On Monday, a friend played the Disney Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the starters matched him with three other players. After a few holes they began to get to know each other a bit. This is the rest of what he reports.
One fellow was rather young and had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him. I noticed that his golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection it also said – “wounded war veterans.”
When I had my first chance to chat with him I asked him about the bag. His response was simply that it was a gift. I then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about his injury, his response was, “I’d rather not talk about it, sir”.
Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an army rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio, Texas. His wife moved there to be with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He was a rather quiet fellow; however, he did say that he wanted to get good at golf.
We had a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar I asked him about the brand new set of Ping golf clubs he was playing. Some looked like they had never been hit. His response was simple.
He said that this round was the first full round he had played with these clubs. Later in the round he told me the following.
As part of the discharge process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping comes in and provides three days of golf instruction, followed by club fitting.
Upon discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged veterans, generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted clubs along with the impressive golf bags.
The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and said that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that ever happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well enough to deserve the gift Ping had given him.
Ben is now out of the service, medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young man as you would ever want to meet.
Ping, whose products are made with pride in Arizona, has the good judgment not to advertise this program.
This sure beats the hell out of Nike’s million dollars giveaways to athletes who will not respect our flag nor our Country. Ping, on the other hand, renews your faith in mankind, or at least the class of the PING Corporation. Too bad PING doesn’t take advantage of this wonderful program by advertising it. You can bet the Media won’t do it for them
Thank you PING