Golfers Honor Our Troops

May 23, 2009

If your main concern today is a missed putt that kept you from breaking 90, welcome to the Dagger Driving Range at the Ridgefield Country Club (Middle East). This golfing outpost in Baghdad is named for the Ridgefield, Connecticut vets who donated the makings of the range t to the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, so that they could build the range. The vets are friends of Lt. Christopher Beckert, deputy commander of the unit. As one member of the 2ns HBCT said: "It's a relief. It gives soldiers a chance to come out during the day, whenever they get a minute, got get a little taste of home."

In honor of Memorial Day and in response to letters from you that have alerted us to such programs, we list three non-profits that are using golf to support our troops and their dependents. If you know of others, please send them in.

Golf Supports Our Troops donates golf equipment to military medical facilities for rehabilitation. Donate at:

Patriot Golf Day, founded by Air Force pilot Maj. Dan Rooney provides scholarships for dependents and service members that have been killed or disabled as a result of military service. The day's activities contribute to the non-profit, Folds of Honor Foundation. Rooney explains the program in this YouTube video.

Tee it Up for the Troops was created to help support disabled members of the Armed Forces and their families. It is celebrated on the closest to September 11, a national day of golf saluting those who serve. Donations go to such organizations as the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This year the event will be played on Friday, Sept. 11. Donate at:

Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman's Operation Links, based on a USO trip she made there, airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET, Operation Links will chronicle Tilghman's journey of discovery, understanding and gratitude during the USO Tour. In addition the channel's Golf Fix program will include a session with two wounded Iraqi vets.

A thank you from all golfers to the troops serving today. Here's hoping the golfers among you will be back on the course soon.

--Bob Carney