Hioism: A Religion of Golf

by Roy M. Barineau, Ph. D. on January 3, 2015

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

Hioism: A Religion of Golf

Golf, I have strongly argued, can be construed as a religion. Religion is a symbol system for expressing that which is ultimate; and, in so far as Golf provides such a symbol system, Golf can be a religion with sacred realities, moral codes, rituals, sacred places, sacred objects, sacred texts, and sacred experiences. I have explored Golf as a religion in the third part of my book, Roybob’s Book on Golf.

Recently, I was contacted by someone who has actually established a religion of golf. His name is Cory Scheurich, and he is the Head Ace for the Infinite Paths First Convocation of Hioism at the Infinite Paths Hioist Course. “Hioism” is the name of the golf religion he has founded, but the etymology or meaning of the term is not made clear at his website: hioism.com.

The main god or “primary power” of Hioism is Par. Par is opposed by a rival power referred to as Bogey. Par desires that humans acquire enough wisdom and merit to enter his Pinnacle (Paradise), and Bogey desires that humans be tortured in Callow (Hell/Purgatory). Par and Bogey fight to influence and control humanity. “Spirits of the Course” (minor deities) are found in the wind, trees, sand, and water. The “Spirits of the Course” are also caught up in the battle between Par and Bogey.

They may work for Par, but they may also pull one toward Bogey. Through consultation of “Nine Guides” and the cultivation of “Eighteen Sacred Values” one hopes to walk closer to Par and distance oneself from Bogey. The “Nine Guides” include Balance, Outlook, Stance, Concentration, Aim, Relaxation, Assurance, Drive, and Acceptance, and the “Eighteen Sacred Values” include Honestly, Respect, Loyalty, Family, Patience, Compassion, Perseverance, Unity, Ambition, Dependability, Discipline, Equality, Faith, Selflessness, Humility, Morality, Restraint, and Growth).

The symbol of Hioism is stylized version of a ball sitting on a tee, symbolically pointing to balance, new beginnings, and the importance of following the right path.

HiosimTeeSymbol

The proper Hioist hand position for prayer is an interlocking golf grip, and it too has symbolic value.

HiosimPrayerSymbol

The “Oath of Hioism,” which a Hioist must promise, calls upon one to “assist Par in guiding Hioists on their path to enlightenment,” “to trust that Par has put [one] on the correct path,” to make sure that Par is always “the object of [one’s] praise and the core of [one’s beliefs].”

I find Head Ace Scheurich’s golf religion of Hioism to be very creative. I find accord with his “Spirits of the Course,” “Nine Guides,” and “Eighteen Sacred Values.” I also agree that the religion of Golf need not be an exclusive religion. In Mr. Scheurich’s words, “Hioism is not made for or expected to be the sole religion of any person. Members are encouraged to seek additional beliefs and spirituality through any means that fit them.” However, Hioism’s dualistic notions of Par and Bogey pose problems for me as does the notion of an afterlife in Pinnacle (Heaven) or Callow (Hell/Purgatory).

God, for me, is ultimate reality, and ultimate reality is Reality-itself, Energy-itself or Being-itself. Reality-itself did not stem from the Big Bang but rather was the basis for any Big Bang. From absolute nothing comes absolutely nothing. Since there is something now, something must have always been. The something that has always been is Reality-itself (God), the “Isness” of all that is. Reality-itself aims at the realization of beautiful occasions of experience; evil (Bogey) occurs when occasions are discordant to one degree or another or when they are less than they could have been. Reality-itself is expressed in realities that move from potential to actual and from actual to influential. Any afterlife is merely influential in nature, not subjective. Humans live on after death merely by the influence they exert on the actual course of events; they do not live on in some alternative reality as persons or subjects.

While I have differences with Hioism, I am happy to learn that others recognize in Golf the language for a religion. Further, I am delighted to find someone who has followed through with the establishment of a Golf religion. I have communicated with several people who find that Golf can be a symbol system for religion; until now I have not encountered anyone who has actually established such a religion. Hioism, I think, is a positive step toward the recognition of Golf as a religion.

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

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Man Down: Part Four, or Mayhem

by Roy M. Barineau, Ph. D. on November 15, 2014

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

Huck Tales

Man Down: Part Four,
Or Mayhem

Every fall, near the end of October, the Hucks make a pilgrimage to play golf at Cuscowilla, on Lake Oconee, in north Georgia. Cuscowilla, or Cusci for short, is an appealing resort that features a challenging course completed in 1997 and designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Over the years at Cusci, Hucks have been involved in several incidents that included broken convenience store doors, deputy sheriff visits, fist fights, and other rather questionable acts that took place off the golf course. The incident that draws attention in this story took place on the course.

The Cusci tournament starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday. The event has often been referred to as the Mobley Benefit Tournament because a character known as Mobley has claimed more than his fair share of victories. In fact, a Cusci rule, the Mobley rule, was enacted a few years ago in order to spread the victories around. According to the rule, every player except Mobley adds two strokes to his handicap.

Soon after the Hucks’ arrival, a character, who because of this story will be known as Mayhem or Stuntman, shifted into full vacation mode. He donned striking golf slacks that featured lime green sea horses against a white background, and he began drinking Crown Royal and Fireball shots.  Mayhem shared a cart with T.P., and the two of them played with Fuji and Hollah.

On the fourth hole, the Hucks behind Mayhem took note of Mayhem’s striking slacks. Doc was assisting a first-time player, Bo Jam, by suggesting targets for tee shots. Not thinking about who was in front of him and with no intention of being sardonic, Doc pointed at Mayhem in the fairway and said, “Hit it toward that woman.”

On the seventeenth hole, Mayhem’s group began to notice some rather strange behavior. Mayhem had hit his tee ball into the high grass (referred to as “the Cusci”), and the group had spent some time locating his ball. Mayhem went to get a club to hit his next shot, but he neglected to leave his hat as a marker for the ball’s location. Also, for his journey to get a club, he decided to ignore proper golf etiquette and simply stagger through a sand trap that lay between him and the cart. After he retrieved a club and walked back through the trap, Mayhem could not, of course, relocate his ball. So, the group found the ball for a second time, at which point Mayhem decided that he required a different club. Once more, Mayhem stumbled back and forth through the bunker. T.P. and Fuji, by now, were amused to the point of shedding tears. Mayhem eventually hit his shot, and the group moved on.

On the eighteenth hole, T.P. left the cart, and Mayhem was on his own. Driving down toward the green, Mayhem hit a curb at a “Y” in the path and flipped the cart over onto its side. Alarmed by the sounds of the crash and subsequent scratching, as the cart slid along the path, T.P., Fuji, and Hollah ran to check on the stunt driver. They found him resting on his side and still holding onto the steering wheel as though he were not finished driving. They told him to let loose of the wheel and get out of the cart. He responded, “I can’t get out.” Fuji said, “there are three openings in the cart, and you can’t get out?” They got Mayhem on his feet, still standing inside the boundaries of the fallen cart, but he could not determine which of three exits he should utilize: the back of the cart, the front of the cart, or the side of the cart – which, of course, was now actually the top of the cart. Mayhem eventually backed out through the front window of the cart. T.P., Fuji, and Hollah set the cart upright and finished the hole.

On the following day, Mayhem held a vague memory of having wrecked the cart but not much memory of anything else. When the Hucks went out for their Friday round, T.P. found his clubs on the same cart and thought, “Oh no, I’m getting blamed for scrapping up the cart.”

There are several players among the Hucks who have a goal of never appearing as a main character in one of my stories, and Mayhem does not ordinarily present himself a likely candidate for a “man down” or as someone who would be responsible for a “cart down.” His story, like the story of Tequila Bill II, should serve as a warning. Deep within everyone there is a “man down” waiting to pop up.

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

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Introductions to Religioins of the World

by Roy M. Barineau, Ph. D. on May 9, 2014

Introductions to Religions of the World

Baha’i

Buddhism

The Chinese Religions of Taoism and Confucianism

Christianity

Hinduism

Islam

Jainism

Judaism

Primal or Local Religions:

Native American and Native African

Shinto

Sikhism

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The Hucks Through The Years

by Roy M. Barineau, Ph. D. on December 11, 2013

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

The Hucks Through the Years

 

Hucks 1994 Quincy Earliest Surviving Picture of the Hucks taken at Quincy Golf and Country Club, 1994

 

The Hucks gathered for play on the 80th birthday of Roybob's father, 2004 The Hucks Gathered for Play at Golden Eagle on the 80th Birthday of Roybob’s Father, 2004

 

The Hucks, c. 2005 The Hucks Gathered for Play at Golden Eagle, c. 2005

 

The Hucks' Cup, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Destin, FL, 2006 The Hucks’ Cup, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Destin, FL, 2006

 

The Hucks Cup, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Destin, FL, 2007 The Hucks’ Cup, Raven Golf Club, Destin, FL, 2007

 

Roybob's Fiftieth Birthday, 2008 The Hucks after Play at Golden Eagle on Roybob’s Fiftieth Birthday, 2008

 

A few Hucks gathered for a reunion, c. 2008 A Few Hucks Gathered for a Homecoming, c. 2008

 

The Hucks' Dash for Cash, 2010 The Hucks’ Dash for Cash, 2010

 

The Hcuks at a farewell gathering, 2013 The Hcuks at a Farewell Gathering, 2013

 

The Hucks' Dash for Cash, 2013 The Hucks’ Dash for Cash, 2013

 

Hucks' Holiday Dash for Cash, 2014 Hucks’ Holiday Dash for Cash, 2014

 

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

 

Book Review: Funny (but true) Golf Anecdotes

August 12, 2013

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: Funny (but true) Golf Anecdotes: about Tiger, Phil, Bubba, Rory, Rickie, Jack, Arnie, and all the rest. See Roybob’s Ball Rating System Dick Crouser, Funny (but true) Golf Anecdotes, Meadowbrook Press, New York, 2012. The title describes […]

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Book Review: The World’s Only Collection of Great Golf Poetry

May 23, 2013

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: The World’s Only Collection of Great Golf Poetry See Roybob’s Ball Rating System M. R. Henderson, The World’s Only Collection of Great Golf Poetry, Aldis Publishing Co., Los Angeles, 2007. The very title of the book reveals […]

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Book Review: Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game

May 6, 2013

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game See Roybob’s Ball Rating System Joseph Parent, Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game, Doubleday, New York, 2002. All the major religions of the world have divisions and subdivisions, and Buddhism, the […]

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Book Review: The Story of Golf

December 27, 2012

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: Story Of Golf See Roybob’s Ball Rating System George Peper, The Story of Golf, TV Books, New York, 1999. The Story of Golf emerged as the companion volume to a PBS documentary (2000) of the same name. […]

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Book Review: Buddha Plays 18

December 26, 2012

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: Buddha Plays 18 See Roybob’s Ball Rating System Edward Sarkis Balian, Buddha Plays 18, Second Edition, Silver Sky Publishing, Encinitas, California, 2011. The Buddha Plays 18 is an interesting book which, to some degree, resembles part of my […]

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Book Review: Missing Links

December 20, 2012

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf Book Review: Missing Links See Roybob’s Ball Rating System Rick Reilly, Missing Links, Random House, New York, 1996. The Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli was named by Golf  Ilustrated as “possibly the worst golf course in America,” but it […]

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