NCGA Golf

Summer 2017

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★ Bayonet and Black Horse GC has long been considered among the region's must-plays. Originally crafted as the base courses at Ford Ord, all 36 holes enjoyed a major renovation in 2008. The Bayonet, named for the Army's 7th Infantry Division, was originally designed in 1954 by General Robert McClure, the post's Commanding Officer. Black Horse, named for the 11th Cavalry Regiment, debuted a decade later and was designed by General Edwin Carnes, Fort Ord's Commanding General from 1963-65. Programs Home to more than 30 military installa- tions (more than double any other state), California also sports nation-topping num- bers of nearly two million veterans and over 190,000 active service members. Using the game as a tool of therapeutic rehabilitation, the Northern California section of the PGA runs the year-round programs and golf clinics of PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) at Cypress Lakes, Presidio GC, Metropolitan GC, Cherry Island GC and Sequoyah CC. Military fundraising has long been part of the tee sheet at Half Moon Bay Golf Links and The Ritz-Carlton. On Sunday, August 6 the resort will extend its salute with the inaugural Golf Partners for HOPE Charity Golf Event, benefiting the Navy SEAL Foundation and the NCPGA Foundation's HOPE programs and serv- ices. Along with warrior support and edu- cational scholarships, proceeds for the Navy SEAL Foundation provide tragedy assistance for families when a SEAL is wounded or killed. "The date marks the historical signifi- cance for 'Extortion 17,' when a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in 2011, which was the largest loss of life in the history of naval special warfare," explains Kendall. Tributes to the military spread across the property—most formidably in the form of a Memorial Wall which is unveiled at events and special occasions—and pays homage to the 99 SEALs that have lost their lives in combat or training since 2001. At Moffett Field, the longtime pairing of the Pacific Women's Golf Association's "Golf Swing Club" and United Veterans Services continues a tradition begun in 1946 by PWGA founder, Helen Lengfeld. What Lengfeld began on a pitch-and-putt at Menlo Park's VA hospital grounds is now a monthly, from April to September gath- ering of hosted vets and volunteers playing a modified Moffett front nine and concur- rent putting competition. "Both sides benefit a lot from this, and we've had a lot of friendships develop over the years," says Julie Gonzalez, past presi- dent of the PWGA and liaison between the organization and the UVS. Providing physical therapy for the service members extends to lasting rela- tionships. "This gives the veterans a chance to get away from the facility for socialization. And our volunteers get such a feeling of fulfillment out of these experiences," adds Gonzalez. From rehabilitation programs to fundraising for veterans and their families, NorCal's golf salute to the armed forces is ardent. Says Rooney, "We all need to remember that freedom isn't free." A CAREER SALUTE Raised in golf as a looper at Sequoyah CC, Oak- l and-native G ene Miranda ( pictured with the 1 982 Air Force Academy team) tied Ben Hogan's t hen-course record of 63 while in a Sequoyah caddie tournament at the age of 16. Miranda lettered at San Francisco State as a freshman golfer, before earning three more letters and an eventual master's degree in phys- ical education at San Jose State. Drafted in 1963, Miranda served 20 years in the Air Force before retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel. Miranda's clubs proved a valuable tool as he traveled the world, competing and teaching. "I never would have had the opportunities I did if it wasn't for golf," says Miranda, long an instructor at Eisenhower GC in Colorado Springs, Colo. "Like when a colonel would call me up and say, 'I understand you played golf in college. How about coming out to play with me?' Generally, lieutenants don't get to play golf with colonels, let alone meet the colonels." For 28 years—14 in active duty—Miranda was the head golf coach at the Air Force Academy, where his Falcons soared to an unprecedented run of success. When he first took over the program, Miranda returned home to Northern California with a photograph of his team in their dress uniforms and met with a host of club managers and pros. "My pitch was: 'I have no money, I want to bring my golf team out here during our spring vacation to play these courses. Is there any way you can help us out?'" Miranda recounted. To his delight, his student-athletes were comped at San Francisco GC, Monterey Peninsula CC, the Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links (left), Spyglass Hill GC, (then) Fort Ord and The Olympic Club, where he was later given a lifetime membership. "And we did that trip for the 28 years that I coached," Miranda says. NCGA.ORG | SUMMER 2017 27

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