ASC Soldiers get chance to caddie on PGA Tour
July 17, 2013
SILVIS, Ill. -- A handful of Army Sustainment Command Soldiers got the thrill of a lifetime by participating in the Professional Golfers' Association Active Duty Caddie Program at the John Deer Classic Golf Tournament held at the TPC Deere Run here July 8-14.
The tournament, won by 19-year-old rookie Jordan Spieth, the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since 1931, was preceded by the tournament's annual Pro-Am event that teams amateur players with professionals to raise money for charity.
"Birdies for the Brave is the PGA Tour's main military outreach initiative to show the military our appreciation and invite them out to the course to watch the tournament and have them participate with the golfers through the caddie program," said Matthew Gregory, from the PGA Tour's Community Outreach Department, who coordinated the Active Duty Caddie Program at the JDC. "Any way we can say 'thank you' to the military, that's what the PGA Tour has us here for."
The Active Duty Caddie Program is part of the Birdies for the Brave Program, started by golf legend Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy in 2006.
"It was great. It is nice to see these guys are just like us. We talked about golf and family," said Capt. John Hartrich, ASC Distribution Management Center, who caddied for Australian John Snedden. "This a great thing the PGA does for those of us at Rock Island Arsenal. It is also nice to get out into the community to let people know we're here."
Active duty Soldiers were offered the chance to caddie for some of golf's biggest names on the rugged, 484 yard 15th hole during the Pro-Am July 10.
"I love golf. I love to watch, but I don't play a lot. I maybe get the chance to play once or twice a month," said Capt. Travis Drayton, ASC DMC, who teamed up with fellow South Carolinian Lucas Glover. "You can learn a lot from watching these guys -- to see their stance, see their strokes, to see how they breathe. This is really an incredible opportunity."
This year's field included such luminaries as K.J. Choi, Will Claxton, David Duval, Trevor Immelman, Davis Love III, Sean O'Hair, and hometown favorite Zach Johnson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last year's JDC champion and 2007 Masters champion.
For more on the PGA TOUR go to: http://www.pgatour.com/
For more on the Birdies for the Brave Program go to: http://www.birdiesforthebrave.com/
Editors Note: Additional (unedited) photos of the Professional Golfers' Association Active Duty Caddie Program at the John Deer Classic Golf Tournament can be viewed and downloaded from the ASC Flickr page. Go to the ASC homepage at: http://www.aschq.army.mil/home/ then click on the Flickr icon found in the Social Media box on the lower-left portion of the page. If you prefer, the direct link to the photo set is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/army_sustainment_command/sets/72157634684921814/