Dead. Buried. Risen!

Fitting for Easter Week – a Lesson

In golf, as in with life, sometimes things happen that just aren't fair. You tried your best – you were as meticulous as could be, you selected the right club for the shot, you measured the wind, you observed the lie of the ball, you hit it solid, you hit it straight at the flag, but for whatever reason, you came up short, dead into the lip of the bunker.

No matter how hard you tried to do the right thing, it wasn't enough. It's not fair, but you have to play the hand you were dealt. If you have a few inches, open that club face up – make it look to the heavens. You may have to lean that shaft back behind the ball to create a loft that you can set a soda can on. Take plenty of wrist hinge, say a prayer, and swing under it but not through it. As the club gets stuck into the side of the wall, the ball pops up, then down, and by only the grace of God, on the green.

If it is buried into the lip, there is no way to the pin. You have to take the punishment, despite your best intentions. When you play a game that offers too many obstacles to avoid your whole life, eventually you get hung up with no easy way out. You have to turn and face the music, by literally turning and hitting it away from the flag, hopefully sideways out of the bunker, but not too far from a chance of salvaging your efforts. From there, an up and down can gain you hardly a blemish on the scorecard.

Your ball has kept out of trouble the whole round, but now finds itself surrounded in sand. As long as you can see the white, you have hope. You have to dig your way out. If it's light enough sand, you can open the face a little (adding loft and lift), and blast your way out. If it is heavier, coarse sand, then you need the bottom edge of the club to dig under the ball to dredge it out. A big swing, with a big whoosh, usually allows the ball to lift out limp and very slowly. If it lands on the green, it will roll out three times as far as the carry, but you're out – you have been shown mercy.

To survive the course as it is dealt, you have to believe in what you are doing, you have to have faith in what you have been taught, and you have to have trust in your God-given abilities. Sometimes, when you are in a tough spot, your ball getsburied and there is only one way out. Make it rise. You have to open the club face as much as possible, until it points straight up. After you grip it, bend the wrist up so the knuckles are skyward, this adds loft. Now, the trust and faith part – swing out of your shoes! Sell out! To make a splash, slap the ground under the ball, make the ground tremble. As majestic as the sunrise, the ball gleams as it rose from its grave. As the sand fades away, the pearly white ball remains in flight. When it seemed impossible, you leaned not on your own understanding, but you swung by faith, and now you can't believe your sight. It will rise! It is glorious!