Led by the Cardinals’ head coach Courtney Trimble and assistant coach Whitney Wade Young, sixteen service members from the Semper Fi Fund’s Team Semper Fi Program were provided instruction at the University of Louisville Golf Club from Aug. 1-4.
“There’s no better feeling,” Trimble said of the service members’ excitement learning the sport. “All the instructors walk away with more than the service members do. I know it’s been gratifying for the instructors to share their skills with all of these veterans. It’s a great opportunity for us to give back, teach people to play golf, and hopefully it becomes a mechanism for them to have some recovery.”
During the first couple of days, service members rotated to different stations to learn full swing, chipping in and out of the bunker, putting, golf etiquette, and the general approach to the game. Toward the latter part of their trip, the group visited Louisville’s campus, toured Churchill Downs, and some participants played a nine-hole round.
“It’s been absolutely amazing, the warm welcome that we’ve gotten,” United States Marine Corps Master Sergeant and Team Semper Fi member Michael Schneider said. “Being able to come to different courses around the United States with Team Semper Fi is an amazing opportunity. We get to play with some of the best pros in the world that teach us golf.”
The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities. Since establishing the Semper Fi Fund in 2004, we’ve issued 142,000 grants, totaling more than $153 million in assistance to over 19,000 of our heroes and their families.
“The city of Louisville is a special place,” Team Semper Fi senior manager Casey Fisher said. “The first time I was here was last year at this clinic. We fly them in. It’s a five-day event, travel days are included. We cover all the logistics. This place is really special, and we’re very lucky to be able to be at the club and work with the coaches. Not every university is open to that. Churchill is great, food is great. We’re just blessed to be here.”
In addition to Trimble and Wade Young and UofL Golf Club’s Jake Spott and Mike Finney, the service members received top-notch instruction from a host of local pros: Colby Wollitz, Josh Snider, Jamie DeKeuster, and Bobby Bartholomai.