Putting green unveiled at VA Hospital, Veterans play with professional golfer Larry Mize

CSRA News

Outside the gates of Augusta National disabled Veterans got a chance to play with the pros. 

On Monday, our nation’s heroes got a chance to learn a thing or two about golf from 1987 Masters Champion and Augusta native Larry Mize. For many of the paralyzed Veterans it was the first time they’ve played in decades. 

Tommy Rubio celebrated making a putt with professional golfer Larry Mize. The Air Force Veteran hasn’t held a club in almost 38 years. Rubio was forced to give up golf following a horrific car crash that landed him in this wheelchair. 

“I rolled my truck on a rainy night in South Carolina.. 4 times,” Rubio told WJBF NewsChannel 6. 

The decades without practice and the challenges didn’t stop Rubio from impressing Mize, who knows very well a defining shot is all it takes to change the course of history. 

“It’s made my day to be out here and to see these men and what they’ve done for this country and the freedom that they have given us.” Mize told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “Sometimes I think we don’t appreciate them enough. It’s very special and to see them have fun out here, it does my heart good.” 

The putting green will serve as a therapeutic activity for the nearly 1,700 Spinal Cord Injury patients seen at the V.A. Hospital. The clubs and the putting green have been designed to fit the needs of patients that will enjoy them. A great amenity for the hospital since it’s the hub for spinal cord patients in this region. 

“We cover Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, parts of Tennessee and parts of North Florida.” Spinal Cord Supervisors Marsh Kameron said. 

The putting green was donated by Golf Supports Our Troops and it was dedicated to the late Arnold Palmer. 

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this story. 

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