Church minister writes spiritual guide for golfers

The Church of Scotland minister who married Madonna and Guy Ritchie has written a spiritual guide to help golfers improve their game at one of the world's most prestigious golf courses.

Reverend Susan Brown tees off on the Royal Dornoch Golf course. Picture: Paul Campbell/Church of Scotland/PA Wire
Reverend Susan Brown tees off on the Royal Dornoch Golf course. Picture: Paul Campbell/Church of Scotland/PA Wire

The Rev Susan Brown, a Chaplain to the Queen, and minister of 13th century Dornoch Cathedral in the Highlands, walked the Royal Dornoch Golf Club course at different time of the day to capture its “moods” to compile tips for the 18 holes and clubhouse.

The Holy Round celebrates the 400th anniversary of golf being played in the area.

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For the 12th hole, Mrs Brown, a past LPGA Thistle Brooch and Grant Cup club champion, wrote: “A path crosses the fairway. Reminisce and share with your partner, how the path of your life crossed with a significant other in your life.

For the 16th hole, Mrs Brown wrote: “Onwards and upwards!

“From sea level at the tee take yourself over to the bench at the left of the green and enjoy the panorama.

“It puts your golf into perspective and brings to mind Psalm 8 which talks of all God has made and asks the question – what is mankind, that you are mindful of them?

The entry for the sixth hole says: “Be warned! A bunker with a magnetic draw awaits you. Choose your club carefully and think of the choices you have made in life.

“You have to live with the consequences!!”

Mrs Brown said: “Royal Dornoch is a stunning course and golf, for many people, is a spiritual experience.

“As the local minister I wondered how the Church could participate positively in the 400 year anniversary celebrations so I came up with the idea of creating a Holy Round. I went out at different times of the day to get a sense of the uniqueness of each hole and then from what I saw, created a simple ‘thought’ for all 18-holes – plus another for the obligatory 19th which is the club house.

“The thoughts are not designed to provide people with the perfect excuse to go golfing instead of to worship, but offer an opportunity to help the game be a more complete experience that exercises body, mind and spirit.”

Neil Hampton, the club’s general manager, described the tips in the Champion Course guidebook as a “tremendous asset”.