I have a new favorite professional golfer, and I’ve never seen him play.
On Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, the Calvary Golf team was generously invited to hear one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard. It was a beautiful spring morning at The Savannah Golf Club. The banquet hall was packed, and Webb Simpson made an impression that most who attended at 7:30am will not soon forget.
Webb Simpson grew up in Raleigh, NC and turned pro in 2008. He and his former caddie, current Outreach Pastor at Community Bible Church here in Savannah, William Kane, started telling the crowd about some fun stories of their time together on the PGA tour. While on stage, we heard about his favorite golfer to play with, Angel Cabrera, because of his win-at-all-cost mentality. He shared about his 2012 U.S. Open win at the Olympic Club. He and William even relived some embarrassing moments from playing with Tiger Woods on the Ryder Cup Team and Webb’s favorite moment on tour with William that had the whole room hurting from laughter.
After 20 minutes of sharing about what it is like to be a professional golfer, Webb opened up about becoming a Christian. He and William discussed the 2008 ACC Championship, which was one of Webb’s goals. Going into his senior year, he had never finished better than 40th, and he wanted to win so badly. He finished the Saturday round 14 under, winning by 6 strokes. When he woke up the next morning, Webb told the group of intrigued listeners that he felt as empty as he did the morning after the previous three finishes at the ACC Tournament. He had no peace or satisfaction after accomplishing one of his most important worldly goals.
He was dressed in golf attire when Webb Simpson walked on stage that morning, but the only tool he carried was his Bible. He shared his favorite Bible verse, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Webb explained that he was empty because he was trying to fill himself with worldly desires. “I am 30 years old, I have a made more than 20 million dollars on the golf course, and I have a beautiful wife but the only thing that satisfies me is finding faith in the Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
“See,” Webb passionately exclaimed, “If someone does something for you, you want to honor that person. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we should all be living to honor Him.” He went on to explain that the gifts he has are from God. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but Webb is using the platform he has been given to spread the good news. Of all the moments he shared with the group, his favorite memories in life revolve around glorifying God. That is what the Apostle Paul is telling us in this verse.
A professional golfer stopped in Savannah on the Wednesday after playing in the Masters, the day before the start of The Heritage in Hilton Head, to share of the Word of God with a room full of strangers. The only compensation he received was a free breakfast.
Good luck this season, Webb, we will be pulling for you!