Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times |
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events Calendar
    (Independent and Locally Owned)

Nicklaus-Redesigned Course Helps Disabled Vets

It's a small world. After talking only a few minutes over the telephone with 63-year-old Roger Gatts, assistant manager of American Lake Veterans Golf Course near Tacoma, Washington, I learned he and I grew up only a few miles apart in southern Ohio.

American Lake Veterans Golf Course has been turning heads. In 2004, a group of military veterans began raising money to make this nine-hole golf course accessible and exclusively for veterans with disabilities.

Later, one of the golf course board members had an idea. He called Jack Nicklaus for help in redesigning the golf course for accessibility. "Our board member, Ken Still, had played on the 1969 Ryder Cup team with Nicklaus," said Gatts. "They had been friends ever since. Ken told Jack what we needed and Jack said he would love to do it. He said there would be no charge because of what these disabled veterans had sacrificed for their country."

Gatts himself has PTSD from serving on the demilitarized zone in Korea. He and all the other 215 workers at the nonprofit American Lake Veterans Golf Course are strictly volunteers. They keep course conditions crisp for 3,500 disabled veterans playing golf every year.

Said Gatts, "We have guys missing legs, missing arms. Some are paralyzed, have a traumatic brain injury or have PTSD. We have Vietnam- and even WWII-era veterans. One of our golfers was in the first wave on Omaha Beach on D-Day. A lot of the guys coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan think it's the end of the world to lose a leg or arm, but it's not. They find out life goes on. We help them get back into life through the game of golf. That's what we're all about."

Recent Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry, who lost an arm in 2008 heroically saving the lives of fellow Army Rangers, golfs at American Lake. Another golfer, Jim Martinson, lost both legs and a finger in Vietnam. He won the Boston Marathon wheelchair race in 1981, and has become a bogey golfer.

Many of the golfers use specially made golf carts that traverse accessible sand traps, greens, and tee boxes. Nicklaus has been designing a new back nine and soon will be working on making accessibility improvements to the front nine.

Gatts said, "Nicklaus said he would like to duplicate what we are doing here throughout the nation."


LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Roseville California Crime Brief (11.28.14)Roseville, CA - Crime report digest update for Roseville, CA November 28, 2014.

Rocklin Engineering Student on the MarchHalf of Cal Poly's 222-member marching band are engineering students - including Kevin Carstens, a civil engineering major from Rocklin, Calif.

Veronica Blake Appointed to LCCF BoardVeronica Blake, Chief Executive Officer of Placer Community Foundation, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the League of California Community Foundations.

Roseville Scam Alert IssuedThe Roseville Police department has issued the following scam alerts

Mail Theft on Rise in Roseville and RocklinRocklin and other neighboring cities in Placer County have seen an increase in mail theft from community mailboxes

Janice Forbes Memorial Dedicated in AuburnAuburn leaders gathered recently to dedicate a memorial to Janice Forbes at the Auburn School Park Preserve where a monument was erected to commemorate her contributions to our community.

Winter Choral Concert in Rocklin December 3rdRocklin, CA-- The Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Winter Choral Concert on Wednesday, December 3rd at 7:30pm in Dietrich Theatre on the Sierra College Rocklin Campus.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Often Not BelievedChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, had Carl Miller and his doctors, completely baffled for a long while.

Lexus LX570 SUV: Big, Attractive and SafeWhat most drivers will like about the Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions

Can You Get a Mortgage?Realtor, Julie Jalone, of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about a the current mortgage underwriting environment, how it is perceived buy potential home buyers and what lenders should do to accelerate the housing recovery here in Sacramento and across the country.

Santa to Visit Roseville Neighborhoods ScheduleRoseville, CA - After talking with Santa, he was able to work some time in his schedule to visit six Roseville neighborhoods this year before the holidays

Holiday Ice Rink in Roseville at GalleriaThe outdoor Bayside Ice Rink at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville is now open for the holiday season.


more news