Operation Golf 4 Life helps beginners
David Unsicker, Silver Wings Golf Course business manager, directs the swing of Keith Gunter, retired military and golf newcomer, during the Operation Golf 4 Life program at the SWGC driving range May 8. The program is a free class designed to help new and experienced golfers better their golf game with instruction from SWGC professionals.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 10, 2012) -- Learning a new sport can be daunting when trying to tackle it alone, but newcomers having an instructor to introduce you to the game might give them an edge.

The Silver Wings Golf Course Operation Golf 4 Life helps introduce newcomers to the sport and helps veteran players refine their game during the month of May to keep them interested for a lifetime, according to David Unsicker, SWGC business manager.

The Army-wide program consists of free instructional clinics that are open to all authorized patrons, he said, adding that priority sign-up is offered to Soldiers returning from deployment.

There are four 60-minute clinics -- two weekend and two weekday sessions -- that consist of orientation, safety brief and golf instruction, said Unsicker.

"We really want to interest people in the game of golf that weren't interested before," he said. "To do that we need to show people that the game is easy to learn with help, and it's not expensive to play, like most people think."

The program began May 5 with another session on May 8 where Unsicker met with participants at the SWGC driving range where he was able to instruct people on how to better their golf game.

"There are several different levels of players out here, so for those that are more advanced I would just do some fine tuning," said the manager. "For the absolute beginners, I go over the basics and fundamentals of golf like grip, posture and alignment; and later on I can work with them and add some fine-tuning."

Sonja Howland, Army spouse who attended Tuesday's session, said the clinic was a great way to reinforce her golf skills when she plays with her husband and son.

"I've been playing [at SWGC] for about six years now and I'm always looking to improve my game," she said. "[Unsicker] said my setup was good and he basically reinforced the things I'd already learned to get me back to hitting the way I needed to be."

The program is designed to help all levels of golfers from advanced players to people that are just being introduced to the game like Beth and Keith Gunter, who also attended Tuesday's session to learn the basics of the game.

"It's just been something we've wanted to learn how to do correctly," said Beth, who is a financial counselor for Fort Rucker's Survivor Outreach Services. "We figured this would be a good way to learn so we could enjoy the game a bit more."

"We're both new to the game and we want to learn to be able to hit the ball straight and have it go farther than three feet," said Keith laughingly.

The Gunters said they loved being outdoors and that's the reason they were interested in golf.

"It's also one of those games you can play at your own pace and there is such a beautiful golf course here that it would be nice to be able to come out here and play well," added Beth.

The sessions are not a four-part series, so there is no prerequisite to attend the prior sessions to attend future sessions, according to Unsicker.

There will be two more sessions on Tuesday and May 26, said Unsicker, adding that repeat participants are welcome to attend.

For more information or to sign up for the classes, call 598-2449.

Page last updated Thu May 10th, 2012 at 00:00