hit the greens
SOLON– Every shot’s a hole-in-one at the National Veterans TEE Tournament.
Solon High School students joined Veterans Affairs (VA) volunteers and other community members in September as visually impaired veterans took to the greens at the Lake MacBride Golf Course.
The TEE (Training, Exposure and Experience) Tournament, one of the VA’s six national rehabilitation programs, provides legally blind veterans an opportunity to develop new skills and strengthen their self-esteem through adaptive golf and bowling.
Lake MacBride Golf Course has participated as a host site for the program for several years, with Solon students serving as golf partners and guides.
“I loved all the people I met last year and I couldn’t wait to do it again,” said senior Emily Sherman. Sherman said her favorite moment was watching her golf buddy’s expression after sinking a 10-foot putt.
“It sounded like a neat experience,” noted junior Todd Oberthien, who said he enjoyed “getting to know my golf buddy and helping him with his shots.”
This year the Iowa American Legion Foundation made a contribution to the event, presented by Jim Leland of Solon. The Foundation presented a check for $1,750 to support the TEE Tournament, and another check for $800 to assist with a VA fishing trip program.
The 2012 TEE Tournament brought an estimated 225 participants from across the country to the Iowa City area Sept. 12-15. Quail Creek Golf Course in North Liberty also hosted, as did three other area courses. Veterans took advantage of bowling at Colonial Lanes in Iowa City.
The National Veterans TEE Tournament sprang to life as the brainchild of several employees of the Iowa City VA Medical Center, along with two visually impaired veterans from Iowa who were attending the 1993 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.
The VA endorsed the event in 2008. Each year, the event uses a therapeutic format to promote rehabilitation, fellowship and camaraderie among veterans with disabilities.