By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 19, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- It's not often that amateurs get the chance to play with the pros, but during one of Silver Wings Golf Course's most popular tournaments, golfers were able to do just that.
The 2016 SWGC Pro-Am golf tournament was held Sept. 9-11 as Lady Professional Golf Association professionals from all over came to take part in the fun before taking on the course for a tournament of their own.
The pro-am tournament was a 36-hole team event, which had teams comprised of one professional player and three amateurs playing Team Stableford, which is a point system where teams lump their scores together and add their scores to a pot depending on how well they shoot. Unlike traditional scoring in golf, the objective in Team Stableford is to have the highest score, rather than the lowest.
Although scores are compiled at the end and there is a winner announced, for most, the pro-am tournament is less about winning and more about friendly competition and the love of the game.
Emee Herbert, LPGA professional, has participated in the pro-am tournament before and said she loves to do so because it gives here a chance to play with those who have fought and continue to fight for our country.
"I really had a great time last year, and I think it's just awesome to be able to come back and play with the veterans and be involved with the Army," she said. "I'm appreciative of everything that they do and I think this is just a great cause. It's a lot of fun and they treat us really well out here."
Herbert, who has been playing golf for about 20 years, said not only does she enjoy the company, but the facilities on Fort Rucker, as well.
"(The course) is so nice and it feels like home to me," she said. "The greens are great and they're faster than they were last year, but this is just a good course -- it's just a lot of fun."
David Farone, civilian participant, said he got into the game of golf just two years ago and loves to use the time on the course as a release, adding that he wasn't going to miss a chance to play with professionals to get some pointers.
"How often do you get to play with people who actually play the game of golf for a living?" he said. "I thought this was a great chance for me to see how good I really am, and once I find out that I'm not that great, see what I can do to make myself better."
Farone said he doesn't take the game too seriously, but the competition can get the best of him at times.
"This is a game I like to come out and play to relax, but I can't say that sometimes when you get into that competitive spirit that it doesn't get the best of me," he said. "But playing in this tournament, I don't feel any of that pressure at all. I just want to have a good time and see if I can learn a few things."