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Posted: April 6, 2018 11:39 a.m.
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Professional golfers conduct free golf clinic at Hunter

Steve Hart/

Lt. Col. Ken Dwyer, garrison commander, Hunter Army Airfield, hits the ceremonial first tee shot March 29 to kickoff the start of the Savannah Golf Championship consisting of more than 150 professional golfers at the Deer Creek Golf Course at The Landings on Skidaway Island in Savannah. The Colonel's ball went 200 yards and ended up in the center of the fairway. The large crowd gave him a nice round of applause for his strong shot

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Five Professional Golf Association golfers took time from preparing to compete in the inaugural Savannah Golf Championship to share their knowledge with members of the Hunter Army Airfield military community March 27 at the Hunter Golf Course.

The PGA golfers were among the field of 156 players competing for the $99,000 payout to the tournament’s winner in the four-round Tour event at the Deer Creek Golf Course on The Landings March 29 – April 1.

"It's an honor to just be able to give back to these guys," said Grant Leaver, professional golfer who participated in the clinic. “When asked if I wanted to participate in this for the troops, I said yes in a heartbeat," said Bhavik Patel, another professional golfer.

Thirty-one active and retired Service members turned out for the rare opportunity to receive instruction from a PGA player.  The ability level of the participants varied from those brand new to the game to seasoned golfers.

“The pro reviewed the basics:  my grip, set-up alignments and the swing,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lavander Wilkerson.  “I learned a few things that will help my game.  I now have a better understanding of what to do and can get away from bad techniques that ingrain poor habits.”

Retired NCO and accomplished golfer Steve Williams got something different from the experience.  “I really enjoyed speaking with the pros to hear how they play different shots”, Williams remarked.  “… And then to watch them hit was absolutely amazing.”  

"This is rewarding for me personally ... just knowing what they do (for the nation) makes this quite an honor.” Patel said.

  Sam Burns won the tournament by a single stroke after sinking a six-foot putt for a birdie on the final hole on day four (played Sunday).

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