I was raised in a family of golfers, on a golf course, and around
those sticks and little white balls my whole childhood. It's no
surprise, then, that several of our kids are liking the game and
choose to go hit some golf balls to clear their minds from school
work, stretch their legs a bit, and get some fresh air. Golf is
a sport that can be played lifelong, and we particularly like the
idea of "personal best" that can contribute to the development
of some excellent character qualities.
Jim Sheard understands this concept well, that we can sharpen
our characters by challenging ourselves in a sport like golf. To
that end, he's written Beyond the Score as an excellent
primer on relationships. Citing 18 keys for golf and life, Dr.
Sheard points the reader to Scripture as the basis for true relationship
building, both on and off the golf course.
In order to give you an idea of each key's content, I want to
you to see how Key #4, "Serve Others," is presented. First, Dr.
Sheard defines serving as "giving value." He goes on to say, "Understand
what the other person seeks, the value you can offer, then provide
it more and more". He writes about serving others on the golf course,
gives insight into serving others in any setting or situation,
and shares how and when to make improvements in your service of
others. Each key asks a question to help you evaluate yourself,
gives you points to think about, and then encourages you to remember
something. In this case, the key to remember is, "What I give matters
more than what I get from my relationships."
If you have a budding golfer or a seasoned lover of the game on
your gift list, Beyond the Score is a good little book
to encourage and inspire. Because Dr. Sheard succinctly addresses
each relationship key, it may be just the thing for a young golfer
who doesn't love reading as much as he or she might like golf.
The golfers in this house very much appreciate it when an author
simply gets to the point, and Beyond the Score does just
I particularly appreciate Dr. Sheard's epilogue about having an
eternal impact, "allowing the Creator to use your gifts and talents
to influence people." When we begin to see how we can magnify God
in every area of our lives, including our sports, we are on our
way to developing an eternal perspective that can point others
to Christ--and in turn affect their eternity as well.