PGA - Golf - 2023

PGA – Inspired Reflections

May 18, 2023
aaron mercer
Aaron Mercer

This week’s episode of Browncroft’s “Why God Why” podcast is an appropriate one with the PGA Championship in town. John Iamaio, our discipleship pastor, and Harry Gibbs, one of our church elders with a background in sports broadcasting, had the opportunity to visit with CBS Sports golf columnist Kyle Porter. In addition to covering several dozen golf majors, Kyle is also is an elder at Mosaic Church in Richardson, Texas.

John and Harry had a fascinating conversation with Kyle about the ups and downs of winning, so the Browncroft Blog wanted to catch up with them on their thoughts as the podcast episode dropped today.

Ok, let’s start with the big event happening. John, what are you excited about this week at the PGA?

A lot of people might not realize how big of a deal it is to have an event like this in our city. People from all over the world will be descending on Rochester. On top of that, the best golfers in the world will be showcasing their skills. There is A LOT to be excited about!

How about you, Harry?

I am thrilled to have the PGA championship back in Rochester. Oak Hill being transformed back to the original Donald Ross design has me most excited. It should be a great test for the best players in the world.

Can you tell us more about your interest in golf, Harry?

I have been playing golf since I was very young. When I was 10 years old Tiger Woods took the golf world by storm. I was completely hooked and loved watching Tiger dominate. As a player I was a 4-year starter for the high school varsity golf team in Amsterdam, and I went on from there to play college golf for Roberts Wesleyan College.

Nice! And, John… inquiring minds want to know… how would you describe your own relationship with golf?

I love golf, but I don’t play enough to be good at it. If nothing else, golf is an opportunity to improve my prayer life. Sometimes I find myself at a nice golf course by the invitation of a friend. Inevitably, I will start the round on the first tee by praying, “Lord, PLEASE don’t let me make a fool of myself!”

Ha. Trust me, John, you don’t even want to see me on the golf course. Ok, so what interested you about interviewing Kyle Porter for the WGW podcast?

As a sports fan, I loved the behind the scenes look that Kyle gave us into familiar faces in the PGA tour. As a follower of Jesus, I loved how Kyle tied his work and his faith together.

Looking back on the interview, what stuck with you the most?

I liked Kyle’s reflections on how different people handle success. To me it demonstrated that success or failure only amplifies what is already there beneath the surface of our lives.

How about you, Harry?

As someone who worked in sports broadcasting it was always difficult to balance my personal belief system with how I covered sports. I believe Kyle represents that balance in a very creative and gifted way.

So, Harry, after your conversation, why would you say winning is not necessarily the best thing to happen to someone?

We learn the most from our losses or failures. It builds our character and teaches us to trust the process.

How about you, John?

Winning can be great if you are rooted in who you are. If you know your identity is in God regardless of how you perform, winning is icing on the cake. When we need to win in order to earn our validation, it is a destructive cycle that never ends.

So, John, should we not want to win?

Anyone who has ever played a board game, card game, or sport with me knows that I love to win. I don’t believe that wanting to win is a bad thing (at least I hope not!). Making winning the ultimate thing, however, is a dangerous path to take.

Thanks so much, John and Harry. I can tell this is going to be a great podcast conversation. And enjoy the PGA Championship!

Photo by Soheb Zaidi on Unsplash

About The Author

aaron mercer
Aaron Mercer

Aaron Mercer is Browncroft Community Church’s Senior Director of Communications. Previously, he lived for two decades in Washington, DC, serving on Capitol Hill with a U.S. Senator and in two diverse evangelical Christian associations.

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