Flint Hills National, USGA Senior Amateur
Support Patriot Golf Day
By Beth Murrison, USGA
Andover, Kan. – As players and officials wandered through the clubhouse at Flint Hills National Golf Club Saturday, they noticed several small boxes wrapped in shiny red paper, adorned with red, white and blue stickers and bows.
But unlike most wrapped boxes, these presents weren’t being handed out. Rather, they were collecting gifts for others.
In honor of the first Patriot Golf Day Saturday, golfers at participating facilities around the country were asked to donate one dollar to support the Fallen Heroes Foundation and Wounded Warriors, Inc., two tax-exempt non-profit organizations that award educational scholarships and counseling to families who have had a parent wounded or killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Patriot Golf Day is the brainchild of Dan Rooney, a USGA and PGA of America member who has served two tours of duty in Iraq as an F-16 fighter pilot.
In honor of Patriot Golf Day, the folks at Flint Hills National Golf Club decided to put four boxes around the clubhouse to encourage people to make a donation. During the players’ dinner Friday night, Flint Hills National President Jeff Johnson announced the club would match any contributions made at the club during Patriot Golf Day.
“We had a unique opportunity here,” said Johnson. “It was a great way to do a little something for our troops.”
Flint Hills National wasn’t the only club in the area to collect donations for the program. There is strong support for the military in the area, particularly with McConnell Air Force Base nearby.
“I’ve heard from a lot of clubs in the area who are participating,” said Scott Paske, the golf writer for the Wichita Eagle. “Dan Rooney played golf at the University of Kansas, so the people in this area are really supporting it.”
Vic Hannon, a retired United States Air Force pilot from Camden, S.C., is one of the competitors this week at Flint Hills National. For him, the program hits home.
“Supporting the military has always been very important to me,“ said Hannon, a career serviceman who served two tours of duty in Vietnam in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “It’s wonderful that the nation has gotten behind the military.”
The golf community’s support of Rooney’s vision didn’t come as a surprise to Hannon.
“Golf is a game of honor and camaraderie,” said Hannon. “In golf, everybody wants to see others do well.”
The desire to wish others well garnered almost $1,000 at Flint Hills National Saturday, which will be doubled thanks to the club’s generosity.
Proving, yet again, that giving is often times better than receiving.
Beth Murrison is a manager of media relations for the USGA. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.