The 4th of July is right around the corner, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the most patriotic golf courses in the United States. There are many courses that are patriotic in name only, but there are a few that are also patriotic in their missions. Two courses on our list involve Lt Col Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot in the USAFR, who along with a PGA Professional, founded Folds of Honor in 2007.
Fold of Honor’s journey began when Lt. Col. Rooney was on a flight home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. He became painfully aware of the reality families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled. As his flight landed, the pilot announced that it carried the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin on board. Lt. Col. Rooney watched as Corporal Bucklin’s twin brother walked somberly alongside the flag-covered casket to meet his family on the tarmac. Among them was the deceased Corporal’s young son, Jacob. Lt. Col. Rooney decided to commit his life to helping spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
Here is our list:
American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven, Michigan
In 2006, the Grand Haven Golf Club hosted a small golf tournament that would inspire the formation of Folds of Honor. The Grand Haven Golf Club closed in 2018 and a small group of patriots, including Lt. Col. Rooney, joined together with Jack Nicklaus to create American Dunes. The mission of American Dunes is to raise awareness and funds for the families of fallen and disabled veterans. Jack Nicklaus led the project by donating his $3,000,000 design fee, a group of eighteen individuals sponsored a hole and five private investors joined together to preserve the birthplace of Folds of Honor.
The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Oklahoma
This is a private club that opened in 2010 and has been affiliated with the Folds of Honor Foundation. Lt Col Dan Rooney was one of the Founding Members of the club.
American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood, Washington
This is the nation’s only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans. It originally opened as a nine-hole course in 1957 on the grounds of the VA Hospital in Lakewood, Washington. It was recently redesigned by Jack Nicklaus and now features 18-holes that provide greater accessibility to disabled players.
We applaud these courses on their missions to help those who have fought bravely for our country and our freedoms.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!