From Keith Stanton, ’69
I think this is something that all Americans should be aware of.
This isn’t a joke or cartoon; just something interesting to know…you may want to forward this on to others.
On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake BuenaVista 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. God Bless
America and the game of golf.