The Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse will blend the sacred with the (sometimes) profane in a retreat for men with a game that propels many players to invoke God’s condemnation, as well as utter his son’s name in vain.
The game, of course, is golf, but the occasion, “The Spirit of Golf: A Retreat for Men,” is intended to reflect on life lessons the game offers instead of just baptizing golf balls and leaving footprints in the sand.
Steve Spilde, the FSC’s associate director and an avid golfer, will lead participants through what is billed as a relaxing and fun-filled time of golf, friendship and good food on Father’s Day weekend.
The June 17-19 retreat will include 45 holes of golf over the three days, time for personal reflection, small-group discussions, large-group presentations linking golf and spirituality, and evening socials.
Spilde will use M. Scott Peck’s book, “Golf and the Spirit: Lessons for the Journey,” to highlight some parallels between spirituality and golf, as well as the applications of one to another.
The words of golf legend Arnold Palmer, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated,” can be tweaked to apply to spirituality, too, Spilde indicated. There is no need to have a bunker mentality on either topic, though, because duffers as well as low handicappers are welcome at the retreat.
“You don’t have to be a great player or even a good player,” Spilde said. “This retreat is for guys who enjoy an opportunity to be out on the golf course and enjoy the fellowship of other men who enjoy golf.
“We will talk about how golf can be a good teacher of life lessons. Golf can teach us an appreciation of nature,” he said.
Psychologically and spiritually, the game “can teach humility, cooperation and patience. Golf can reveal our character. If we have the courage to pay attention, we will receive messages of how we can become a better person,” Spilde said.
The retreat will begin at 1 p.m. June 17 and end at noon June 19.
The $325 cost for the full retreat includes all meals, two nights at the FSC and green fees; the $250 cost for commuters includes two dinners, one lunch and green fees included.
Those who want to add some spiritual insights to their bags of clubs can register online at the FSC website, by calling 608-791-5295 or dropping by the FSC at 920 Market St.