FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 14, 2010)-Some of the best golfers in the Army arrived at Fort Lee this week for the 2010 All Army Men’s and Women’s Golf Trial Camp.
The competition for a spot on the All Army Golf Team begins Saturday at Cardinal Golf Course, where 13 men and seven women golfers will drive, chip and putt their way through 72 holes of championship golf over four days.
The top scoring six men and three women will earn a spot on the All Army Golf Team and compete next week at the Armed Forces Golf Tournament at Langley Air Force Base. The finalists at that competition will travel, as the Armed Forces Golf Team, to Pakistan to compete in the Conseil du Sport Militaire Golf Championships in November.
In order to participate in the trial, golfers should have a handicap of four or less verified by a certified golf professional or have previous professional experience. They may also be a past Armed Forces Team member or have a referral from a past All-Army golfer among other qualifiers.
Capt. Patrick Hawthorne, the team’s captain, is a three-time All Army Golf Team member. Despite only arriving to the installation a few days ago, Hawthorne said the communications leading up to the trial have been the best he’s seen.
“This is the best communication I have seen through the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation channels down to the golf course management,” he said. “There is a lot of good stuff going on. I think this is going to be run well.”
As other players arrive, they’ll play practice rounds to get familiar with the course.
Master Sgt. Shelia Sango was a championship softball player who took up golf seven years ago.
“People told me my batting swing looked like a golfer’s swing so I lowered it and did well.”
Sango returned from a deployment to Afghanistan in January and got back on the courses at her duty station in Hawaii where she linked up with Hawthorne who encouraged her to try-out for the All Army Team.
“It’s a great opportunity and I feel blessed to be here,” she said.
Fort Lee’s own Master Sgt. Travis Crawley will be vying for a spot on the team. After more than 20 years of active duty, he’s finally succeeded in getting to the trials.
“I’ve always tried to do this,” he said. “I’m happy to have the opportunity.”
Golfing starts each day, Saturday-Tuesday, 8 a.m. and should conclude by 1 p.m. Spectators are allowed any day on foot.