Finding God on the Golf Course

Are you an avid golfer, or are you more of an I-played-mini-golf-once kind of person? To be really successful at golf, or any sport or hobby for that matter, you need to put in a huge amount of time and perseverance. What can a sport such as this teach us about our spiritual journey and relationship with God?

God can be found anywhere, even on the golf course. “Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, has coined a phrase, ‘Finding God in all things.’ It’s that kind of awareness that it’s not as though our lives are compartmentalized into, ‘well it’s not as though God is there in church and then I have my life outside of church.’ But God is present everywhere so we can encounter God in the events of our daily life and in recreation like sports. So it’s not just a matter of praying when we’re on our knees, but praying as we go about our daily lives,” said Fr. James Kubicki, Jesuit priest and golfer.

Surrender to God is like swinging a golf club. “If I try to control a shot, if I overthink it and put too much of myself into it, it never works. And I always try to remember when I step up to the ball … to just go through the swing and let the club do the work rather than trying to control it,” explained Fr. Kubicki. He brings the same mindset into his daily life and prayer life, the idea of trust in God and “Letting go and letting God do the work”.

“I love bringing my faith into my game, it’s one of the most peaceful and spiritual things as prayer that is the most fulfilling ‘cause it’s active, it’s with people,” said Claire, who plays collegiate golf at Chico State in California. She spoke about the many conversations about faith that she’s had on the golf course, and some small ways she brings her Catholic faith into the game.

“Before and after every round, I do my best to say a little prayer. Before the round it will look something like, ‘Lord, I have worked very hard up to this point and I know that you’ve given me the tools to succeed in this game. I will carry myself to glorify you, I will do everything thoroughly to glorify you. My success in this game is equal to your success.’ … I definitely hope to win a tournament someday and just say like, this is just all for Him … He helped me all the way here and I do it for Him and He’s been my caddy this whole time,” said Claire.

Where else do you encounter God? What areas of your life have taught you about your Faith?