- Golf Boys Back in Action with 2.OH!
- Are you up for the IN THE NOW Challenge?
- Heather, Ben and LOVE 146
- The Perfect Head? Maybe Not, Says Ben
- Caddy Joel Stock talks to fans on Facebook
- Zurich's HelpPoint Heroes
- God is Like Water
- 2nd Place and a Golf Boys Special Performance
Golf Boys Back in Action with 2.OH!
After an 18 month hiatus, golf's favorite boy band is reuniting. Bubba, Hunter, Rickie and I are pumped to present Golf Boys' second single, “2.Oh.” We were fortunate to have our buddy and popular recording artist, Mat Kearney, write the music and lyrics for the second song. See it here!
Also, I'm excited to announce that we are partnering with international aid organization, charity:water, for this song. 100% of proceeds from Golf Boys “2.Oh” will be dedicated to the construction of clean water wells in Ethiopia through charity:water. Since 2006, charity:water has been able to provide clean water to over 3.2 million people in 20 countries. We have set up a fundraising page on the charity:water website so that fans can learn more about the cause and, if interested, contribute: www.mycharitywater.org/GolfBoys.
I think we are in a truly unique era that we can goof off on YouTube and help people across the world. I love that.
Are you up for the IN THE NOW Challenge?
Or...are you possibly still stuck in yesterday, thinking about what could have been? Maybe thinking about tomorrow and the next day. If you are, don't feel bad...many of us are. But there is a different way...living IN THE NOW!
There is a saying that goes something like this..."If you want to live in guilt, live in yesterday. If you want to live in fear, live in tomorrow. If you want to live in peace and serenity, live IN THE NOW!" Well, ok, so we modified that last part just a bit. But, you get the point.
And to that point, a few weeks ago, one of Ben's buddies who designs shirts came up with the idea for the "IN THE NOW" shirt. One thing led to another and viola!, a shirt is born....except this time, YOU can buy a shirt, live in the now, and the best thing is that all proceeds from the shirt will benefit LOVE146.
Jump "IN THE NOW" and help Ben and LOVE 146 Positively Impact Lives
Ben and Heather are passionate about helping people, and actively support a number of non-profit organizations, particularly those that bring hope and love to hurting, underprivileged, abused and abandoned children.
Addressing and ending sex trafficking in all forms is something which is beyond a passion for Heather and Ben, and is an area in which they continually strive to positively impact.
LOVE146 is an organization to which Heather and Ben have dedicated themselves. LOVE 146 works toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation thorough prevention and aftercare solutions.
So, are you up for it? Ok...Show us! take the IN THE NOW Challenge, join Ben, get a shirt and proudly show it off!
Heather, Ben and LOVE 146
Ben and Heather are passionate about helping people, and actively support a number of non-profit organizations, particularly those that bring hope and love to hurting, underprivileged, abused and abandoned children. Addressing and ending sex trafficking in all forms, one of humanity's more egregious and heinous acts, is something which is beyond a passion for Heather and Ben, and is an area in which they continually strive to positively impact.
An organization to which Heather and Ben have dedicated themselves is LOVE 146. Heather and a group of women recently traveled to SE Asia for LOVE 146 to experience their efforts first-hand. Following is Heather's report:
I just returned from my third trip to SE Asia to see the work of Love 146, a non-profit committed to abolishing human trafficking with an emphasis on children who are sold for sex. I had hoped that it would be easier this time, but it was no less heartbreaking. However, the people we met, who are all heroes in this fight, give you a deep sense of hope that balances the pain and motivates you to use your abilities to support them and the movement. I traveled over there with ten amazing women. Being together as a team allows you to feed off of each other's strength and the laughs that we shared were quite therapeutic. God had a perfect plan in sending us out together. We landed in Phnom Penh and met with Glenn Miles who oversees Love 146's operations in Asia. Incredible man. He consults many people who are involved with sex trafficking in the area and helps them with their various organizations. We saw the posters and flip charts they have created to grow the education and aide to help in shifting cultural habits -- conveying the message that domestic violence isn't good and spending money on beer and prostitutes hurts everyone involved.
We visited a Young Life center with Jamie Hanson, a good friend of Ben’s from Oregon. He oversees that region for Young Life that has five Young Life centers around Phnom Penh. The Young Life workers facilitate contact with kids by providing computer labs in local high schools and teaching English. Jamie and I are hoping to build a connection there as Young Life can utilize the educational materials Love 146 has created while connecting with kids and building leaders to help break the cycle of exploitation. They are doing a great job of speaking into kids' lives and providing them with much needed support. Our first night in Phnom Penh, we walked around a beer garden and visited an ice cream shop that Love 146 has opened up in the middle of a row of bars. This provides a non-threatening way to interact with prostitutes to share with them that there is a way out. Having a permanent presence will be a great resource as they try to reach out to the men and women who are entangled in this business. As I watched the Western looking men talking to the girls, I couldn't help but wonder about the deep need in their own lives – why did they need to portray the misconception that they are "Prince Charming" with lots of money? It seems to be all part of an illusion that goes along with this sex industry.
We continued to visit people and learn about their work. An amazing British woman named Ruth has opened up a coffee shop, gift shop & nail spa to provide work for men and women who have left the brothels. On top of the coffee shop, she created a beautiful prayer room where people who are working in this area from all over the city can come and feel supported and gain refreshment. www.daughtersofcambodia.org
We went around with Phany from Kone Kmeng who I met on my last trip. He is of the most inspirational people I have ever encountered. He grew up in a poor province and his parents went against the pressures of his community to keep him in school (The Cambodian people there just don't see the importance of education as there reality is based on the short term - providing food for today). After high school, he moved to the city and begged a college to let him attend. He couldn't afford to pay the tuition daily, so he went only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and would ask his friend what they learned on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He got a job working for a British diplomat who took him to church. He was tutored in English by Laura, a missionary from Hawaii, who helped him grow in his faith. He now helps countless vulnerable children in the countryside and the city. We went to a school in the slum where kids whose parents live on the railroad tracks are able to attend. They were all so much smaller than their ages because of malnourishment. We went to a home in the city where the kids from the countryside are able to live and go to college -- hoping to raise a new generation of leaders that will carry on the vision of Phany's heart. www.kone-kmeng.org
Phany's wife, Lida, runs Precious Women, an outreach to prostitutes to help them escape the life of a brothel (which now is mostly karaoke bars and beer gardens). She opened a bridal shop as a sustainable business for the women and they rent out wedding dresses and provide other services for weddings like styling hair and doing make-up. Weekly, they go out to bars as part of their outreach and invite women to come to the shop. The afternoon we visited, a group of girls were there and had a hair styling contest. We interacted with them and then circled around them and prayed over them. One young girl was sobbing. There was a little girl who came with her big sister who is part of the "brothel house" -- no older than 5-years old and I wondered what her little eyes have seen -- she never cracked a smile.
After dinner that night, a few of us went to an actual karaoke bar. We were taken upstairs to what felt like a private "lap dance" room. Four young women were brought in and we just sat with them and conversed with them through a Khmer speaking couple who works for Love 146. The girls were absolutely beautiful. They sang a couple of American songs and nervously sat there while we asked them questions. The ‘mama san’ figured out we were from an NGO, but didn't seem bothered. We walked away wondering even more what their hellish life is like. And to think that that is one of many, many establishments where many, many girls have this life as their destiny. Something that I learned this trip was that these brothels don't really hold the girls forcefully, but the expectation of Cambodian culture where the daughter is expected to provide for the family keeps them working there as they believe they have no other alternative. We made a quick trip to Bloom, a beautiful cupcake shop that is providing help and a job to girls who have been rescued. Ben's caddie's brother and his wife have helped there twice and are now moving to Cambodia to open up a second location in Siem Reap, the city where Angkor Wat is located, and child trafficking is tragically growing, especially to provide young boys to tourists.
Ben flew in after the tournament with his dad and met us in Manila, Philippines. We had a powerful last day together. We visited a drop-in center in the middle of the city where they are gathering up street kids from a particular park area. These kids are homeless (often sleeping on a piece of newspaper at night) and known for being sexually exploited. At this place – called the Round Table - about 15 kids are provided lunch. They are loved on with music and art. The girls who have been restored at Love 146's safe home are going into the city to work there and it has been a powerful extension of their healing -- from victim to liberator. We heard a few of their crushing stories -- one little girl said she had been to a big hotel to go swimming, but after more questions, it became clear that a Western man had "rented" her and her 2 siblings from their mother for some time in his hotel room. It sounds pretty common for perpetrators to video record their encounters with kids and post them to cyberspace child porn websites.
The highlight was our trip outside the city to the "Round Home" -- Love 146's beautiful safe house. They celebrated their fifth anniversary and it was a huge celebration, with a cotillion and two girls' birthdays. In its five years, the Round Home has taken in over 40 girls, all of whom (but the 12 that are currently living there) have been reintegrated back into society. Their therapy techniques are powerful and it gives you great hope to see the restoration that is possible.
The day ended with a special reception thrown for us by the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas. Ben met the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia during the CIMB golf tournament and he put us in touch with Harry, a very gracious man who is especially concerned with human trafficking and the sex trade in the Philippines. He invited about 25 people to meet us and hear about our work with Love 146. It was quite an honor! Everyone was concerned and eager to help, so hopefully some significant relationships were formed.
The trip was a powerful time of seeing the full cycle of exploitation and seeing the many angles that Love 146 is attacking through the various people they have identified and are supporting. It is a BIG problem and a huge battle to fight -- but God can do incredible things through his people, and their faithfulness does not go unnoticed.
Thank you for reading and for your support as we continue to commit ourselves to this issue!!
So good to be home and hug our kiddos in time for Halloween...
Much love and thank you for your support!
The Perfect Head? Maybe Not, Says Ben
God created a few perfect heads, and on the rest He put hair. Indeed.
And for a long time, the golfing world thought Ben was perfectly comfortable with his hairlessness.
However, on Friday morning, on the Golf Channel, in front of millions and millions, in perhaps one of the most personally revealing exposes of all times, Ben's friends, fellow golfers, fans and even some family, learned of Ben's true feelings surrounding his baldness and his attempts to combat those hard to express feelings.
"I'm really surprised," said a fan. "But happy he's come forward. It gives others strength and hope knowing they're not alone."
"I LOVE his shiny head!," squealed another.
"It happened so fast, I didn't see it coming. I used to be hot, now, I'm....I don't know what I am, but it's not great," Crane tells his therapist.
How close did Ben hold this secret? Very.
They say talking about personal difficulties takes the power out of them. Now that Ben has gone public, hopefully, he will feel better.
And, fortunately, as we see, Ben's therapist is highly trained and comes up with an innovative plan to heal Ben, which appears to work...but maybe a little too well?
Check out the video and find out!
Caddy Joel Stock talks to fans on Facebook
June 7, 2012 - Farmers Insurance, a strong supporter of PGA Golf and a long-time sponsor of Ben Crane and his team, continued its ongoing "Ask a Caddy" series in featuring a live Q & A session with Ben's caddy, Joel Stock, on the Farmers Insurance Facebook page.
We all see the soundless conversations between golfer and caddy on TV and live at the tournaments, but what are they saying? Today, Joel answered what they really talk about, the insights he gives Ben and about what it's like to be a caddy on the PGA Tour.
"I was excited to be part of Farmers live Facebook question/answer session," said Stock. "It was fun to have a direct conversation with fans and supporters!"
"Some caddies and golfers keep their relationship pretty much on the professional level. But for Joel and me, it's way deeper than that. We have known each other for a long, long time, and he's not only an integral part of my team, but is also a very close personal friend. Our families are very close, we played golf together at U of O, have gone through a lot of life experiences together, and most importantly, we are brothers in Christ and in glorifying God. That kind of relationship is priceless both on and off the course," says Crane.
Check out the conversation on Farmers Insurance Facebook page...and get to know Joel!
Zurich's HelpPoint Heroes
Ben Crane and his wife, Heather, have received a special recognition from Zurich, a leading provider of commercial property and casualty insurance in North America and globally, by being named Zurich HelpPoint Heroes.
“We are recognizing people who truly care,” said Zurich CEO Martin Senn. “We are a company that truly cares. We aspire to care for our customers, our employees, our people and the society as a whole.”
Legendary sports anchor and reporter for CBS Television Network Jim Nantz, along with Archie and Eli Manning helped Zurich recognize Heather and Ben during the event. Archie said about Ben and Heather, “What they do is beyond playing golf. They’ve given back as Zurich does for our city. I want to congratulate Ben and Heather for what they do because what they do is very special.”
Nantz said, “There are no two better people to pass the Zurich HelpPoint Hero's baton to than Heather and Ben.”
Zurich recognized Ben and Heather for having actively chosen to “give back” ever since Ben first joined the PGA TOUR in 2002. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina stuck New Orleans, Ben travelled to the devastated city to rebuild homes with St. Bernard Project, a charity focused on getting families back into their homes. Through the Ben & Heather Crane Foundation, Ben and his wife also support LOVE 146 and H.O.P.E. Farm by hosting a golf tournament, A Day with Pros, to raise money each year. They are also actively involved in College Golf Fellowship and Young Life.
The esteemed recipients of the 2011 Zurich HelpPoint Heroes recognition are as follows:
- PGA TOUR golfer Justin Rose and his wife Kate for their work with “Blessings in a Backpack,” a non-profit organization helping feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal program over the weekend, which is when children receiving federal aid may not have food to sustain them until the school week begins on Monday.
- Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg for their work with St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit, community-based organization carries out its mission through three primary programs: Rebuilding Program, Center for Wellness and Mental Health and Opportunity Housing Program.
- Jane Silva, more commonly called and known as “Miss Jane” by students and members of the New Orleans community, and Faculty of St. Michael Special School, which provides students with special educational needs opportunities to receive a high quality education including religious, academic, social, vocational and physical training.
For more information about the charitable aspects of the Zurich Classic and the current and former Zurich HelpPoint Heroes, visit Zurich's HelpPoint Hero effort.
God is Like Water
It's no secret that Ben Crane is a very spiritual guy...he loves Jesus Christ and glorifies God every day. But water and God? Something in common, other than the creation thing?
Find out why as reporter Steve Copeland from Sports Spectrum interviewed Ben this week.
Ben Crane stood over his ball, stopped, and looked over at me through his sunglasses.
“Dude, I just thought of a great idea for the article,” he said, in the middle of stroking putts during his practice round on Tuesday.
“What is it?” I asked, standing behind the ropes and chuckling at the irony of it all. Here was a PGA Tour player practicing for what he would later tell me is one of his favorite tournaments of the year—the Wells Fargo Championship—and he’s standing over a putt thinking about a feature story for Sports Spectrum magazine.
“I’ll tell you on the next tee,” he said, looking back down at his putt.
I interviewed Ben on the driving range before his practice round but didn’t expect to talk to him again. He graciously gave me his time on the driving range—talking about everything from the depths of the Bible to the goofy helmet (see below) he wears in his videos—and I was solely following him for one reason: to watch him play golf.
Yet here we were. I wasn't going to complain.
“Walk with me,” Ben said as we proceeded to the fifth hole, continuing our interview from before.
We stood on the tee box. It was late in the day, his playing partners left, and there were only a handful of people in the gallery—which made it just Ben, his caddie, Joel Stock, and I, practically alone during a beautiful evening on one of the Carolina’s finest courses.
“The number one goal in life,” Ben said, explaining the concept he wanted me to include in the article, “is dependence on God. I learn that…then I re-learn it.”
As we walked up the fairway, he continued to tell me about the importance of depending on God—how he made that his theme for Masters week, how he’s trying to get the people he mentors to understand the exact same thing, how a book he’s reading continues to challenge him in that regard.
We didn’t talk a whole lot more until the end of the round. I kept my distance, not wanting to be the reason that he wasn’t adequately prepared for the first round on Thursday—because a shaggy-haired sports writer kept bothering him about his faith.
But on our walk to the No. 7 tee—he probably doesn’t even remember this—Ben looked at me and said, “You’ve gotta be getting thirsty. I’m sure there’s water in the cooler you can take.”
I think I responded with something stupid, like the number of Cokes I downed that day at the media tent. But whatever. I just talk sometimes.
By that time, Ben had joined up with a golfer from Georgia—Brian Harman, I think—who had speakers in his bag softly playing country music, which I thought was kind of cool and an essential tidbit to include in this column. Again, I just talk.
But as both of them teed off, I remember looking at the cooler of water and thinking about everything Ben said a couple holes before.
God is like water, I thought to myself.
If I went much longer without water, I would continue to grow more and more thirsty. I may continue to try to quench my thirst with other things, but in the long run it wouldn’t satisfy. I would still need water. By the dryness of my mouth and weakness in my body, I would be reminded of my need for water—my dependence for water.
God is like water. You can try to quench your longing for fulfillment with other things—money, job, family, friends, fun, etc.—but in the long run, they won’t satisfy. And God will remind you that they don’t satisfy by the emptiness you feel. By the dryness of your mouth and weakness in your body, He’ll remind you that you need to depend on Him.
There’s nothing wrong with being dependent on something. It’s freeing. When I’m dependent on God, I don’t have to worry about being in control. God is in control, and His plan—though I may not always understand it—is better anyway. It makes sense.
“Like Romans says,” Ben told me earlier on the driving range, “the more you understand who you are without the Christ, the more you love Christ and understand His grace, truth, and forgiveness.”
God is like water. Ben Crane taught me that.
So I opened the lid. And I took one.
2nd Place and a Golf Boys Special Performance
Despite noting he "didn't bring his A-game," Crane still brought plenty and ended the Waste Management Phoenix Open with another great performance and a second-place finish. And he led the tournament on par-5 scoring, carding 11-under on the par-5s for the week. Add his 17 birdies and three eagles and the calculator tallied up a final score of 14-under-270 for the tournament, one stroke shy of winner, Kyle Stanley. This is the third Top 10 finish in four outings for the year.
"Even though my swing was giving me fits and I wasn't sure why the ball was going left, my caddy and I just kept at it and landed the second place finish."
Known as something akin to the Super Bowl of Golf, and held concurrently with Super Bowl Sunday each year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open draws a younger, more vocal crowd than other events, especially at Hole 16, where some 20,000 fans stomp, cheer and sing for the pros. "In the past, I've been nervous approaching 16," says Crane, "and as Davis Love told me, it's on your mind at 15 and even before because you can hear the crowds."
However, this time, it was different...
It was at this point that the Golf Boys made a sudden and unexpected appearance. Crane quickly donned his trademark helmet, grabbed Bubba Watson and led the crowd in a mini-version of their 2011 Golf Boys song and video. "It would have been nice to have had Ricki [Fowler] and Hunter [Mahan] with us but sometimes when the mood hits, you just gotta go with what you got! You can tell from our harmony that we're the true singers in the group anyway!"
Looking forward from the Open schedule-wise, Ben is off for the next two weeks, then is gearing up for a grueling stretch of tournaments, beginning with the Accenture Match Play and continuing through May with very little rest.
"I'm very excited about this season. I plan on resting a little, working on tweaking my swing with my coach Greg Rose, and continuing to play more good, solid rounds of golf."
See some videos of Ben: