Foundation hosts annual Ben Hogan Classic

By Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public AffairsMay 3, 2024

A group of men stand under a tent on a golf green, as holds a hand-held cannon.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – On hole two, golfers were able to make their first shot using a hand-held cannon during the Ben Hogan Classic gold scramble April 26 at the Courses of Clear Creek. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Two men sit in a golf cart, one driving and the other pointing his right pointer finger directly at the camera.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Miguel Melo, III Armored Corps Inspector General's Office, poses as he and other golfers head out onto the course during the Ben Hogan Classic. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Hundreds of Soldiers gathered April 26 at the Courses of Clear Creek to partake in the annual Ben Hogan Classic golf scramble.

Hogan, in the prime of his professional golf career, decided to put his passion aside and join the Army to serve in World War II. Now the Ben Hogan Foundation carries on Hogan’s legacy in different ways including hosting the Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Cavazos.

The free, three-person scramble is a highly anticipated event. Each year active-duty Soldiers line up to register for it and the 200 spots fill up within an hour. Chad Cruson, executive director of the Ben Hogan Foundation, said it is clear to see how important this event is to the Soldiers.

“It’s the most popular military appreciation golf event here at Fort Cavazos, and we’re just excited and thrilled and honored to be able to provide it,” he said. “Having the ability to thank Soldiers in person for what they do for us — for their service. To shake their hands and look them in the eye, it’s an excellent opportunity.”

Throughout the event, participants were treated to food, drinks, swag bags and unique activities at some of the holes including cornhole and using a hand-held cannon to make their first shot at one of the holes instead of using their driver.

The event couldn’t have run smoothly without the support of the more than two dozen volunteers who jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the beloved golf scramble.

Donna Bonk, board member for the Ben Hogan Foundation, has been volunteering at the Fort Cavazos Ben Hogan Classic since 2016, flying in from Michigan to do so. She said meeting the Soldiers, thanking them for their service and speaking to them about their day-to-day life in the military is what has made the event so special to her.

“I’ve always said it’s a day for us to serve the Soldiers because they serve us all year long,” she said. “But I’ve come to realize I think this is equally as important for the volunteers because we walk away with very full hearts after this.

“I feel like a very, very proud American every time I come down here,” she continued. “Every single time. I learn something new about what’s going on in the world and what’s being done from the Fort (Cavazos) perspective.”

Sgt. 1st Class Miguel Melo, III Armored Corps Inspector General’s Office, was incredibly excited to be participating in the Ben Hogan Classic for the second year in a row. He said the event is a huge morale boost for Soldiers at the Great Place, providing a break from their fast-paced work days.

“When you’re afforded the opportunity to come out here … take it,” he said. “Soldiers that do have the opportunity … to come play at the Ben Hogan, come and get your swing on.”

Brig. Gen. Tom Feltey, III Armored Corps deputy commanding general of maneuver, made some brief opening remarks before the golfers were sent onto the course.

“Thank you to the Ben Hogan Foundation for putting this awesome event on … and all of the volunteers that are out here in order to make this happen,” he said. “Also a big shoutout to all of our Garrison staff that makes everything happen at the installation behind the scenes. We know you’re the ones that make this happen. As we reflect on this awesome event and everyone coming together … this is what makes this place the Great Place.”

For more information on the Ben Hogan Foundation, visit