Marines Land at Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic
On Tuesday, April 22 at the Navy Golf Course we held our 2nd D.A.V. golf clinic. 16 Disabled American Veterans from the V.A. hospital in Long Beach came out for a day of fun on the links. On hand were 16 Marines from the 5/14 tenet command out of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.
The marines were dressed in their desert fatigues which looked really impressive and were a huge hit with the veterans and volunteers. The Marines were extremely professional and courteous and quick to share their stories about tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans also enjoyed sharing their stories about Vietnam and Korea and it was a great experience watching the camaraderie develop as the day progressed, not to mention all the fun everyone was having with the golf clinic!
"The Marines were excited about being able to participate and work with the Vets and its well worth our time to work in community events like this. This was as good for us as it was for them, and it’s good for the Marines to interact with those that have served already." Lt. Col Blake Wilson, Inspector Instructor, 5th Battalion 14th Marines.
A small platoon of PGA Pro’s was also on hand for the event. PGA Pro’s Joe Grohman, John Hall, Melissa Stephens, Bruce McDaniel, Paul Frazier, Larry Barquist, Larry Brown and Ryan Trengrove played key roles in the instruction of the Disabled Veterans. Pete Lowery the inventor of putters and clubs designed specifically for disabled golfers was once again on hand with his wares which enabled the vets to sink putts and hit shots.
Shirley McPhail was ecstatic about being able to golf again for the first time in 30 years. "I never thought I would be able to play this game again which I loved so much. Even the Doctors told me I would never be able to play golf again. Look at me, I’m golfing!" She shouted as tears rolled down her face.
Support also came from The Navy Golf Course staff and Men’s and Women’s clubs, the Eagles Nest Restaurant, the SCGA, the VA, community volunteers including Bob "The Greek" Bolen owner of Huntington Beach Realty, Cypress Mayor Pro Tem Leroy Mills, Russ Johnson from Johnson Junior Golf Tours, Eddie Meeks the Photo Editor from Southland Golf Magazine and Scotty Barclay from the Lions Club.
Once again a great time was had by all in attendance! Volunteers are needed for upcoming events. May 27th is the 3rd annual Cerritos High School mentally and physically challenged golf clinic, July 29th is the 8th annual Golf Clinic for the Junior Blind and August 19th is the next Disabled Veteran Golf Clinic. If you would like to volunteer please contact Joe Grohman, Navy Golf Course Head Professional at firstname.lastname@example.org.