Soldiers’ families assisted

August 26, 2009|By John Reger

One of the best causes in golf is happening Sept. 4 through Sept. 7 and golfers can help in a very direct way.

The Patriot Golf Day will again return to golf courses across the country and the two courses in Costa Mesa — Costa Mesa Country Club and Mesa Verde Country Club — are both participating.

Major Dan Rooney, who is the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, came up with the idea. That organization provides postsecondary educational scholarships for the children and spouses of military men and women disabled or killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Patriot Golf Day is the organization’s best fundraiser and the organization urges golf courses around the country to add $1 or more to their green fees at participating golf courses.

Rooney, an F-16 pilot who has had three tours of duty during the Iraq War, is also a PGA club professional and a United States Golf Member. He was given a boost when the golf organizations lent their support to the fundraiser.

On the inaugural Patriot Golf Day in 2007 the event raised more than $1.1 million from more than 3,200 golf facilities. The following year, 600 more golf courses signed up and the fundraiser generated approximately $2 million.

Because of that money raised, more than 550 postsecondary educational scholarships have been given through the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Costa Mesa Country Club is participating and will ask its golfers over the Labor Day weekend to donate $1 or more for the cause, with the money benefiting the program.

Mesa Verde Country Club is in its third year and while only the private club’s members can help, they raise money in two different ways.

Head Professional Tom Sargent asked his members to donate guest green fees to the program and already has commitments from members.

“I already have two different pledges for $500,” Sargent said. “I expect to get this year what we got the previous two years combined.”

As an added feature at Mesa Verde, active or retired service members will be invited to play with members.

“We have them come out and play,” Sargent said. “The members seem to like it.”

This is a program that is too important not to participate in, regardless of what your view on the war is. In this state I don’t think we do enough to honor the military and our servicemen definitely don’t get the recognition they deserve. This is one small way to say thank you and it’s only going to cost you $1. Their sacrifice to our country is worth a million times that amount.

JOHN REGER’S golf column appears Thursdays. He may be reached by e-mail at

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