No Guts, No Glory

Daily Post: Visceral


Tin Cup is a comedy about a down-on-his-luck golf pro who finds himself managing a run down driving range in South Texas. Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) becomes enamored with his newest golf student, Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), and tries to win her affection by qualifying for the U.S. Open.  This film is a must see for every golfer, as it defines the ultimate go for broke, risk/reward type attitude that makes the game of golf so exciting.  The memorable scene of the final hole of the U.S. Open is unforgettable, where Costner’s character makes a 12, after Molly (yes, his girlfriend by that time in the movie) yells out, “Oh, just go for it Roy!”

Kingwood Country Club, located just north and east of Houston, Texas, was used for many of the golf scenes in the movie.  The club is actually 5 courses, (Island, Lake, Marsh, Forest, and Deerwood).  That famous scene from the movie was filmed on the par-4 fourth hole of Deerwood.  According to Darrell Fuston, Director of Golf for Kingwood Country Club, “It’s just an incredibly demanding par 4.”  This iconic hole is 453 yards, playing into the prevailing wind on most days, and an automatic lay up if you miss the fairway with your tee shot.  The second shot plays between trees and over water, with a bunker right, hazard left, and hazard behind the green if you’re long.  Most professionals find it a difficult hole, and deserving of its No. 1 handicap rating.

Tin Cup may be summed up by the title of this article, “No Guts, No Glory.”  That shot for Roy McAvoy was as much a mental/emotional challenge as it was a physical/golf test.  He had something to prove, to himself, to Molly, to his old playing partner who ridiculed him at every turn, and to the world at large.  He had to prove he could hit this shot.  And we see this mentality from golfers almost every week on whatever current tournament is being played around the world.  It seems to me the best Roy McAvoy type player on the tour today, is one who was actually in the movie, betting against Roy hitting the shot: Phil Mickelson.  You can also find this “attitude” in the Bible.

This was Paul’s prayer for the Church at Philippi [Philippians 1:9-11]:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Paul was encouraging the church to abandon their ties to the old world, and live with a “no guts, no glory” mindset for the LORD whom they serve.  He prayed they would have more and more love, more spiritual knowledge and discernment. He wanted them to pursue excellence in the lives, and doing so be filled with the Spirit’s blessings which would reflect God’s glory.  This was an all-in commitment.

Roy McAvoy was doing it for the human glory of having made the shot nobody else would even try.

We choose daily to live for the LORD in such a way that God will receive ultimate glory in our realms of influence.  So much so, that we will risk it all, just to bring Him this glory.

Its a visceral thing.  You feel it in your guts every time you take another step toward being all-in for Jesus.

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