Test Yourself


Champions stand out by their ability to hit shots under pressure with ease and calm. How can you see if you are in the champion zone?  There’s only one way.  You have to test yourself.  Not everyone will put himself to the test.

Testing creates pressure.  Pressure reveals where you stand on the champ-o-meter scale.

Last week I decided to test myself.  I entered a tournament that was bigger than my current state of play. I knew it. I did it anyway. It was an intentional choice. Why?  I wanted to test myself to see where I stood in my training for my big championship down the road.  I could have waited until I was more fully prepared.  I chose a different strategy. I decided to test myself to see what I needed to do to prepare. The pressure in the test would reveal those things to me.

My test revealed four things:  a champion spirit, a champion character, a childhood wound, and a backslidden golf swing–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because a tournament places a demand on every part of my being, every part of my being revealed itself.  From what was hidden even to myself to what was obvious, I located myself.  Now I know what I need to work on to fully engage for my upcoming championship.

My backslidden golf swing was a result of changing the pacing of my swing.  When I reverted back to a slower pace, my new swing appeared the very next day.  Lesson:  perfect my pacing under pressure. The childhood wound was addressed by an opportunity to give to others the very thing I did not receive myself.  Lesson: impart more of what I gained from that experience to others.  Those lessons go beyond my head. They reach a cellular level.  When your preparations reach a cellular level, you are on the road to championship.

One of the reasons King David was a champion was that he invited testing.  While a king, a warrior, a worshipper, and a man after God’s heart, he wasn’t afraid to be tested.  “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind, for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth” (Psalm 26:2).

What comes out of you when you are tested?  What does pressure produce in you?  Do you remain the  calm and relaxed person under pressure as you are without the pressure? Who do you become? If you are the same person—hitting your shots under pressure with calm and ease, welcome to the champion zone.  If not, examine what the pressure reveals to you and work on your game along with me.





Tournament Day 1: Things That Disappear

Today was a day of things disappearing!  I fully prepared everything I needed to play the first day of my mini-tour event until I stepped up to the first tee.  I realized that I left my range finder somewhere on the driving range of another golf course!  I had to walk all the yardages off old school—which were not as accurate, especially into the wind, as my range finder is!

Then my swing disappeared!  I wanted to use this tournament to “locate myself” with all the new swing changes I have been making.  I wanted to know how it would hold up under pressure. My swing was great on the practice tee, but the young tweety-birds I was playing with hit the ball hard and fast.  In order for me to hit it well, I have to hit it hard and slow.  Fortunately, I was able to discern how to recapture my “disappearing swing,” and hit it great again on the practice tee after my round.  I will do better tomorrow because now I know better.

During the course of my round, I then hit a shot in a sand trap. No matter how much we looked for it, we could not find it.  There was not even a trace of where it went into the trap. It just disappeared!  Yikes!

The biggest disappearance was the professional atmosphere which I invested $600 in to enjoy in this event.  One of the girls’ father was caddying for her and thought this was a good day to interject his rather boisterous comments into the round, disturbing my play, and turning a professional experience into a strange kind of social one. I had to stop numerous times to address the fly in the ointment.

In the midst of a day of disappearances, a few things appeared and rather noticeably at that.  Upon learning that my goal was to play in this year’s Senior Women’s U.S. Open, my playing partner spoke something beautiful and totally sincere into my life.  In a moment of reflection and clarity, she said, “I can see you playing in that.”  She saw the champion in me and spoke to it.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that meant to me in the middle of shooting a round in the “not so low eighties”!

The father of the other player came marching over to me after the round exclaiming, “You are one class act. The way you handled the other father was truly impressive.”  I was stunned–and blessed that he saw something standout in me despite my poor score.

While my range finder, lost ball in in the sand, professional atmosphere and swing disappeared, I was blessed with the evidence of my character and champion spirit showing up in full display.

Capturing that inner win–along with the re-appearance of my swing after the round—gave me a reassurance that tomorrow will be better–and hopefully, a lower score will appear as well!


If You Want to Release More Potential, Play a Bigger Game!

Hello Friends! I am excited to announce that I am on the road to championship again this year!  The very first Senior Women’s U.S. Open is taking place mid-July and I am beginning to prepare for it NOW—because I want to play in it!

What is the best way to prepare for a championship?  Perhaps yours is not about golf, but everybody has a championship, whether it is your health, career, family, or another personal goal.  What is the best way to capture the win you anticipate?

I am discovering the best path to achieving “that goal way out there” is to fully put yourself into the energy of it NOW.  Even more important than a great swing is the state of being you operate out of.  To explain:  you can have all the right mechanics, but right mechanics alone don’t score victories.  You have to be in the spirit of the thing and work at it from a cellular level.  “That thing” has to be in your cells to manifest it.

It helps to have visual reminders of your big goal.  Last year after the Florida Women’s Open, I went out and bought this trophy which I found in a beautiful gift shop in Lakeland, Florida.  I put it by my other trophies to remind myself of the fine finish and the inner victories I scored in the Florida Women’s Open.

This year I went back to the same shop and found an even bigger trophy.  The moment I looked at that thing, I felt it looking at me and declaring, “If you want to release more of your potential this year, play a bigger game.”  I knew it was calling my name and represented the level of game I wanted to be in come July—a world class tournament that was at my level.  The question became, “Was I willing to prepare AT A WORLD CLASS LEVEL NOW?”  To call myself up higher, I bought the bigger trophy to symbolize the level of preparation I’d need to engage in to be ready for the bigger game I desired.  I also bought it to meditate on a bigger prize, which the trophy represented.

That’s why I decided to tee it up early to play on the Professional Women’s Golf Tour tournament next week.  It’s a 3 day event on the same course I will be playing in the Senior Women’s U.S. Open Qualifier on.  My main goal is to “locate myself” on that course to discover what I need to work on the next four months.  My entry into this tournament is also an announcement to every cell of my being, “Get ready!  We’re playing a bigger game this year!”  I fully expect to release more of my potential because I created a challenging space for that potential to release itself.

What about you?  Do you want to release more of your potential this year?  If so, play a bigger game.  Call yourself up higher. Take the risk. Make the investment in yourself.  Connect with that person.  Act on your big idea, desire, or dream.  Get out of wish mode and into full action mode.  Possess your trophy.  Join me on the road to championship!

If you would like to engage with me and share what your championship is, please do so on my Facebook page where this writing is posted at Veronica Karaman Coaching.

Prayer Requests:

My tee time on the LGPA International Hills Course is Monday, February 5th at 9:10 am starting on Hole #10.  Tuesday it is at 8:20 am.

Please pray for me, particularly for a strong start.

Development opportunities:

If you are interested in performance coaching, I now have my signature program, The Champion’s Way: Core Foundations for Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life on-line as a 12 Module Video Series.  If you are looking for a holistic system to continual advancement in your game—whether in sports or life—you will discover it here:  jointhechampionsway.com


Veronica Karaman

My Story Poem of the Two Women Behind Christmas: Mary and Elizabeth

I share this story in honor of my mother, who passed away December 22, 2017.  She was the most impossible person in my life who died my best friend.  Through my determination to reach her heart before she passed, a learned a few things about reaching hearts and the purposes of God in women’s—relatives’ lives. I hope this message blesses and inspires you, which I wrote in 1990.  It is the story of the two women behind the birth of Christ:  Mary and Elizabeth.

Most people think that Christmas is a time of celebrating Christ’s birth,                                              But Christmas is first the story of two special women here on earth.

This story I am going to share is God’s message to your heart,                                                          So listen up, I’m about to start.

Together let’s go back some 2,000 years                                                                                                  And examine the lives to two spiritual peers.

One’s name was Mary, whom some say was just a teen,                                                                        The other’s, Elizabeth, was too old to be seen.

Now to Mary an angel appeared one night.                                                                                         The divine interruption caused her great fright.

But the angel said, “Cool your jets sweetheart,                                                                                    For to you a vision I’m about to impart.”

You will conceive and give birth to God’s son,                                                                                      For your destiny’s appointment has finally come.

What’s more, your relative Elizabeth is almost due,                                                                            You see she’s pregnant with a very important Jew.

For with God, nothing is impossible you know.                                                                                  He’s able to bring down the proud, and lift up the low—ly.

Mary’s response was one of admirable submission,                                                                        “May it be to me as you have said,” was her admission.

Now the point I want to convey is quite clear,                                                                                        So listen up, this I want you to hear.

All this happened while Mary was preparing for her wedding,                                                          But instead of going to Joseph’s, to Elizabeth’s she was heading.

Just think of Mary giving up prime romance time,                                                                                 To visit her old relative without even a murmur or a whine.

Consider this too, she wasn’t just going across the street,                                                                    It was a hundred mile, five day journey before these two women would meet.

Mary couldn’t call ahead on her cellular phone,                                                                                With no prior notice, Mary left for Liz’s home.

Mind you, to Liz’s Southwest had no discounted route,                                                                   With no Mastercard, Mary certainly had no financial clout.

In simple faith to the angel’s word                                                                                                       Mary responded to what she heard.

The Scripture says out of town she did hurry,                                                                                    Leaving behind her lover without even a worry.

The reason behind her actions is difficult to perceive.                                                                       Why was it important for this young maiden to leave?

Let’s take a deeper look into this story                                                                                                With a little insight we’ll discover some meaning, and some of God’s glory.

Now imagine the total sense of loneliness Mary must have had,                                                       To be the only one in history to conceive without the baby’s dad.

No one in the world could identify with Mary’s feelings,                                                                Except for someone else who could relate to supernatural dealings.

That person was an old woman,                                                                                                            Once barren, now miraculously pregnant with a son.

Yes, Elizabeth could believe Mary’s story at this stage,                                                              Because of her own story of conceiving well past age.

In spending time with Elizabeth, Mary would find comfort,                                                         Whereas hanging around Joseph, she could have been hurt.

In Elizabeth, Mary found understanding and confirmation,                                                            Instead of feeling isolation, she felt elation.

For when Mary and Elizabeth finally greeted,                                                                                      With joy and blessing Mary was treated.

Aunt Liz never said, “Hey, my own morning sickness I’m feeling.                                                            I can’t be concerned with your prenatal healing.”

She never said, “Don’t bother me. I’ve been in five month’s seclusion.                                            Your coming here is just some heavenly delusion.”

She never scolded Mary for no advance notice.                                                                                        No, there was no sign of anything but bliss.

There was John the Baptist in the womb doing stunts.                                                                    What a welcome of Mary’s stay of three months!

God’s bringing together of these two women in Him,                                                                             A more loving plan there couldn’t have been.

At the same time in two individual, but related lives,                                                                        Was a greater sovereign work, God’s so wise.

Strengthening one another prior to the birth of their visions in the Lord,                                            What a joy it must have been, even to God, to see them in such one accord.

God in His infinite grace and wisdom from above                                                                    Entwined a barren old woman and young maiden in divine love.

The story ends with Mary returning home just before Elizabeth is due                                           We can now raise the question, “What does all of this mean to me and you?”

I thought you’d never ask. I’m now going to end this rhyme, but will continue sharing from my heart for a few more moments of time.

Travel with me now some 2,000 years ahead in time, to your town.  Drive down your main street, turn into your driveway. Peer into another meeting of Marys and Elizabeths.

In your life, there are many Marys, that is, young saints of God who are about to give birth to a vision, women who need an Elizabeth.

In your life, there are many Elizabeths, seasoned saints of God, who have experienced a lot of life and a lot of God.  Perhaps, however, you are feeling a little barren, and a little lonely.  You are having trouble realizing that someone else could empathize with your feelings.  You need the encouragement and refreshment of a Mary.

Now I am talking about more than the linking up of two friends.  I’m talking about receiving what you are lacking in your spirit.

The name “Mary” means “incense unto God.”  Mary represents that which is fresh, fragrant, delightful, savory, holy, worshipful, prayerful, new.  The name Elizabeth means “my God has sworn.”  Elizabeth represents that which is steadfast, true, full of promise, unchanging, faithful, and perhaps “old.”

What will it take for the spirit of Mary to link up with the spirit of Elizabeth?  What will it take in your life in those places that need the affirmation of an Elizabeth to link up with the freshness of a Mary?  What will it take in your life to break out of those potentially lonely places to experience the loveliness that God has in store for you? It will take the same thing it took Mary and Elizabeth.  It will take risking relationship.

Both Mary and Elizabeth had to risk relationship in order for each one to receive the fullness that God had intended for them prior to the birthing of their visions.  Consider the stigma placed on both.

When Mary surrendered to the will of God she gave up the last vestige of living for herself.  She risked losing Joseph and any hopes for happiness in marriage.  She laid her reputation in the community on the line when she surrendered to the will of God.  Her very life was at stake, for a woman to be found with child out of wedlock was to be stoned to death under the Law.

Consider Elizabeth.  It was a shameful thing for a woman to be barren.  In Bible times, it was considered to be a punishment from God for a woman to be childless.  Often friends and relatives questioned their piety.  Women often suffered reproach from others, as their family and friends wrongly judged her, thinking, “If she was right with God, He would bless her with children.”

Mary was going to stay with a woman who was looked down upon in society.  She had to overlook the stigma of shame attached to Elizabeth.  Elizabeth had to overlook the possible consequences of Mary’s situation.  She would be welcoming into her home a woman who potentially deserved death.  With so much going against them in the natural, what was it that enabled them to link up with one another to find the fullness of God in their relationship?

The answer is simple.  Both Mary and Elizabeth had submitted their relationships to His Lordship.  They were able to experience the flow of God in their lives because they allowed God to be in control.  As such, they could respond to the spirit, and without fear.  And in doing so, instead of experiencing loneliness and confusion, they both experienced comfort and consolation.  God has a Mary for every Elizabeth, and an Elizabeth for every Mary.

Don’t miss your divine appointment this Christmas season.  God has a Mary or Elizabeth for you!  Open up your eyes and heart to see her….and don’t be afraid to cross the great divide of differences to connect spirit to spirit.  He wants to bless you!

There was someone in my life with whom I felt “the great divide.”  It was my mother.  But it was precisely my mother to whom God was sending me to be my Elizabeth.

The most impossible person in my life was my mother.  I prayed for 25 years, “God don’t take my mother until I know her.”  At 85, when she was given 6 months to live due ot a terminal heart condition, I knew it was my season to get to know Mom.  I tried everything to reach her, but nothing worked until I took Mom out on the golf course.  I taught her how to play golf at 85!  It was amazing!  Mom and I developed a perfect friendship on the golf course.  Our friendship grew.  At 88, I helped her start her own house-cleaning business, and took her on a legacy vacation to Nova Scotia.  At 89, she started public speaking.  At 90, I entered her into her first golf tournament, the Grandma Open, which I created just for her!  At 91, she died my best friend.  Together, and through the grace of God, we turned 6 months into 7 years—and created a whole new legacy for us in her latter days.  If God can do it for us, He can do it for you!!

An additional application to the Mary/Elizabeth story:

Christmas is a time when families get together, and so often there is great joy, and so often there is great pain.  Celebration and loneliness.  Joy and bitterness.  Love and estrangement.  I believe that God wants to do a work in families this Christmas—to bring a leap of hope in the womb of your family this Christmas.  I believe God wants to build bridges, carve out destinies, fashion fresh hope, grant understanding, have you unwrap gifts of encouragement and faith.  How will it happen?  By taking the same steps Mary and Elizabeth did:

  1. They responded to the inner voice of the Spirit.  What is God prompting you to do?
  2. Mary traveled the distance to see Elizabeth.  Sometimes it is stressful to put forth the effort to travel and pay the price to make the trip—but do it!
  3. They both looked beyond social stigmas.  Okay, your Aunt Betty may be losing her memory and tell how when she grew up she only had one pair of shoes, so why do you need another pair—but there is a treasure of God in her for you if you will look beyond the things that separate you to the things that bring you together.
  4. They shared something  in common:  They were both pregnant.  Share what you have in common that brings you together, and gets you looking forward.
  5. God was accomplishing His divine will through relatives.  Many times we do not believe in a divine purpose with our families—we may believe in demonic purpose!  God wants us to believe in something good—and to receive His good.  Open your heart to the new thing God wants to do.
  6. Their visit had limits.  After three months Mary returned home.  Know your limits on your trip.  Don’t stay longer than what drains you of your energy and spirit.  Many people say three days is a good amount of time to spend with relatives.  Don’t feel guilty for not feeling able to stay longer.   Creating a lasing memory is more important than how long the visit lasts.
  7. Be courageous.  Both Mary and Elizabeth took relational risks to connect.  Take your risk in the Lord.  Guard your heart and go!

If you want a more detailed coach training on how to get a relationship turnaround or special connection with a loved one this Christmas, please visit:


I will show you how to send out a shot of joy!


Veronica Karaman

Author, The Mary-Elizabeth Story

Founder, True Champion Coaching

Join us for the Glory to Glory Golf School in Myrtle Beach, Nov. 3-5

                                                  Glory to Glory Golf School for Women

                          Join us for an unforgettable golf-discovery weekend in Myrtle Beach! 

                                                              November 3-5, 2017 

Designed for busy women professionals who want to learn golf in an intensive weekend and tee it up with confidence from the start!

 *Learn the fundamentals of the game:  putting, short game, full swing                                                *Discover how to practice like a pro even as a beginner                                                                              *Get out on the course with confidence                                                                                                  *Learn how to play the game with on-course professional instruction                                                    *Discover the core foundations of peak performance for golf and life                                                        *Make new friends and strengthen your faith                                                                                             *For beginners and those who need a course in the fundamentals

 3 Day Golf School:

Each Morning:  9 am – 1 pm Golf School  (Fri., Sat., Sun.)                                                                       Each Afternoon:  2 to 5 pm: On Course Play on 3 different courses                                                              Sunday afternoon 9 Hole Team Competition                                                                                             Optional evening sista-hood!

This is a small group intensive and fun golf advancement program with Master Peak Performance Coach and Golf Professional, Veronica Karaman.  You will receive WORLD CLASS INSTRUCTION with maximum individual attention in a small group learning environment. Maximum student-teacher ratio 6 to 1.

Your instructor:

Veronica Karaman is the founder of True Champion Coaching.  An elite performance coach and golf professional for over 25 years, Veronica’s passion is to empower people to maximize their potential and release the champion within to achieve results beyond their expectations in golf, personal leadership, and life goals.



2017 Tennessee Senior Women’s Open Champion                                                                           2017 Florida Senior Women’s Open – 4th in Pro Div.                                                                                 1989 Women’s U.S. Open Player                                                                                                           Certified Professional Coach                                                                                                            Professional Golfer, Formerly with Oakmont CC, Kingsmill Resort, Country Club of NC, Pinehurst                                                                                                                                                   M.A. Communication, Regent University                                                                                                     B.A. Duke University                                                                                                                                       Duke University Regional All-American

3 Day School Investment:  $797*                                                                                                              Optional 2 day school:  $597

Includes:  3 Days (18 hours) of world class golf instruction both on the range and                   course.                                                                                                                                                           All range balls and three 9 hole green fees                                                                              Culminating team golf competition with prizes                                                                                        Peak performance training for both on and off course advancement                                          Instruction notes                                                                                                                                              Gift

To Register:  Call or email Veronica at 757-407-1907                        veronica@truechampioncoaching.com

Register today. This school will fill up fast!

*Most 3 day golf schools at a resort begin at a few thousand dollars.

Our morning school will be held at Barefoot Resort.  Afternoon at 2 different par 3 courses, and then the 9 hole culminating play at River Oaks Golf Course.

What others are saying:

Veronica has a wonderful ability to combine her wisdom about golf and life to help people take a closer look at life matters.  Bernhard Langer, PGA Masters Champion

Veronica is a true champion with attributes of intellect, professionalism, charisma, and faith.  Madeline Mims, Olympian, International Sports Ambassador

Veronica has an amazing gift of communication and reaching out to others.                                    E. Beisiegel, LPGA Tour Player

I just had my first lesson with Veronica.  What a great lady and a very good teacher.  She can really pinpoint your problem and tell you how to correct it.  I was so impressed with her as a person and an instructor.  Janet Wood

Veronica is gifted with an ability to relate to people of various ages and skill levels.  She has a real flare for teaching.   Nora Moran

I felt very good after our session today and feel I’m on the right path – thanks to you. I’ll see you a week from Sunday.  Kathy W., Whispering Pines

Becky played awesome and won the big bucks today!  Rosemary Lea, Raleigh

I improved 10 strokes in 9 holes, and even had a natural birdie as a 28 handicapper!  I made significant advances in my golf game in just one day, thanks to Veronica’s teaching.             Becky P.,Cary

Veronica is a great motivational speaker. Gerry S.

Veronica is very upbeat and explains everything to our group in a clear and interesting way.  I felt she was interested in us as individuals.  She was warm, caring, and I learned many good ideas on how to improve my game.  M. P. Carl

I just wanted to let you know that your lessons are working!!! On Tuesday we played in the Founder’s Day Tournament  and I won it with a low net of 69! My net score was the only one below par.I just love golf! Your ears should be itching because I’m constantly saying “Thank you Veronica” while I’m on the course!  Peggy Flygar, Personal Champion Coaching student

I wanted to thank you for something in addition to my swing improvements: I love playing golf again; I  get such a joy from playing that hasn’t been there in years, thanks to you.                     KC S., USGA Rules Official

Dear Veronica:

Thank you so much for all your help with the golf lessons that I have taken from you during the past two months.  Over the years, I have struggled to learn to play the game which I realize may be an unusual thing to say since I’ve worked in the golf business for more than 25 years.  You are the first instructor who has helped me understand that I don’t need to “perfect” everything at once; instead, I need to concentrate on learning one thing in each lesson and working on that one thing.  In the past, I believe I was overloaded at times by instructors, cramming too many thoughts into one session, so that I could hardly remember what to do after the instruction session was over.

I also appreciate the way you make each instruction session fun – golf should definitely be enjoyed, and you set the example by the way you instruct.

In the future when I have the opportunity to play the U.S. Women’s Open courses on site visits, I’ll not be so reticent and will believe I can do it without embarrassing myself or the USGA.  Most everyone always assumes I have a low handicap due to my position as USGA Director of U.S. Women’s Open Championships even though it’s definitely not necessary for my job.  Although I may never become a low handicap golfer, at least now, I feel I am becoming better equipped to play golf.  I truly appreciate your instruction and encouragement.

I know whatever path you may take, you’ll be successful.  You are a gifted golf instructor who I believe has a special knack for working with women – you make learning the game understandable, and you are an encourager.

Betse Hamilton, Former Executive Director, Women’s U.S. Open Championship







Some Golf Courses Are Plain Stupid!

golf florida women's openLet’s face it.  Some golf courses are plain stupid!  I played one this past weekend in the Florida Senior Women’s Open—Reunion Resort.  The course is nothing like its name.  The last thing I want to do is have a reunion with this jacked up track.

The first day I hit a great drive down the right center of the fairway.  My ball ended up in an unseen waster bunker right in the middle of a big tire track.  After taking a free drop, the ball plugged in the sand.  Double bogie.   A few holes later, I hit it right down the center of the fairway and ended up on an uphill-side hill lie.  I had to hit a wood off of that kind of nearly impossible unfair lie.  A few holes later I hit a great shot.  The ball skipped over the green up on top of what seemed like a goat hill.  I might as well have been a goat because I had to almost get down on my knees to hit the ball off that crazy lie.

If I didn’t know better, I would say some Disney imagineer designed that golf course.  It was the most contrived resort course I have ever played.  The terrain looked like it had a bad case of the mumps, or at least a severe case of acne.  I wanted to call the superintendent of golf course dermatology, but I don’t think he was in.

I would have enjoyed the course much better if they had put in little statutes of Mickey Mouse for tee markers and installed a mini-roller coaster between the front and back nines. At least that would have been more consistent with my experience. Certainly, it would have been more fun.  To top it off, I think having a great big waterfall on about the twelveth hole would have provided some much needed relief from the 107 degree heat.  The highlight of the tournament for me was standing under a big sprinkler on a back nine green and getting soaking wet.  Now that was a truly pleasurable experience.

About the greens: I consider myself to be a great putter.  However,  I could not read these greens.  Just when I thought the break would go to the left, it went to the right.  Just when I thought I had the speed of the greens down, the pace would shift.  UGH!  I actually got the ball closer to the hole when I had to chip or pitch the ball at times than when I putted it.

It is very difficult to play a golf course well when you don’t like it.  I work hard at not creating any kind of internal resistance to anything when I play because that creates an obstacle in your mind.  Then you have created an unnecessary challenge for yourself that you have to overcome—one you don’t need.  Perhaps the real mumps were in my own mind.  Hey maybe there is more truth to that than I am willing to admit.

For instance, I rented an Airbnb room to be closer to the resort.  When the owner of the home came out to meet me, he was carrying a big iridescent ball over his head.  “What the heck is he doing?” I thought.  As he reached out his hand to shake mine, I couldn’t help but think, “Is that a crystal ball he is holding?”  My mind graduated into “mump thinking”:  “Is this guy into some kind of crystal balls?  Is he casting a spell on me?  Is he cursing me because he found out I am a believer and he is in the occult?”  I started to Google crystal balls to find out what he could possibly be doing.

A couple of days later, I was talking to his mom.  She said to me in passing, “Ever since my son came to Florida, he has been fascinated with juggling.  In fact, Disney has called him to interview him.  We are hoping they will give him an opportunity to develop his new –found talent.”  I slid in my seat.  At least I didn’t let my imagination wander out-loud.  Whew!  I was glad I was no longer under an imaginary spell of my own making.

Apparently the golf course didn’t bother some of the players.  The winner of the overall tournament shot a 63 in one round.  Guess she likes Mickey Mouse.  I didn’t fair too badly, finishing fourth in the money and sixth overall in the Senior Division, shooting 3 rounds in the upper 70’s.

Maybe I will take a few bucks out of my winnings and go visit Disneyworld.  I won’t have to sink any weird putts or hang from any stupid lies in the middle of the fairway.  I may still need that sprinkler, however.  At least I will enjoy some real imagination worth enjoying.

Swinging Unto Thee: Playing Competitive Golf from a Spirit of Worship

me and tee

As I sit here and write this update, I am caught up in the presence of God.  There is nothing like worship, right in the middle of the day, to bring life, empowerment, and a fully engaged preparation to playing your best game, on or off the course—right here, right now.

I am in the midst of preparing for the Florida Senior Women’s Open Championship, which is taking place this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida.

I am convinced it was the spontaneous worship I entered into the last day of the Tennessee Senior Women’s Open that equipped me to win the championship by a resounding 13 shots.  In sports performance there is a term called “Ideal Performance State,” that is, I.P.S.  It is an emotional-mental state an athlete creates for herself that enables her to play at peak performance.

You can create it intentionally if you know how.  It is a totally positive mental state where “calm concentration” marks your reality. You are free from opposing thoughts, fear, and the need to control outcomes.  You are totally emotionally present to the shot. The mind is clear.  You see the shot and hit it.  I did that ALL DAY LONG last week and I am convinced it was the power of worship that enabled me to go into this realm as a result of losing myself in the presence of God.  In fact, I was so caught up in worship, I almost forgot I had a tournament going on!  I had to tell myself that morning, “Girl, you better get to the golf course or you’re going to be late for your tee time!”

I am fascinated by the exploration of worship as it relates to competition, winning, and performance.  Many years ago, I had a conversation with Bob Rotella, one of the fathers of sports psychology. He brought to light the mind-body connection in sports.  In our conversation, I brought to light that we are not only two part beings—mind and body, but three part beings:  spirit, mind, and body.  He dismissed my thought as irrelevant.  However, I knew it to be true.  If spirit is a dimension to who we are, then to fully perform, we must necessarily engage the FULLNESS of who we are, all three dimensions.  I just didn’t know how at the time.  I do now.

What I do know is that when we worship, our spirit-man envelopes our soulish man.  Our mind, will and emotions become absorbed by the realm of the Spirit.  My spirit, little ‘s’, becomes swallowed up in the big “S”, the realm of the Holy Spirit.  I know this to be true because there wasn’t even one negative thought to contend with as I took my focus off of myself and onto the Lord.  My mind was clear. My emotions were calm.  My spirit was free and at peace.  What was most remarkable was the duration of my I.P.S.  It lasted the entire round, through all day rain.

As I reflect on that experience, I realize that what we have not apprehended is how to take worship out of the church and into the realm of work, performance, and achievement as MODUS OPERENDI.

I like the words of Phil Driscoll, master worshipper and trumpeter, whose thoughts I quote randomly:

“All worship is in the honor of God.  Worship causes the presence of God to fill the atmosphere anywhere it’s done. I don’t care if it’s in the ball field or in the streets.  Wherever worship fills the atmosphere, God comes.  As the sound goes, so goes the presence of God.  As I give to God, God releases into me.  There is a sound that cannot be rehearsed. There is a frequency in heaven that is coming to earth –new sounds—coupled with men and women who lift up their hearts. Sound was never intended by God to be absent in spirit. Wherever the presence of God is, miracles, signs and wonders happen.”

What he is saying is “when we worship God wherever—in the boardroom, the classroom, the living room, or in the fairway–God shows up in the atmosphere and transforms it!”  He creates an Ideal Performance State for us as we worship Him!  Halleluiah!

It was important for me to express these thoughts because I am asking for your prayers to GO DEEPER into this realm of “swinging unto thee” this week as I enter the final competition of my little tour for now.  I want to experience this realm again and again and again!

Please pray for me to:

1. Continue to dive into my Spirit-inspired curiosity about integrating winning and worship.          2. Put my body, mind, and spirit in a position to win.  Yes, I do want to win again!                        3.Learn the golf courses well. There are two of them. Both resort-ish and totally uninspiring.  4.The one course looks like it has a bad case of the mumps.  Stupid undulations all over the    place. I think someone from Disney World must had designed these courses. Wed. is another    practice round on the Palmer course.                                                                                                          5Really enjoy myself!                                                                                                                              6.Be a bright light to others.

Application:  Join me in my curiosity.  Take some time out –even if it is in the middle of the day –and worship God for 15 minutes.  Observe the result.  Let me know what happened!

Worship and Winning

July 30, 2017

My reflections on creating an Ideal Performance State through worship from my recent tournament victory. I hope this encourages you and informs you.

trophy tn

If you have not heard by now, I won the Tennessee Senior Women’s Open by a resounding 13 shots!  I played brilliantly, if I don’t mind saying so, shooting an even par 72 in very rainy conditions all day long.

Today I visited a new friend’s church in Raleigh whom I met while at The Messenger Cup in Colorado Springs two weeks ago, Pastor Lynton Turkington. He honored me in front of the entire church, telling of how we met and how I was an answer to his prayer for help with his chipping that day!  He had me stand up and lift my trophy before the entire congregation who cheered me on and shared in my victory!  That was so great—to bring my victory into the Body of Christ and make it theirs as well as mine!

It was marvelous to experience the fruit of worship in competition. Here is what I discovered:

  1. Friday morning I spent an extensive time in worship, singing the anointed song, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”  Somehow those words got deep into my spirit.  I decided to play as a CHILD OF GOD = NO FEAR.  The day before I was a bit tentative in my “in-between” shots. I decided to play FULL OUT = NO FEAR.

We worship God when we play out of our true IDENTITY in Christ.

  1. Something happened to solidify my Ideal Performance State by doing so.  I so nurtured my spirit that I almost forgot I had a tournament that day!  In a worldly system, you can only combat fear mentally with another thought or mental trigger.  When you go deeper and FEED YOUR SPIRIT, that deeper feeding NATURALLY soaks up the negativity. I HAD NO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS the entire day.  NONE.  While I was in my zone, I forgot what hole I was on and only vaguely knew my score.
  2. My mind was SO CLEAR, and what I do remember is a STRONG AVERSION TO NEGATIVITY and CLARITY ABOUT NOT SETTING UP ANY RESISTANCE in my mind.  For instance, after 9 holes, I was only 2 up on my playing partner.  I was feeling the heat of competition.  On the back nine, she started complaining about “how miserable the weather was and how she had had enough of it.”  She was setting up a resistance in her mind and that began her downfall.  My lead widened.  I refused to set up any resistance.  I welcomed the rain, accepted it, dealt with it, was patient with it, and just made it part of my game. I used the weather conditions to my advantage—and remember someone praying that I would do just that.
  3. I relished the competition.  Although I was not afraid, I could tell I was a bit nervous as my rangefinder was a bit shaky as I worked on determining my yardage.  I was not aware of this until tried to steady the thing on the flag.  I was okay with that.
  4. I knew from the day before when I felt TOTAL VICTORY in my SPIRIT that I was going to win.  There was NO waver in my knowing.  I knew there had to be an outward expression of my state of total victory.
  5. My playing partners were not contratulatory.  I noticed it, but it did not affect me.
  7. The joy of receiving the trophy lasted about 2 seconds.  What was so much fun and what GAVE ME JOY was all the hundreds of well-wishes on Facebook.  I had this on-line GALLERY cheering me on—from people from way back in my past to my present from people I knew well to people I don’t know at all. That was so much fun!  So many people said to me, “Your victory was my victory. I experienced it, too.”  When you worship, you play WITH AN OPEN HEART.  Golf is so independent and INWARD.  I broke the realm open to including anyone who wanted to be a part of my championship.  A shared victory in the spirit.
  8. Worship means I compete from a still spirit.
  9. I had more stamina than others my age who played because of the secret nutrition I use to give me energy all the way around as well as my recovery practices.  I played from a place of rest.
  10. The greatest joy was receiving testimonies from others of how my “competing by faith” inspired their lives.  My mission in life is transformation and it was so beautiful to see how my golf is helping other people grow closer to God!  Praise the Lord!

I would love to hear from you!





Insights on the Spiritual Side of Performance: Worship and Competition

July 28

small trophy

Here are my notes to my Caddy Club support group that I thought would encourage you. They were written after my first round of the tournament in which I won by 13 shots!  I believe the power of worship in competition set up an Ideal Performance State for that result to happen. I hope this informs and encourages you:

Most of you know, but some don’t:  I am leading the Tennessee Women’s Senior Open by 3 shots!

I am into this tournament with a desire to win and a deep curiosity about how to worship God more deeply on the golf course and in competition.

I knew I was in a better place to score because I was coming off of competition last week and my MIND was already in the game.  I was determined to be more consistent in my shot-making and made that a non-negotiable in my MIND AND HEART.  I already knew the course, so I didn’t feel like I was in any place of striving. I wanted to ABIDE.

A few weeks ago in church, a visiting preacher prayed over me.  In his prayer he affirmed the reality of golf for me: “God, golf is no longer the prize for Veronica, but a platform.”  His words were so true.  I am so freed from the need for golf to validate anything for me that I can now be free to express that VICTORY OF FREEDOM through my game.  I no longer have an EGO attachment to my performance. I have released all outcomes to God, but that only frees me to do better!

Yesterday after my round which included 4 birdies amongst the bogies, I debriefed on what I learned about competition and worship:

  1. When you worship God, you forbid all negativity.  The amateur I played with showed up at the first tee stating, “I don’t know what you did to deserve to play with me.  I am in so over my head.” She was declaring her inadequacy and I was not going to allow that to come into my space.  “Don’t think that way!”  I stated.  It’s going to be a great day for us!”  (I had to affirm this was a no negativity zone, and change the atmosphere.)
  2. When you worship God, you claim your authority.  This never happened before, but she put a fan on the cart.  (What??)  The noise was so distracting and I thought, “This is a tournament. What is this?)  Normally I would just be nice and allow the thing to bug me, but not this time, “I’m sorry, but that noise is very distracting. Can you turn that off?”  I realized I was taking ownership of my space and not bowing to someone else’s infringement on my ideal performance state.
  3. When you worship God, you keep an open heart.  I was so free to converse with her, and even after the round, minister to her, as she shot a really high score.  “Listen, a champion defines success from the start.  Sometimes winning is just entering.  You did something that was far outside your comfort zone.  You showed up to play in a higher level tournament than you have ever done.  WELL DONE!  You ENTERED!”  She looked at me like I was from another planet.  That kind of mentality never entered her mind before, and she thanked me.
  4. When you worship God, you keep your composure of peace and stillness of heart.  For the first time in my life, I was reprimanded for playing TOO FAST!  The greenskeeper came over to us and said since we were the first ones out, we were encroaching upon the guys who were mowing the lawns on the holes ahead of us. We had to SLOW DOWN.  It disrupted my pace and momentum, causing me to have a few higher scores on those holes, but then I told myself, “just keep your STEADY COMPOSURE and CALM CONCENTRATION” which is what worship produces.
  5. When you worship God, you can be fearless in your shots.  This morning I began my day with worship. I was meditating on Brent Taylor’s song, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”  Because of my IDENTITY IN CHRIST, I am set free from ALL FEAR.  That truth sunk deeper into my spirit.  There were some shots yesterday, particularly the ones were I was in-between clubs, that I sensed I was a bit tentative.  NOT TODAY.  Today I will play full out.  NO FEAR….because…I  AM A CHILD OF GOD!
  6. When you worship God, winning is FUN.  I had so MUCH FUN being at the top.  It was a NEW EXPERIENCE for me in this season—I’ve worked so hard and it’s nice to begin to see a RESULT OF MY FAITH and PREPARATION.
  7. When you worship God, you bring PRAYER into your atmosphere.  During my practice round, I was praying for people and people were calling for prayer.  Something punctured in the atmosphere on the golf course.  I can’t describe it, but I went into another realm of freedom and experience of His presence.
  8. When you worship God, you give Him space to display His power and presence in you and guess what?  GOD ONLY PLAYS TO WIN.  It’s in His blood, so it is in MY BLOOD.                 1 Cor. 9:24-26.
  9. When you worship God, you are free to FULLY EXPRESS yourself, and leave the OUTCOME to Him.  Yesterday I had such a wonderful time after my round NOT PRACTICING too much, just working on my short chip shots around the green, hitting shots out of that wiring grass—and then heading to the fitness center to SWIM and hit the Jacuzzi.   It was so wonderful to feel the ATHLETE in me BE HAPPY she was COMING OUT—and COMING OUT STRONG!!
  10. When you worship God, you are not afraid to include others.  It was so much FUN to share on facebook and receive hundreds of well wishes from folks.  It was like an on-line gallery. People love to connect to victory, so let’s create MORE OF IT!
  11. When you worship God, your mind thinks clearly.  I made a lot of great decisions out there because I was in a place of peace and calm. I could see clearly.
  12. When you worship God, you invite community to be a part of it. I could feel the prayers of people because I asked for them and invited others into my championship.
  13. When you worship God, He finds pleasure in your ALL OUT PURSUIT and ALL OUT EXPRESSION of WHO YOU ARE!  I am releasing all of me this week—athlete, competitor, writer, friend, minister, motivator, businesswoman (she’s still emerging!), coach and DAUGHTER OF GOD.

TODAY I AM GOING TO PLAY AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD, as UNTO MY FATHER WHO LOVES GOLF AND ME.  Please pray for ALL my drives to land in the fairway.  A connected-swing. Please pray for clarity of thinking, great decision-making, and for the putts to drop!!  A strong start—and finish!

My tee time is 1:14 pm Central Time

Thank you!!




golf at sugar mill

In just 18 days, I will be playing in the Women’s U.S. Open Qualifying tournament. It will be a daunting task as I will have to play 36 holes in one day in grueling heat. Today I played in a practice round at Sugar Mill Country Club where the tournament is taking place. It was a beautiful course, well-manicured and decorated with beautiful flowers.

I always love playing a course that is inspiring.  It is worth the investment of time, talent, and resources just to have a world class experience on a world class golf course. The real highlight of my high challenge, however, is not the dream of playing in the world’s most prestigious golf tournament.  For me it would be the second time around to do so. Rather, it is the pursuit of calling yourself up higher.  Today I realized that on this test of golf, I would have to call up my highest self —the champion within— to score big on this course.

Although the yardage for the tournament is marked around 6,500 yards, the course played much longer, about 6,800 yards.  A ridiculous length for women!  There was something about the challenge today, however, that was remarkable.  I kept asking myself, “How do I need to play this course in such a way as to win the prize? Not just to play and have fun as a senior player and most likely the oldest one in the crowd, but to really prepare to win and give myself the best chance?”

As I teed it up hole after hole, the answer came to me.  “I am going to play FULL OUT every shot for 36 holes.  This is going to require AN AGGRESSIVE TRUST IN MY SWING.”  “Aggressive trust,” I said to myself.  “I have never said those words before.”   What is an aggressive trust?

Webster’s Dictionary defines aggressive as “marked by a driving force of energy or initiative.”  “Trust” is defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed.”  In other words, I would have to play each shot with a strong force of energy with an assured reliance in the integrity of my swing.  Get that?  MY swing.

My swing has been the focus of so much lack of confidence, breakdown, insecurity, and lack of trust. Do you know how long I have made a concerted effort to find the power in my swing where I could have a consistent, repetitive swing?  Most of my golf life.  Uhh…that’s over 40 years.  More recently, a concerted diligent effort to end my golf swing misery—a dedicated effort of over 5 years to banish my swing faults.

About a year ago, I found a really great teacher who helped a lot. I saw a lot of promise in my swing. The problem is, I am currently in Florida and he is in North Carolina. With just a few weeks to my big competition, I had to find a swing-thought that worked for myself.  Did you hear that? I had to work it out on my own. I had to OWN my swing in order to find the solution.

I did. As I grew in my new-found confidence in my swing move, I am still honing it out. However, today, I had to let go of “playing it safe,” trust the work I have done on my swing, and just RIP IT.  I had to.  I had to TRUST MYSELF IN AN AGGRESSIVE WAY.  You know what?  It worked. It was a non-conscious move to consciously trust my game.  It was the ONLY way I knew I was going to have a chance. Each shot would need to be an all-out shot.

As I left the course, thinking about the STATE OF PLAY that my championship chances would require of me, I thought about the Body of Christ.  Yep. I thought about where God is wanting to take His people, how it is a SEASON OF ENTERING into the fullness of your calling. I thought about how there is only one way to fully enter something—all out—with an AGGRESSIVE TRUST.

A wonderful friend called me tonight asking for my feedback on an executive situation in her business. One of her top companies which produces the most income for her is not meeting her standards of integrity.  She asked me what she should do.  I asked her to consider not seeing the situation as a threat which only evokes negative emotions of fear, anxiety, and worry, which she admitted to having.  Rather, I challenged her to see the situation as a challenge which evokes positive emotions. “What would happen if you went into that conversation you are going to have with your client FROM a place of AGGRESSIVE TRUST in yourself? What if you decide to approach that conflict from the deepest place of your own integrity—not to run, but to call them up higher.  What if you didn’t move off of who you are but through being who you are, address the situation and then let the chips fall where they may? It all starts with how you see yourself.  Do you aggressively trust yourself?”  She got the point, was inspired, and left the call determined to swing into her meeting with an AGGRESSIVE TRUST in herself.

If we are going to fully enter into our calling in this season, we must call ourselves up higher, not to just trust in God.  In this season, God is calling us to aggressively trust in ourselves, take the swing full force, and leave the outcome to Him.  You see, everyone has a championship.  God wants YOU TO PLAY IN SUCH A WAY AS TO WIN yours.

The chances of my qualifying are slim in the natural.  I have learned to play FROM victory, however.  In my upcoming championship test, I have already won despite whatever score I shoot. I have tapped into my full out pursuit and potential.

Try it.  Go through your day today from a place of AGGRESSIVE TRUST in yourself. It’s time for you to play to win—and win!