Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., site of the 2015 U.S. Open, will host some of the country’s top military veteran golfers in a national semifinal tournament, Oct. 1-2, to help determine the field for the 2nd Annual Veteran Golfers Association (VGA) National Championship, which will be held Oct. 16-19 at Fallen Oak Golf Club in Biloxi, Miss.
There are four VGA regional qualifiers, with a total of 430 players competing. The other three national semifinals are being held at Blackwolf Run in Sheboygan, Wisc., Queenstown Harbor in Queenstown, Md., and Anderson Creek Golf Club in Spring Lake, N.C.
“Chambers Bay is extremely excited to host the Veteran Golfers Association, its members and their families,” said Brent Zepp, Head PGA Professional at Chambers Bay. “With the large number of military residents and veterans in our community and our involvement with many of them, the tournament is a great fit for our facility and we are very proud to be part of this VGA regional event.”
The 2016 VGA Tour included over 125 tournaments at military, public and private courses, with more than 1,000 veteran golfers participating. Like the tour events, the VGA National Championship features three divisions of competition: Veteran, Combat Wounded and Family. Within each division are four handicapped flights and an open handicap Women’s flight.
“The 2016 VGA Tour has been terrific so far, and this year’s championship will be just as special as Pinehurst No. 2 was last year,” said VGA President Joshua Peyton, a retired Army Captain and Army Ranger. “It will be exciting to see who will rise to the occasion at Chambers Bay and move on to the national championship.”
The regional qualifiers and the championship tournament in October are expected to have the same emotional impact as last year’s debut event in Pinehurst, N.C., putting the service, sacrifice and patriotism of its participants in the national spotlight. Wounded veterans and Purple Heart recipients will make up nearly half the field, and competitors will range from enlisted personnel to three-star generals.
Founded in 2014, the VGA is a national non-profit organization offering U.S. military veterans the opportunity to enjoy competition and community through golf. Membership is open to all U.S. veterans – wounded, non-wounded, disabled, active duty and retired – as well as to their families, including parents, siblings and dependents who are at least 18 years old.
The VGA’s mission is to enhance the lives of veterans and their family members through the camaraderie and sportsmanship of golf. The VGA also focuses on Post Traumatic Growth initiatives to help veterans and families cope with combat-related injuries. Using golf as an alternative activity, these veterans can choose a more productive way to deal with the challenges that impact their everyday lives.
More information on the 2016 tour and championship event is available at www.vgachampionship.org.