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NORWALK, Ia. -- Warrior Run Golf Course is technically closed on a picturesque Saturday morning, but there's still a cluster of carts lined up at the driving range and the obligatory group of coffee-drinkers sitting in the clubhouse. Assuming golf pros other than Mark Burke would call it a driving range. A few of the men teeing off behind orange traffic cones don't know that craters and dirt trails pock the course's west side because of an uprooted irrigation system, and those who do know don't care. Burke has assembled this hardy bunch for a satellite program years in the making, trying to spread goodwill through golf and get Des Moines-area disabled veterans out for lessons and clubs and sunshine. That means his course is open. "Using this program and learning how to play golf has been kind of a godsend," Eugene Cherry, a vision-impaired veteran, shares in the clubhouse. "It's a challenge, but it's a blessing, too." Starting in 2007, Burke spent weekends pacing Interstate 80 to help the GIVE Foundation (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere) get things going at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort. The U.S. Navy Seabee turned certified PGA instructor felt he had to pitch in to a not-for-profit program designed to give veterans at the Iowa City VA Medical Center a treatment option by learning and playing golf. "I've found that teaching is what I love the best," Burke said. "And I knew there were people sitting in the dark, not getting out. I was excited to give them something to do." … [Read More...]
This segment was aired on HLN’s Robin Meade “Salute The Troops” franchise. Ryan Lord, a retired Marine who was injured in Iraq with a brain injury, credits golf and the Iowa PGA Section “GIVE” program to saving his life. As you will see on the segment, Ryan was surprised with a trip to the Ryder Cup this week for himself and his fiance. Ryan will be meeting with Captain Davis Love III on Thursday and HLN will air a live segment on Friday a.m. which will show footage from his meeting with Captain Love Davis III. On top of this, Ryan is an aspiring PGA Professional who will be entering the apprentice program after the Ryder Cup as he wishes to teach golf to other veterans who have suffered injuries. He is currently employed at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa.