The Third Time’s a Charm: The Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood

Ben_Hogan_Photo_2015Fort Hood is the world’s largest military installation and the biggest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services. Covering 340 square miles and home to more than 65,000 soldiers, civilian personnel, and family members, it is no wonder why Fort Hood is nicknamed “The Great Place.” Its size and thriving community distinguish it among its peers. The Miles Foundation was proud to help host the third annual Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood, a golf tournament for some 200 Fort Hood soldiers and a kids’ golf clinic for more than 200 children on base. The event’s sole focus is to provide an extraordinary day for these soldiers to show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. This year’s tournament took place on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Approximately 50 volunteers traveled from Dallas and Fort Worth to the Courses of Clear Creek at Fort Hood to offer the soldiers a truly first-class experience. The tournament day began at 8:30 a.m. As the soldiers arrived, parking attendants greeted the players and transported their golf bags to the registration and breakfast area. A live band played upbeat country music as each soldier was personally welcomed into the golf pavilion.

The golf scramble format is formal enough to foster some good-natured competitiveness while promoting a casual atmosphere that allows plenty of laughter and storytelling (and maybe even a bit of heckling) throughout the day. Lunch was delivered to the golfers on the course, and games run by the volunteers at each hole offered even more opportunities to win prizes. At three holes, golfers had the opportunity to win a brand-new Chevrolet if they made a hole-in-one. This year was the closest attempt ever, as we watched Michael Henderson come within an inch of the hole that would have won him a red Chevy Camaro (we hope he comes back next year to win it!).

The kids’ clinic, run by The First Tee, introduces children to the game of golf while seamlessly integrating lessons on character development through fun games and interactive play. Due to impending rain and a cold front on tournament day, the kids’ clinic was moved indoors for 2015. And although it did end up raining towards the end of the day for the tournament players, no one would have been able to tell by the multitude of happy faces and jovial attitudes displayed by the soldiers even as temperatures dropped and showers descended.

For us, The Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood is a reminder of our founder’s bravery in WWII, and of all of the soldiers who have sacrificed for this great country. Most importantly, it is a way for us to personally thank those in active duty who are protecting the freedoms we are able to enjoy every day.

We are especially appreciative of The Ben Hogan Foundation for providing us the opportunity to participate in this event each year, and for allowing us to partner with them to host a memorable and meaningful day for the soldiers and their families. We're already looking forward to next year.