I don't know who first put this story out to the public, but I found it on patriotfiles.com in order to verify it. It's a great tribute to Ping.
My wife and I have just returned from a short trip to Disney in Orlando to decompress from the Thanksgiving holiday. Our plan was to see the holiday decorations at Disney and while she shopped, I would play a little golf.
On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the starters matched me with three other players. After a few holes we began to get to know each other a bit. One fellow was rather young and had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him. I noticed that his golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection, it also said "wounded war veterans".
When I had my first chance to chat with him I asked him about the bag. His response was simply that it was a gift. I then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about his injury, his response was "I'd rather not talk about it, sir".
Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an army rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio Texas . His wife moved there to be with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He was a rather quiet fellow, however, he did say that he wanted to “get good at golf.”
We had a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar I asked him about the a brand new set of Ping woods and irons he was playing. Some looked like they had never been hit. His response was simple. He said that this round was the first full round he had played with these clubs.
Later in the round he told me the following. As part of the discharge process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping comes in and provides three days of golf instruction, followed by club fitting. Upon discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged veterans, generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted clubs along with the impressive golf bags.
The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and said that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that ever happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well enough to deserve the gift Ping had given him.
Ben is now out of the service, medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young man as you would ever want to meet.
Ping has the good judgment not to advertise this program. But the next time I am in the market for a club, I know what I am going to buy.
God Bless America and the game of golf.
PLEASE GO TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS COLUMN TO SEE LISTINGS OF ALL KNOWN GOLFING EVENTS, BOTH LOCAL AND NON-LOCAL.
2018 SWGA playdays
- ALL OF THE EVENTS LISTED BELOW COUNT TOWARDS YOUR 100% PARTICIPATION RECOGNITION Except those marked with an (*)
- If you miss ONE required event, it can be replaced by ONE day of play in Team Matches
- March 6: Scramble at Eastridge CC, 9:00am COMPLETED 50 PLAYERS
- April 10: Playday at Stonebridge, 9:00am COMPLETED 43 players
- May 22: Playday at Northwood, 9:00am
- June 7: Playday at Huntington Park, 9:00am
- June 21: Rain date for Huntington
- July 24: Playday at Southern Trace CC, 9:00am
- *August 7: Scramble at Southern Trace. This is a chance to make-up one missed event to count towards 100% participation since there willl be no Team Matches this year
- August 16: Playday at Fox Run GC (also practice round for Championship), 9:00am
- August 23-24: SWGA Championship, Fox Run GC, 9:00am
- *November 8: SWGA Turkey Scramble, Querbes Park, 9:30am
- *December 4: SWGA/SSWGA Jingle Bell Scramble, Northwood, 10:00am, Bring a Toy
2018 SSWGA Events
- Dates marked with (*) do not count toward 100% participation
- *March 13: Stonebridge scramble, 9:00am COMPLETED 28 Players
- April 26: BWGA playday at Huntington, 9:00am COMPLETED 18 players
- May 1: East Ridge CC, 9:00am COMPLETED 30 players
- June 19: Southern Trace CC, 9:00am
- July 10: Northwood Hills GC, 9:00am
- July 17-18: Championship, Stonebridge CC
- September 6: Fox Run GC, 9:00am
- *November 15: Turkey Scramble, Crooked Hollow GC, 9:30am, $37 includes lunch. This is also annual meeting unless this is changed.
- *December 4: Jingle Belle Scramble, Northwood Hills GC, 10:00am, bring unwrapped toy
Other 2018 LOCAL Events
- May 15-17: (NEW) "The Tradition" 2-Lady Tourney, Golf Club at Stonebridge, Benton, LA
- June 8-10: Stonebridge Couples Tournament, Golf Club at Stonebridge, Benton, LA
- June 22-24: Bonnie & Clyde Couples Tournament, Northwood Hills GC, Blanchard, LA
- September 18-19: Southern Belle, 2-Lady Tourney, Southern Trace CC, Shreveport, LA
- October 24-25: Roadrunner 2-Lady Tournament, Eastridge CC, Shreveport, LA
2018 State/Southern Events
Other 2018 NON-LOCAL Golfing Events
- May 31-June 2: Hot Springs Couples Tournament, Hot Springs Village, AR
- June 2: Queen for a Day, 2-Lady Scramble, Tallulah CC, Tallulah, LA
- June 16: Matthew Elliott Memorial Scramble, Frenchman's Bend GC, Monroe, LA 1:30pm
- August 8: Diamonds in the Rough, 4-lady tournament, Hollytree CC, Tyler, TX
- September 11-13: Twice as Nice Ladies Tourney, Texarkana CC, Texarkana, AR
- September 26-27: Squire Creek 2-Lady Tournament, Squire Creek CC, Choudrant, LA
- October 6-7: Texarkana Couples Tourney, Texarkana CC, Texarkana, AR