Ministry Resources

Recovery from the Rough

Author: Dave Beroth

One of my grandsons and I watched the final round of golf’s second major of the season — The US Open golf championship.

A few players, who started the day with the lead, lost their positions on the leaderboard early on the front nine. The announcers kept saying, “the winner of this championship will be the one who hits the most fairways from the tee.” They were right. The one who held the trophy at the end of the day “kept it in the fairway.”

The US Open has earned the marker “Golf’s Toughest Test,” and for great reason.

  • Narrow and firm fairway with contours set up uneven lies.
  • Bunker preparation creates a challenge of recovery.
  • Putting green firmness and speed challenge your approach shot on putting skill.
  • Rough height, density, and stages of severity make it difficult to play the second shot.
  • The length of the overall golf course relative to total par requires a player to be accurate off the tee.

Success for a golfer in these conditions is how well he can play the course the way it’s set up. There are times you will not hit the ball straight and it will land in the punishing rough.

Consistently hitting the ball in the middle of the fairway would be ideal, but every avid golfer knows at some point in your round you will find yourself in the “rough.” For all my non-golfing friends, “rough” refers to areas on the golf course outside of the fairways that feature taller, thicker grass.

Bobby Jones said, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies.”
Golf has an interesting way of imitating life or, I guess, vice versa. For those who aren’t golfers, this may seem like an odd topic. How could a game about controlling a little white ball be so relevant?

Someone stated that GOLF stands for “Game Of Life First.”

It is inevitable that you are going to get into some rough spots during the course of a round of golf. This is true in life as well.

1. Take 100 Percent Responsibility

In golf, if the ball is in the rough, you probably hit it there. You are not a victim of the course, of the wind or of the rules of golf. The only thing you can control is your attitude toward the next shot.

This is also true in life. Of course, there are circumstances beyond your control that may cause difficulties. Still, you must do what you can to advance – reach your goal and move forward in life. In golf, the more you’re peaceful and centered, your potential to post a low score is greater. Take responsibility for what’s going on in your life and peace will follow.

Take responsibility for what’s going on in your life and peace will follow.

2. Get Advice from Your Caddie and the Rules Official

It’s part of the caddie’s job to know the yardage to the hole. A good caddie knows your abilities and skill. With whom are you doing life at a level they can help relieve the tension you feel in the rough? In addition, God’s Word is totally sufficient for all of our needs.

3. Accurately Assess the Situation and Use the Appropriate Strategy

The first thing you need to do is make sure your next shot is the right one to get you back in a good position. In my life, I self correct back to Christ. I have never regretted making my next decision one He would applaud.

4. Trust the Process

Success is about the process, not the end product. A flawless round of golf doesn’t exist. Neither is life exempt from struggle, mistakes, and failures. Arnold Palmer said: “I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.” Stay in the game.

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