January 31, 2011: Riches I Need Not

~ by Mary Galvano

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This past weekend I visited the PGA (Professional Golf Association) Merchandise Show in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. As a professional of the golf business it is a great place to meet with old acquaintances and get caught up with the latest and greatest inventions.

My family has been going to PGA Show since the first day it opened 57 years ago. My father was a Life Member of the PGA and three of my brothers are PGA Members. It used to be only one room, as I have heard, of only golf equipment. Things have certainly changed since then. As I was walking around with my brother we both commented on the commercialism of the sport.

This show has become so big the Orange County Convention Center had to be rebuilt so there would be enough room. As I looked up onto a huge movie screen I saw the figures of what the golf industry is worth. Golf has become a billion dollar industry taking in $62 billion per year!

This is not golf! It is an exploitation of golf. Just like Christmas, it has become so much about profit we tend to forget its true purpose. How many more things do we need? I am sure there are some golf legends turning in their graves. Ben Hogan, a golf legend, was such a naturalist he didn’t even want flag pins for the greens to show where the hole is. Now there are GPS Systems to help us find the way to the hole with the exact distance. To this day, I will not use one. The equipment is another story. I am not sure how many competitors are competing with technology or God given talent anymore.

We need to go back to the heart of the sport. It is a walk with nature and quiet time to oneself. It is soft conversations with friends and a game of integrity. It is spiritual. I remember has a little girl walking in a golf tournament with my holy spirit pin on my shirt and talking with God to help me to do well and to be a great example for others. This is golf.

But like most things in this world, we can’t leave things alone in their simplicity. We have to find a way to make them bigger and make a profit from it. Can’t we just do something for the love of it?

Let us remember, while the rest of the world is focused on the materialism of whatever it is we love or love to do, to really focus on the heart and the true meaning of it. Really go back to the heart of your vocation or profession. I want to end with the words from the Celtic song, ‘Be Thou My Vision’. It is a victory song but the paragraph I am sharing is a reminder that as Christians we have so much more given to us from our Heavenly Father than what this world could ever give us.

Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise
Be thou mine inheritance now and always
Be thou and Thou only the first in my heart
O Sov’reign of heaven, my treasure my art
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