Sports

May 24, 2012

Golf legend teaches Luke Airmen

by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Hale Irwin, professional golfer, demonstrates how to have a natural stance when swinging the golf club for the participants during a golf clinic at the Luke Air Force Base Falcon Dunes golf course May 15. Irwin intends to host more golf clinics in the future.

Ten returning service members had the opportunity to golf with a professional golfer and 20-time PGA tour winner during a golf clinic at Falcon Dunes Golf Course May 15.

Three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin joined the Thunderbolts, teaching them helpful techniques to develop their swing and improve their game.

The Airmen who were invited were returning from a variety of places around the world such as Afghanistan, Bahrain and South Korea.

Irwin said the clinic was his way to thank Airmen for their service to the country.

“My ultimate objective was to ensure they have fun,” Irwin said.

The drive for Irwin to organize this golf clinic began after meeting a young female pilot in a golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif. After speaking with her, he realized that he could connect with people in a special way through golf.

As a result, he called his friend and financial advisor, Dave Highmark to help him organize the golf clinic.

“I think it’s fantastic that he did this,” Highmark said. “I wish other public figures would do what he did today.”

Prior to hitting the front 9, the Airmen went to the driving range. While there, Irwin coached Airmen individually on ways to develop their technique and enhance their swing.

Afterward, they broke up into groups and played 9 holes of golf. Each group had a chance to play alongside Irwin.

As the day drew down, one Airman had the courage to go toe-to-toe with Irwin on the 9th hole.

“We had a little match play competition,” said Senior Airman Joseph Rotella, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron scheduler. “We made a bet that whoever won the hole would have bragging rights.”

Rotella started out strong with a long drive. However, Irwin made a comeback on the green, and won the hole after he made a very difficult put.

Although Rotella doesn’t have bragging rights, he still had fun improving his golf swing.

“It’s an honor to be able to play golf with Irwin and to be a part of such a rare experience,” Rotella said.

After the 9th and final hole of the day, the Airmen had lunch with Irwin and chatted with him on topics varying from how he first began his golfing career, to the importance of setting goals and reaching your maximum capability.

Irwin used his story of how he succeeded in his career as an example to show the Airmen that they too can achieve their goals.

“The motto, ‘be all you can be’ isn’t just a cliché, it’s true,” Irwin said.

At the end of the day, Irwin was glad to spend time with the Airmen. In his eyes, the day was a success. Irwin plans to continue his movement and has hopes for other professional golfers to join him in supporting the troops, who fight to keep him safe from harm.

“It doesn’t matter what service they’re in,” Irwin said. “I think this is important to show support for all of those who are currently serving.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
sports

Sports Shorts – August 28, 2014

607th ACS takes it all in bball Story and photo by Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Toreo Seay, AAFES point guard, goes through a defender during the intramural basketball championship GAME again...
 
 
sports

Sports Shorts – August 21, 2014

AAFES handily routs ACS 69-41 Story and photo by Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Koraye Williams, Army, Air Force Exchange Services team, drives to the basket during an intramural basketball pla...
 
 
sports

Sports Shorts – August 14, 2014

AMXS defeats LRS, advances to playoffs Story and photo by Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Hanniel Julien, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, performs a layup during an intramural basketball game...
 

 
Sports

Sports Shorts – August 7, 2014

MDG triumphs despite close call Story and photo by Senior Airman JAMES HENSLEY, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs The 56th Medical Group and 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron went head-to-head in intramural basketball July 23...
 
 
Sports

Sports Shorts – July 31, 2014

Loggies crush Army recruiters 55-22 Logan Anderson, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron team member, shoots the ball during a match with Army Recruiters during the intramural basketball season at Luke Air Force Base. The game wen...
 
 
Sports

Sports Shorts – July 24, 2014

Loggies dominate court, ACS 48-39 Story and photo by Senior Airman JAMES HENSLEY, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Justin Kitchen, 607th Air Control Squadron team member, shoots the ball during a game against the 56th Logist...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>