Veteran Golfers Association Members Discuss Upcoming Tournaments, Mission, and More
ALTON/ST. LOUIS - Jonathan Wickenhauser and Kevin Sullivan with the Veteran Golfers Association appeared on a recent episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com to discuss the VGA’s upcoming golf tournaments, the therapeutic effect of golfing for veterans, and more.
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
“The Veterans Golf Association is a golf tour set up for veterans, active duty service members, and their families. It’s a spot for all of us to basically be with people who have gone through the same stuff we’ve gone through, and it gives us a chance to experience the same camaraderie and the brother-and-sisterhood that we had in the military,” Sullivan said. “We care for each other, we travel to different tournaments together.
“Overall, it is still competitive, but we do have a lot of fun and we make sure that we pick up our fellow brothers and sisters too. So it’s a great way to kind of experience that camaraderie, but also a little bit of therapy through the game of golf.”
Wickenhauser said he expects the VGA to grow “exponentially in this area” in the near future.
“It’s a lot bigger in the Chicago, Kansas City area. Kevin and I are kind of the first two to really bring it to the St. Louis/St. Louis Metro area, so I think it’s going to be really, really awesome,” Wickenhauser said. “It’s going to grow exponentially in this area, but it’s just getting the word out there.”
Sullivan said they have a couple of upcoming tournaments, the first of which is their season kickoff tournament starting this weekend at Innsbrook Golf Course.
“It’s a resort-style course just west of where I live now in O’Fallon, Missouri. It’s a great course, right now we have around 30 or so people signed up for it … it’s a tough course, but we’re going to have fun,” Sullivan said of Innsbrook.
He added that they rescheduled their tournament from last Saturday because it was 19 degrees outside, and that tournament will now be held this Sunday at Tapawingo National Golf Club in St. Louis. He described the course as “tough,” but said the good thing about it is that it’s “tough for everybody.”
Interested veterans and VGA members can sign up for the tournaments this weekend by visiting vgagolf.org/state-events and selecting “Missouri.”
“My personal goal is if the sport of golf and veterans as a whole can just keep one of our brothers or sisters from doing the unthinkable, then that’s ultimately what the goal is,” Sullivan said. “When it comes down to it, if we have 100 tournaments or 10, as long as our members are safe, our friends are safe, and they know that they can come to us and talk about stuff.
“Golf kind of breaks the ice, because it’s hard for everybody - it’s not easy. So if we’re all dealing with something that’s equally hard together, it kind of brings us back to those long patrols in Afghanistan or Iraq - or for our more experienced members, Vietnam or all over. It’s a way that we can all come together and be each other’s keeper.”
To find out more about the Veteran Golfers Association, visit vgagolf.org or the Veteran Metro St. Louis Golfers Facebook page. The full interview with Jonathan and Kevin can be watched at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
More like this: