“I am delighted to be the Patron of the On Course Foundation and to have this opportunity to introduce it to you. Golf is a sport that I very much enjoy and I am delighted that we have found a way for the golfing industry as a whole to support our Armed Forces in a very positive way. I am also delighted that the R&A, of which I am a past Captain, supports this initiative.
As a serving member of the Royal Navy for 22 years, and with continuing close links with a number of Regiments as well as the RN and RAF, I know of the extraordinary work that our armed forces do to protect the security of our nation and of the sacrifices that they are called upon to face and make in the course of their service. Technical advances have meant that many of those seriously injured in the course of serving us are no longer bound to wheelchairs. On Course has been created to offer these injured men and women of our armed forces the opportunity to partake in golf – one of the few sports in which disabled people can compete with their able counterparts.
On Course will assist injured individuals to play golf by providing adaptive golf days, access to golf professionals, to personally tailor individual coaching and by the provision of golf equipment. As important, On Course will also help with employment in the golf industry as well, and will offer individuals the opportunity to learn the skills required to work in the golfing industry, such as Green keeping and Golf Management, through courses and apprenticeships. And, it will offer the opportunity to compete in specially created competition, including a biennial Ryder Cup style tournament against their USA equivalents.
I am delighted that the seven time Major winner Arnold Palmer has agreed to be the Patron of this initiative in the US and would like to thank him and all those companies and individuals who have so generously supported the On Course Foundation to date. I look forward to working closely with them in the coming months and years.”
“When I met a small number of the injured servicemen in Orlando through On Course, I was profoundly moved and hugely impressed by their courage and determination in facing what seems to me enormous adversity.
Golf has been such a huge part of my life and to see that our beloved game can be used as an integral tool in the rehabilitation of soldiers from around the world fills me with great pride.
I am deeply honoured to be Patron of an organisation that crosses all political and religious barriers in supporting those who have given so much to their respective countries at such high personal and emotional cost. It is a genuine privilege to be able to support and highlight the growing number of courageous individuals who are too often forgotten.”