Five Minutes with the Rev. Greg Kronz of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, a Heritage Pro Am player

April 18, 2008 

Rev. Greg Kronz eschewed the lectern for a golf bag last Sunday. He stood next to his clubs in front of the congregation at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. His sermon's theme? "Golf and Life are two four-letter words, and both are good."

The Verizon Heritage Pro Am player explains how God can be found on the links.

Question. I imagine you're quite the avid golfer.

Answer. Actually, I was a rabid racquetball player. I was fairly competitive, but because I'm older than most I played with, I started diving more and more for shots. I had three surgeries.

The doctors said, "You can't keep doing this." Recovering from my surgery, I picked up golf. I had only played golf three to six times a year before that. I get one day off a week -- half day of golf, half day of yard work. My scores are slowly but surely coming down. I'm a bogie golfer. I can have a good round, and I can have a bad round (laughs).

Q. What was the idea you wanted to get across with your sermon?

A. There's so many lessons in golf. It's a game you can never perfect. I asked what is a perfect score in golf. ... The perfect round is 18. No one comes close to 18. What I said is that you can be a good person, but we don't come close to perfection. We need a savior. Jesus is the one who signs our scorecard at the end.

When I get out onto the golf course I admire the beauty of it ... but then the reality sinks in and I start hitting into hazards. We all suffer in life. Sometimes we do something well and we suffer. Sometimes we make bad decisions and we suffer. God is about mercy and grace and forgiveness.

Q. You ask for forgiveness much on the course?

A. When I was younger I took mulligans freely. Sometimes now I'll take a mulligan on the first shot. But that's it. P.G. Wodehouse once said: If a man walks into the rough and doesn't move his ball when no one is looking, that is a person who is faithful and trustworthy and honest. That character will carry though through his life.

We struggle in golf. None of us are perfect. There's lots of lessons. I've had several shots in golf -- one of my friends calls me a freak of nature because my swing isn't the prettiest -- that are uncanny. We were on the George Fazio course in Palmetto Dunes. One hole, I skulled my shot and it skipped on the water over a bulkhead and onto the green. I birdied the hole. My friends are incredulous. Next hole I'm sitting in a bunker taller than I am. I skulled the shot again and it hit the side of the bunker and bounced onto the green two feet from the hole ... I said, "Jesus loves us all, but I'm his favorite" (laughs).

You know, no one's perfect at life and no one's perfect in golf.

Q. Could Jesus hit a perfect score?

A. I don't speculate on those things (laughs).

Q. He might need practice. A bit rusty.

A. Well, that one ball I skipped across the water, I do call my Jesus ball (laughs).

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