Meet Glenn Rosenberger, president and co-founder of North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Association. As one of nine chapters of the Salute Military Golf Associaton, NTWWGA works to improve the lives of injured veterans and military members injured post 9/11 through rehabilitative golf experiences. Rosenberger calls the project a great blend of using golf to help heroes reach better health and well-being.
It all started in 2011 when Rosenberger found the perfect way to combine his wish to stay connected to military service and his desire to help people. Rosenberger served 34 years in the Air Force. When his son, Matt who is an avid golfer came across an article about the program it seemed ideal to launch NTWWGA. The father-son duo kicked off the charity and it has grown ever since. NTWWGA now has a partnership with Timarron Country Club in Southlake and helps countless wounded warriors each year overcome the scars of battle. We wanted to know more about Rosenberger and North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Association and he was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Dawn Tongish: Please begin by telling us about the North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Association.
Glenn Rosenberger: The North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Association (NTWWGA) serves as one of nine chapters of the Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA). Our mission is to provide rehabilitative golfing experiences to injured servicemembers and veterans residing in North Texas. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for these American heroes through the game of golf. Eligible veterans include those wounded or injured in post‐9/11 military operations, including those with Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The heart of our program is an eight-week adaptive golf clinic that we host at Timarron Country Club each spring. Through our clinic, we provide golf instruction, golf equipment and golf apparel to program participants. Participants who meet our attendance requirements are offered a set of custom-fit golf clubs at the completion of the clinic. We maintain relationships with the warriors who register with our program, offering playing opportunities throughout the year. A video documentary of our program is hosted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FlQ09cgs_U. Golf is our tool, but rehabilitation is our focus. The game of golf embodies strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and mental discipline. SMGA/NTWWGA programs are designed to leverage these attributes to facilitate the healing process. The golf experiences offered though our program build lasting relationships that extend beyond the hospital and past the golf course. By addressing the unique needs of wounded warriors returning home from service, we assist these heroes as they reintegrate back to active duty or civilian society.
DT: What are your duties at The North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Association?
GR: I serve as President and co-founder of NTWWGA. I am blessed to lead a team of passionate volunteers who make this job very rewarding.
DT: How did you become involved with NTWWGA, and why are you so passionate about the work being done with the group?
GR: Upon retiring from a 34-year career in the Air Force, I wanted to stay connected to the military and the people I love. At the same time, my son Matt was becoming an avid high school golfer. One Sunday in 2011, Matt read an article about the Salute Military Golf Association in a local newspaper. He was inspired to raise money for this wonderful organization. So Matt and I collaborated with SMGA and hosted a charity golf tournament for SMGA in September of 2011, the ten year anniversary of 9-11. We had a successful tournament, hosting four wounded warriors as our guests and raising $8000 for SMGA. Matt and I enjoyed working on this father-son project together and repeated our tournament in 2012 – this time hosting 12 warrior golfers and raising $12000. Along the way, we quickly developed a strong group of sponsors and supporters that allowed us to build upon our fundraising success. In 2013, we transformed our organization into a full service chapter of SMGA and established a partnership with Timarron Country Club in Southlake TX. Timarron’s staff and membership have warmly embraced our charity – they donate the use of their facility, equipment and instructor time to conduct our clinics. My team is passionate about the benefits that the game of golf offers to our nation’s injured heroes. Golf offers many benefits to aid in their recovery.
- Golf gets isolated warriors out of their house and away from their struggles.
- Our clinics and golf outings allow the warriors to connect with a team of supportive peers who have similar experiences, allowing them to unwind with people they trust.
- Golf requires mental focus and discipline. It is played in a setting filled with natural beauty. As the warrior concentrates on improving his game in this peaceful setting, he replaces negative thoughts and memories with positive thoughts and memories from his rehabilitative golfing experiences.
- Golf is a well-known tool used to develop professional networking. Golf aids in the warrior’s reintegration into civilian life.
DT: What success stories have you seen related to the therapeutic efforts your group has been able to provide?
GR: We have several warrior golfers who led isolated lives prior to their involvement with our organization. Now they are active in society, both professionally and socially. We have observed the smiles, the mental healing and restored family relationships. We’ve also seen success with our golfers during competitive golf experiences that add to the warrior’s sense of pride and accomplishment. Six warriors who are registered with NTWWGA have participated in the Warrior Open, a competitive golf tournament for warrior golfers hosted by President George W. Bush at Las Colinas Country Club. Curtis Fowler, a warrior golfer from our 2013 clinic, will make his inaugural appearance in the 2014 Warrior Open. Jason Leap, a NTWWGA Board member and warrior golfer will compete at Congressional Country Club in the Simpson Cup, a Ryder-Cup styled event between US and UK warrior golfers.
DT: How can the people of North Texas and beyond help meet your needs for 2014? What are your biggest needs?
GR: We enjoy the support of numerous sponsors, both large and small, throughout the DFW metroplex. We recently completed the Fourth Annual North Texas Wounded Warrior Charity Golf Tournament at Timarron Country Club. The Airpower Foundation led the way as our title sponsor. This event is sure to grow and I encourage North Texans to support our organization by participating in our annual fundraiser. Donations of gift cards for our raffle and silent auction are always welcome. Though community partnerships, we also offer several “no-cost-to-you” methods of financially supporting our charity – see www.ntwwga.org/donate.aspx for more details.
Another need we have is for quality playing opportunities for our warrior golfers. If you are a tournament director/sponsor who would like to host a few warrior golfers in your tournament, our website has details on how to offer this benefit to the North Texas heroes registered with NTWWGA. (Alternatively: “contact Curtis Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-773-6836 for more information.”)
DT: Can you describe the reactions from the warriors who participate in your events, and even from the volunteers?
GR: Many of our warriors have offered their testimonies of the effectiveness of the therapy we offer to media outlets and several warriors serve as program leaders within our organization. With our most recent fundraiser, we had a tremendous outflowing of support. Most of our volunteers have been with us for several years and support us in many different ways. Kyle Corey, the team captain and two-time district champion from Grapevine High School Girls Golf Team, serves as our junior volunteer lead and junior volunteer coordinator. She is an enthusiastic supporter of our program. In our recent fundraiser, Kyle netted over $2400 for our charity by allowing tournament participants to substitute her golf shot for their shot on a Par #3.
DT: What has been your most memorable moment at NTWWGA?
GR: In 2013, I was forwarded a video from a golf tournament director who hosted a foursome of warriors who participated in our clinic sessions. The video featured an interview with a warrior golfer who had recently completed our clinic series. In the interview, the warrior matter-of-factly stated that because of golf, he no longer has nightmares before and after the days that he plays golf. This video is hosted at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_295YZpjUlFeVkzQmNCVnRXdmM/edit
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