On Course Foundation supports the recovery of wounded, sick and injured service personnel and veterans through golf.
Their ‘mission’ is to use the sport to build up confidence and self-belief in those whose lives have been shattered by illness or injury and set them on the path to meaningful employment opportunities in the golf industry.
With players of all backgrounds able to compete on a level playing field, thanks to the handicap system, golf has helped improve their mental and physical well being.
I went along to the American Golf Grand Final weekend at The Belfry to meet some of those who have benefited from the work of the organisation. Here are their stories…
Welsh Guard Stewart Harris, who plays at Rhyl, was injured when an explosive device went off under his vehicle in Afghanistan in 2012
“I was woken up at Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In your brain, you have five lobes and, unfortunately, I damaged three of them – the frontal, temporal and optical.
“The damage to the optical lobe caused me to be blind in my right eye and partially blind in my left. I am deaf in my right ear and I am partially deaf in my left. I am able to sort of see a golf ball, which helps. But as I got better physically, my mental health took a bit of a dive.
“They On Course Foundation got me out playing and mixing with the lads. I found I was struggling and I was eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was worried about what people would think of me all the time, how I was being perceived. On Course take that away.