, a mental game reminder to see, feel, and trust each shot. As you can see, it doesn’t guarantee a good shot it just increases your percentages for good to happen. Well on this one golf happened. So, I teed up another, took my stroke, distance penalty and continued.
The following Thursday morning, as I set my Bible on the podium prior to the session starting, I noticed a golf ball sitting there with a big SFT marked on it. The head golf professional who was attending began to laugh as he introduced me to the person who brought it that morning. Our pro then began to tell the story of how this doctor had been driving his convertible down the street about a week ago when a golf ball bounced into his car! Yep, you guessed it—it was my double-crossed shot from the week before. This gentleman subsequently brought the ball to the pro shop and asked the pro if he knew who marked his ball with an SFT. The pro told him that I did and that I led a group of men on Thursday mornings in a study of my book. He invited him to come. The doctor came out of curiosity and never missed a session after that. God got his attention with a double-cross.
During the final session, I revealed the deeper meaning of SFT to the men: See God’s face, Feel His presence, and Trust His love. I am in awe of the lengths to which God will go to introduce eternity to His children.