Play a round of golf and help families of soldiers

If you want to do a good deed for a fallen hero's family, play a round of golf tomorrow.

At golf courses all across the country, Sept. 1 has been designated Patriot Golf Day, a joint effort by the PGA of America and the U.S. Golf Association to raise money for two foundations, Wounded Warriors Inc. and Fallen Heroes.

Dan Rooney, a club pro and Air National Guard pilot from Oklahoma, came up with the idea of Patriot Day to raise money.

The brainchild of Dan Rooney, a club pro in Broken Arrow, Okla., who is also an F-16 pilot who has pulled two tours in Iraq with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Patriot Golf Day will collect $1 from every round played at more than 2,600 participating golf facilities.

While there is no specific dollar goal, whatever funds are raised will go directly to the two foundations to support the families of soldiers who have been killed or disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the Philadelphia Section of the PGA, which includes courses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, an estimated 150 private and daily-fee clubs and courses are participating. Among them is Huntingdon Valley Country Club, where longtime head pro Jack Connelly, a past president of the PGA of America, said the $1 donation is only the beginning for many members.

"I sent out a letter asking members for a pledge, and I've had people giving everything from $5 to $1,000," said Connelly, who grew up as a military brat and later served in Vietnam in the Army. "One member said to charge his account $1,000, and he said he'd donate another $1,000 through his company."

Around the country, participating courses are finding creative ways to promote Patriot Golf Day. A club in Oregon is bumping its donation to $25 per round. Clubs in Florida and South Carolina are offering $5 raffle tickets for new top-of-the-line drivers. At a course in Oklahoma, golfers will be greeted by ROTC students, plus the club pro will donate 20 percent of his revenue from lessons for the day.

To donate or participate, you do not need to actually play a round of golf. Contributions can be made via the Web site for Play Golf America at Click on the icon for Patriot Golf Day.

The Web site also offers a state-by-state list of participating clubs and courses.

Contact staff writer Joe Logan

at 215-854-5604 or

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