Reno golf tourney gathers clubs for US soldiers | NevadaAppeal.com

Reno golf tourney gathers clubs for US soldiers

SCOTT SONNER
Associated Press Writer

RENO (AP) – Officials for the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open and a local insurance company who launched an effort last week to collect new and used golf clubs for U.S. soldiers overseas say they’ve already gathered dozens of full sets.

“The response has been unbelievable,” said Michael Stearns, director of the tournament on the PGA Tour.

“We have 30 bags with full sets and over 50 sets of irons. We’ve even got two pairs of golf shoes,” he said Thursday.

The tournament is sponsoring the “Clubs for Armed Forces” program along with KKOH radio and Employers Insurance Co., a Reno-based group of companies providing workers’ compensation insurance and services to small businesses.

“We believe it’s important to do what we can to support our troops fighting in the Middle East,” Stearns said.

The program was founded by Leonard Ormsby, Employers’ general counsel who served 25 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.

“The demand for recreational equipment by members of our armed forces is very high as some of these people are over there for months or even years,” Ormsby said.

“Knowing what it’s like to be away from home for long periods of time without family or friends, I thought this would be a great way to raise our soldiers’ spirits and let them know how much we appreciate what they’ve given up for us,” he said.

Donations of new and used clubs as well as golf balls are being accepted through July 31 at Golf Headquarters in Reno.

Stearns said they are requesting no clubs that were manufactured before 1990. He said they will be flown overseas for use at golf courses and driving ranges in Iraq and Afghanistan at the conclusion of this summer’s tournament at Montreux Golf & Country Club Aug. 6-9.

“We offer free admission into the tournament to active military personnel and their dependents but this year we wanted to take it a step further. We wanted to give them a little piece of home as our way of saying thank you – and what better way than with a round of golf,” he said.

On the Net:

Legends Reno-Tahoe Open: http://www.LegendsRenoTahoeOpen.com