Archive for Saturday, September 1, 2007

Courses observe Patriot’s Day

All five city facilities to raise money today for military-family charity

September 1, 2007


All five Lawrence golf courses are taking part in Patriot's Day, a national push to raise money for Fallen Heroes, the charity that benefits family members of those who lost their lives while serving in the military.

Former Kansas University golfer Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot who has flown multiple tours of duty in Iraq, started the charity and came up with the idea for Patriot's Day.

During its coverage of the PGA Championship won by Tiger Woods at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., CBS publicized Patriot's Day. Rooney took CBS golf commentator David Feherty up for a flight in an F-16 fighter jet.

Golfers are being asked to donate an extra dollar to their green fees today for Fallen Heroes.

Both Alvamar golf courses, Eagle Bend, Lawrence Country Club and the Orchards are backing Patriot's Day.

Rooney said not all golfers are limiting their contributions to $1.

"I just heard from a pro in Philadelphia who told me one of his members walked in and gave him a check for $10,000," Rooney said. "I got an e-mail from another golfer who told me they are going to play their regular game, and whatever happens, all the winnings are going to be donated."

Some courses are collecting a dollar from each golfer. Other clubs are donating a dollar for each round of golf played, and some clubs are matching the contributions of the golfers.

At last check, Rooney said, "Thirty-five percent of the courses with a PGA pro had signed up, which is amazing considering the first e-mail went out 4 1/2 weeks ago."

Milburn Golf and Country Club in Overland Park will have American flags on the pins and one the tees, as well as a red-white-and-blue ribbon painted into a fairway.

Rooney said that to return the favor for the ride in the F-16, CBS' Feherty invited him inside the ropes for the final two rounds of the PGA.

"Inside the ropes, 20 feet from Tiger all day long when he was in that Tiger mode," Rooney said. "The coolest thing was watching the fan reaction. You could slip into his shoes for a minute, when he was walking green to tee and everyone was yelling for him. Then walking up the 18th fairway on Sunday, to be able to think just for a moment, this is what it feels like to win a major championship. It was priceless, looking around, thinking this is what it would look like."

Rooney said he will be golfing today with three other fighter pilots at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow, Okla.


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