The Master’s Championship is happening this week in Augusta, Georgia. It is one of the great sporting events each year. The Master’s has an unmatched blend of a great competition and austere history and tradition. It is one of the PGA’s 4 major tournaments, but the only one that happens on the same course every year, and as such, it has a certain pomp that draws even casual gold fans to join the die hard enthusiasts.
This year, I am going to (hopefully) spend the next few days highlighting some members of this year’s field that are among the best golfers in the world, but also that have a relationship with God that they rely on to carry through the good and the hard times. We will begin with Oregon native, Ben Crane.
As I looked in to his story, I found these facts and stats about his golf game.
He has 7 wins as a pro (4 on the PGA, 3 on other pro tours). The most recent coming last October – according to Wikipedia, it was the day before his daughter Saylor was born.
He has finished as high as 9th (tie) in a major, and his best showing at the Master’s is a tie for 25th. He is known as one of the slowest, most deliberate players on the PGA tour, and also known as one of the funniest and most likable guys on tour. Here is a glimpse of some of the fun to be had with Ben Crane – one of the 4 members of the all-PGA boy band “Golf Boys”.
You can click here to see the video of their song “Oh, Oh, Oh”
And check out this video response to his “slow play”
But while he may not take himself too seriously (that red outfit he is wearing in the video is evidence of that) he does take his faith in God very seriously. As you can read in this article found at Faithwriters.com, he is precise and exacting, which consumed him as he constantly sought to better his game. Golf was #1 in his life until he met a pastor at his home golf club and through the building of their relationship, he decided to live his life for God. He still is diligent in his work on his gold game, but his perspective in from God’s purposes. He desires to use golf as a platform to share God with others. And God has given Crane some great places to impact lives. He has given Crane some great accountability in friends too, like his friend Mark Teixiera of the New York Yankees. He is using his web site to impact others, too. He offers videos on improving your golf game (as well as more videos like the one above). But also on his website, he has devotional thoughts and readings about God and living life for Him.
The Foundation that he and his wife started (The Ben and Heather Crane Foundation) also supports and raises money for H.O.P.E. Farm – an organization that runs an after school program for boys without fathers. and also Love 146 – an organization that ministers to, and aids children who have been recovered from the sex trafficking trade in Asia.
So, if you are a casual golf fan, or a die-hard, looking for who to cheer on at the biggest golf tournament of the year, I would like to recommend Crane, and the others that I will focus on over the next couple of days as valid possibilities, if not for any other reason that with the biggest audience of the year, there will be a chance to proclaim what God is doing in their life, both through word and action. Enjoy the tournament!