Golf has long held a healing bond. Since the Spanish American War and through to present day, those who have come back from battle and the families of those who haven’t, have found solace and escape in the game – the peace, the beauty, the rich nuance that makes golf so special.
Now, organizations like the Folds of Honor Foundation, founded by PGA professional and combat fighter pilot, Maj. Dan Rooney, are using the game to help our heroes and their loved ones.
Recently, Folds of Honor sponsored an 11-day trip through Ireland for 20 wounded U.S. servicemen and their spouses. On Thursday of this week they played the Old Course at Ballybunion, one of the best links courses in the world and a favorite of none other than Tom Watson.
"We were quite humbled by the invitation to host these incredibly brave men and women,” says Vari McGreevy, Ballybunion General Manager. “Their perseverance over tremendous odds offers lessons for all, and their visit to our country exemplifies the close bond shared by the American and Irish people."
Scores didn’t matter. When it comes to the cathartic aspects of the game, they never do.
The Irish are among our greatest allies. And they are some of the friendliest people on earth. Their hospitality to these heroes went above and beyond.
For those who know them, it was no surprise at all.