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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