June 4, 2016
“They dedicated their lives to save us, so why can’t we give something back to them? When I brought Jack aboard, something like this was in my dreams, and now here it is.” Ken Still
Jim Martinson, a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, chips on the new portion of the American Lake Veterans Golf Course.TACOMA — The coolest golf course in the Pacific Northwest isn’t Chambers Bay or the Home Course.
It won’t host a major or become a “must play” for bucket-listers, either.
It does, however, offer one of the most incredible sights in golf, and we’re not talking about an ocean view.
No, we’re talking about the people.
Welcome to American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Tacoma — the only golf course in the nation designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans. Nowhere else in the U.S. will you find 18 holes set up for those who lost arms, legs, or whatever else fighting for their country.
The course, which opened in 1957, has helped countless vets find sanctuary while inspiring hundreds of volunteers. Among those giving their time? Jack Nicklaus, the best to ever play the game.
You see, 15 years ago, Nicklaus’ friend Ken Still — a three-time PGA Tour winner from Tacoma — joined the board at American Lake. He said that the instant he saw the golfers playing he knew he wanted to be a part of it. And one night during a meeting, the board concluded that it should add nine holes to the nine-hole course, which would require a designer.
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