The Happy Golfer

Inspiring time with war veterans is an honor for The Happy Golfer
May 24, 2009, 6:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had a great stay in Ohio, thanks to Pete and Annette. There is nothing like a large, comfortable bed, a warm, roomy shower with scented soap and shampoo for the little hair I have left, and great Greek food. Thanks to Gus at the Chalet; the egg-lemon soup was the best I have tasted in a long time, not to be outdone by the lamb sandwich. I played golf with Pete and his Greek friends four out of five days in the rubber capital city of the world, Akron, Ohio. Also, I had an oil change for the Mothership and put on six new tires. Can somebody remind me to clean the inside one of these next few days?

Ohio was state 33; if you multiply that times two rounds in each state, it equals 66 rounds, plus four rounds played on my off days, which equals 70 rounds in 59 days. Twelve of those days I played 36 holes in one day. The next state is Michigan. Two rounds, two different courses, one day. After that, two rounds at two courses in one day in Indiana, then on to Chicago on Thursday Night. Then a Friday round at Ruth Lake Country Club; my thanks to Callaway Professional Mark Labiak.

While I was playing hole #5, I noticed the women club members, The Swing Club Ladies, were hosting war veterans on the course for a few holes. It was a perfect time for me to help out with Ralph, whose shirt said Louisville, and a young man named Thomas, whose cap had the Notre Dame logo. Thomas used to be a 7 handicap and I am sure Ralph was not far behind. We hit some good shots, some average shots, and some bad shots, but that is what golf does to you. The company was Great , the weather was Great, the Swing Club Ladies were Great, and that is all with a Capitol  “G’!

They insisted that I stay for lunch, and for me to be at that golf course, at that time, with those wonderful war veterans and the great Swing Club Ladies, it is surely the highlight  of my golf journey. Thank you Ruth Lake; thank you Swing Club, and thank you United States war veterans. It was my honor to be in your presence.  It’s not like any of us are going to go on the Pro Tour; however golf is the common denominator and all of us will occasionally hit that shot that makes you come back. Today Ralph and Thomas and the rest of the war veterans played like Tiger Woods.  And that makes The Happy Golfer very, very happy.


5 Comments so far
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Just saw your story on NBC Chicago. I think it’s great what you’re doing and I just wanted to say Good Luck/Kalí tíhi! You have great energy and it was wonderful to see you in action!

Comment by Maria Vassilakis

Nick, my wife and I just caught your story on NBC 5 Chicago. Isn’t the reporter Paula Farris cute? Anyway, good for you and your Happy Golfer quest! It’s a great story and we’re quite envious knowing we wake up tomorrow and go to work, and you’re off to play another golf track. Be safe and play on! I’m sending the news story and your blog to my father in-law, who did 4 tours of duty as a tunnel rat in Viet Nam. I know he’ll love it and be envious of you as well! Fore! Vince and Jenni Sykora

Comment by Vince

Hi Nick,
A voice out of the past from a former fellow Kiwanian. Following your adventure closely. It sounds like a life long memory in the making. Is your golf improving with all this play? Safe trip friend!


Comment by Ray Hadden

Nick – I know you are having a great time and your blog is so wonderful and inspiring to read. We still miss you but I am so glad to share you with the rest of the country. Enjoy and be safe.

Stephanie Smith

Comment by Stephanie Smith


Glad to see that Ohio treated you well – come to expect that here in the Buckeye State! Enjoy the rest of your adventure and be safe!

Comment by Eric Gayheart

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