A FUN TIME
With all the heartache and work, there was also fun time. Harold became good friends with Bobby Greenwood, a wonderful golf pro who resided in Tennessee. Bobby truly had a conversion experience and turned his life over to the Lord.
The excitement of sharing the Gospel appealed greatly to Bobby and he often asked his good friend Harold to travel with him. Harold called it golf evangelism. Many times different pros would ask Harold to preach at their home church when the tournaments were close to them and of course the traveling golf evangelist accepted their invitation. The result were incredible and the demand for him to speak in other churches spread throughout the golf tours.
And now, as told in his own words, PGA Golf Professional, Bobby Greenwood.
Year’s ago, “Reader’s Digest” had a popular segment called “The most unforgettable character that I have ever met.” Well folks, Brother Harold is indeed that man in my life. As I write this part of my experiences with Bro. Harold, I am already looking forward to reading this book about his life.
Leaving the PGA Tour after 7 years, returning back home to Cookeville, Tennessee, I would teach at the Tennessee Golf Academy just to be able to be with my two children for a week. They were ages 8 and 6 years old at that time.
PGA professional Jack Wall was a dear friend of Bro. Harold. And, Jack met me at the Tennessee Golf Academy which was held at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Jack was an excellent golf instructor as well as an intense student of the game. He saw my knowledge of the golf swing and offered me 25% of his golf company if I would teach at Benchcraft Golf Co. one day a week. So, I would drive to Nashville and spend the night at the Benchcraft Golf Co. which was located on Church Street and be ready to teach the next morning. Some days I would give 10-12 lessons.
One of Jack Wall’s many talents was his ability to network people. He would bring people to gather and they would sometime accomplish great things.
Jack introduced me to Bro. Harold and the rest is history. We would leave the hustle and bustle of Benchcraft Golf Co. which was located on Church Street in Nashville, TN, and go out back in the alley by the dumpster and talk. One of my few talents is my ability to identify greatness in people. I was immediately intrigued by the honest sincerity of the man. Of course, I could tell that he truly loved the Lord but I had no idea of the magnitude of this love. He was completely sold out to Jesus. His whole life is doing the work of the Father for the Kingdom. I was to learn that Bro. Harold is the most generous, giving and forgiving man that I have ever known. In short, Harold Witmer is the finest Christian man that I have ever known!
Jack and I would take Bro. Harold to our golf clinics and various outings to the Bahamas and State Parks. He became our official Golf Chaplain for Benchcraft Golf Co. In the Bahamas, there on the beach, Easter Sunrise service, many people heard the saving power of Jesus Christ. It was great!
Through the years and our travels together, I have learned so much about how to learn to love God and obey His commandments. I am a better Christian man because of being with Bro. Harold. Thank you Jack Wall and God, not necessarily in that order, for putting Bro. Harold in my life!
I will share one story with you about his boldness in the Lord.
One year, I qualified to play in the Senior PGA Championship held at Laurel Valley Country Club at Ligonier, Pennsylvania. I played a practice round with the great Arnold Palmer and after the round we went in the luxurious clubhouse to have lunch. We were eating with the world leaders in the golf industry and Bro. Harold just resting in the Lord and so relaxed. After lunch we made our way through the large crowd of spectators on our way to the practice range. I brought Bro. Harold through ropes and he began talking with several pros as I continued to hit range balls. The next thing I knew, a hush fell over the crowd as Bro. Harold had a circle of pros engaged in prayer. Later I learned that Chi Chi Rodriguez had requested that Bro. Harold lift a curse off him that was put then by another golf pro.
Chi Chi and Doug Sanders became life long friend with my dear friend Bro. Harold.
I could tell you of how Bro. Harold became publisher of Tennessee’s first golf publication or the many trips that he took with Jack Wall and myself on our various golf clinics and vacations but, that would take another book.
Just for the record, may I say right now… To be a Christian partner and friend to Bro. Harold is a great honor for me. Without his help through the years, I would never have been inducted into Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. God bless you my brother.
Please just let me thank Brother Harold Witmer for being God’s servant and my dear friend.
When Bobby was installed into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, his wonderful brother in Christ was there to share in the excitement. To quote Bobby from an autographed picture we have these words: “You are a great friend and without your help I would never have made the Hall of Fame. God bless you and sister Faye.
Sincerely, Bobby Greenwood”.
Source: “Two Are Better Than One”, A True Story About a Real Person Who Serves a Living God – Rev. Harold Witmer. Written & Edited by: William H. Corley, First Edition 2008.