Local News

Troops Treasure Golf Supplies Overseas

Posted May 31, 2007 6:42 p.m. EDT

— What do soldiers do in Iraq when they're not searching for Al Qaeda? Some of them golf.

The sport is becoming a favorite stress-reliever among deployed troops, and some local volunteers are sending donated golf supplies overseas. There have been so many requests that they can't keep up with the demand.

Give 2 The Troops, a non-profit group that sends care packages to soldiers at war, has collected at least 50,000 golf balls and 5,000 clubs.

Director Barbara Whitehead said normally, volunteers send the usual snacks and toiletries, but the love of golf has taken over.

"Some of the troops have built driving ranges and there [are] two golf courses,” she said. “We have troops teaching Iraqi children how to play golf."

It started with a request from Whitehead's deployed son, who wanted golf clubs for a buddy. But word quickly spread to golf magazines and television shows. Now, the aisles at Give 2 The Troops are getting pretty tight.

"I am so proud of the American people,” Whitehead said. “Our guys don't have cable TV or a gym. A lot of them are in remote areas, and they have to create their recreation."

Now a soldier's best friend isn't just his rifle. It's Big Bertha or Predator.

"We had one EOD guy, that's the bomb squad, tell us there's nothing better than standing in a pool of sweat, with blood dripping from your arms, beating that little white ball all over creation,” Whitehead said.

Give 2 The Troops has already shipped 45 to 50 sets of golf clubs, but they need help to sort and pack all those supplies. They also need golf boxes to ship them in, and donations to pay for postage.

Donations can be sent to:
Give2TheTroops, Inc.
ATTN: Barbara Whitehead, NC Branch Director
3109 Landmark St.
Greenville, NC 27834
Phone: 252-321-8227