Washtenaw Charity Classic Supports Folds of Honor

Washtenaw Charity Classic Supports Folds of Honor

This past Monday I had the pleasure of participating in the Washtenaw Charity Classic. This annual golf, entertainment and food event at the golf club supports the Folds of Honor Foundation.

The headliner for the fourth year was Dennis Walter (pictured above). The World Golf Hall of Famer put on his unique show that is one-half trick shots and one-half inspiration. Walter, who dreamed of becoming a PGA TOUR player, was paralyzed in an accident as a young man. He didn’t give up on golf, though, designing a golf cart with a swiveling seat that let him continue with the game he loves.

“There are no expiration dates on dreams,” Walters said, reflecting on his life. “If you have a dream and it doesn’t work out, that’s ok. You can get a new dream.”

“Reach for excellence,” Walters said. “Strive for something positive. Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something. If are willing to play the price — and that’s a really big if — I believe you can make your dreams come true.”

Walters said that he hopes his travelling show inspires others to try golf. “I am hoping that others will see this show and that it makes them want to get out to the golf course to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. You can come out to the course and make new friends — and if you are a golfer, you WILL make new friends.”

Players at the Washtenaw Charity Classic.

The golf part of the Washtenaw Charity Classic has what I think is the most enjoyable outing format I’ve played (and I’ve played hundreds of outings). Thanks to the connections of Washtenaw Golf Club owner (and Michigan Golf Hall of Famer) Dave Kendall, each group of four amateurs is accompanied by a golf professional. The fivesome plays a shamble, where the everyone tees off, the best drive is chosen and each plays their ball from there. The best two scores in each group (with handicaps) are the group’s score for the hole.

What’s great about this format is that — after the drive — everyone gets to play their own game — and every shot is meaningful.

My group’s pro was Ian Martin, a Saline, Michigan native who has played on the PGA TOUR Canada. Martin played collegiate golf at the University of Michigan and at Sienna Heights.

Martin was a really fantastic guy to play with; he is relentlessly positive and incredibly helpful. I picked up a few useful pointers when he explained how he hit his wedges. He also hits the ball a mile.

Our group won the outing. This is the first time I’ve been on the winning team in an outing. We were 35 under (remember that two scores counted).

The “afterglow” had a fantastic food spread and excellent service from the Washtenaw Golf Club staff. Seriously, if you are looking for a place to host an event, give Washtenaw Golf Club a look. And make sure you put their mac and cheese on the menu.

Dave Kendall at the Washtenaw Charity Classic.

The beneficiary of the Washtenaw Charity Classic is The Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to the families of fallen and wounded US service members.

Folds of Honor’s founder, Colonel Dan Rooney, is an Air Force pilot who also is a PGA Professional. The Foundation’s spiritual home is American Dunes golf course in Grand Haven, Michigan.

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