Guest Column: Fads

Guest Column: Fads

By Dr. Robert R. Kopp

Some of my favorite golfers are getting really teed off by the deluge of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and Tigerized novices cluttering courses these days.

Short on etiquette and skill, they butcher fairways and greens, make Sergio Garcia’s pace of play seem considerate, and generally transform the game’s serenity into something more akin to baseball in the Bronx.

Bethpage, not Augusta, is today’s norm.

You’ll see everything from cut-offs, tank tops, sneakers, and sweat bands to polos, cuffed khakis, Florsheim saddle shoes, and ponytails (female and male) protruding so neatly from Taylor Made caps.

The only common denominator is a total ignorance of the game’s rules, which is only exceeded by a “I-paid-so-I’ll-take-as-long-as-I-want-to” navel-gazing determination not to pick up after 18 strokes.

Sam Snead’s advice to the fellow who asked what he needed to do to improve his swing comes to mind: “Quit!”

I think of the fellow who got to the first tee and pulled out an old ball. A voice sounded, “Use a new ball.” So he pulled out a new ball, placed it on the tee, took a practice swing, and heard the voice again: “Use an old ball.”

Lamentations aside, I’ve encouraged my buddies to hang in because the newbies will be hanging ‘em up pretty soon.

Fads go as quickly as they come in America.

We’ve gone from Frank and Bill to Ilie and Bjorn to Sergio and Tiger in less than three decades.

We’ve seen the openings and closings of all those specialty stores.

Do you remember running and tennis stores?

Do you think golf will be any different?

Can you say hula hoop?

I’m just hoping for some insider information like Hillary and Martha got, so I can invest early in the next fad, cash in, and get out before the following one.

But I’m not really talking about fads.

I’m talking about faith in the One who said, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).

I’m talking about enfleshed and reigning deity: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

And please don’t confuse faith in Him with those whose faith about Him has the attention span of a fad.

Maybe that’s why so many churches are dying. They don’t know the difference between a fad and faith.

Dr. Robert Kopp is the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park.

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