Thursday, November 8, 2012

GolfTEC Coaches Understand What Game Means to Veterans

(Denver, Colo.) – Christopher Woods, a Certified Coach with GolfTEC, the world leader in golf improvement, served in the U.S. Army for five years, so his military background was a help when a veteran of the Vietnam War began taking lessons from Woods.

“Golf is a great game for veterans to learn, particularly veterans who may have been wounded and still have an injury,” said Woods, a GolfTEC coach in Tualatin, Ore., part of the greater Portland area. “It’s not a game that requires putting a lot of stress on your body and can be a great way to focus your mind on something for a few hours.”

Woods is not alone in the GolfTEC coaching fraternity when it comes to teaching the game to those in the military, both active and retired, from coast to coast.  In Chapel Hills, Colo., the GolfTEC Improvement Center is virtually across the street from the Air Force Academy, so coaches like Chad Miller, the center manager, and Bernie Blan both have a notable list of veterans.

“One flew Apache and Cobra attack helicopters in Iraq, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia,” Blan said.  “Another was a fighter pilot in Vietnam.”

The San Antonio, Texas, GolfTEC Center teaches dozens of military, with Fort Sam Houston, as well as the Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases all in the city.

“They are typically pretty goal-oriented and take instruction very well, which you might expect,” said Ryan Cummings, the San Antonio center manager.  “We have an outgoing general who has been a student with GolfTEC and now wants to get into the golf business when he retires.”

In Oregon, Woods has noticed that if a veteran knows Woods is a veteran, the lines of communication open more readily.

“When teaching veterans, they like things up front and direct, so I am not going to sugarcoat things,” said Woods, who was an Army air assault specialist.  “I tell them what needs to be done, so they will get it done. They respect that I am a vet. It is a great thing to let them open up a little more about their lives and what is going on with them now."

Woods has developed a particularly special relationship with a veteran who still has shrapnel in his leg and is on total disability.  “When I see him come in here and be so excited about golf, about doing things he didn’t think he could do with his disabilities, those are the things I really enjoy,” Woods said.


No comments: