On Course Foundation: A Timely Challenge for SwingU Readers

It’s that time of year again. The Masters is here, and another tradition unlike any other is 30 or so days away.

May is Military Appreciation Month, when we especially salute America’s Service men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect our freedoms.

Showing gratefulness to current and active men and women members of the armed forces through golf lies in the amazing work of the On Course Foundation.

The organization conducts programs in 15 markets across America that teach wounded, injured and sick veterans golf playing skills and golf business skills for careers in the dynamic golf industry.

On Course Foundation subsequently places its “members” in jobs with Century Golf, Dormie Network, Golf Pride, Invited, Landscapes Unlimited, Marriott Golf, TaylorMade Golf, Topgolf Callaway Brands, TPC Network and Troon. Marketing, sales, merchandising, food and beverage, product manufacturing, course operations and other positions comprise the range of work experiences with employment partners in 45 states.

More than 2,000 wounded veterans have benefitted from On Course Foundation in the U.S. and Europe. As a result, their health, family, professional and financial well beings are now vastly improved from lives filled with physical and mental wounds of the worst kind. After all, assimilation back into society following frontline combat and behind-the-scenes military work is difficult beyond belief.

SwingU has documented veterans’ stories of phenomenal recoveries through the On Course Foundation. Now it’s time to spotlight a handful of the dedicated and thoughtful professionals who make the organization click:

  • John Simpson, Founder and CEO – Nearly a decade ago, he married a passion for golf with an appreciation for the sacrifices of Service members to create On Course Foundation. It all started when the former business manager to Nick Faldo, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer and Vijay Singh visited Headley Court (the U.K. version of Walter Reed Nation Military Medical Center in the U.S.) to improve veterans’ lives through the sport and business of golf.
  • John Dodds, Executive Director – For the past 13 years, he’s managed the growth of On Course Foundation programming, curriculum and sponsor initiatives. An MBA, John eschewed prominent corporate positions, impressively expanding the organization’s footprint to improve the lives of veterans, many on the cusp of self-destruction.
  • John Goudie, National Program Coordinator – He introduces veterans to golf and helps them maintain interest in the sport and profession. While in the special forces, John survived five gunshots to the chest, lost his left leg in Afghanistan, underwent 50 surgeries, suffered major PTSD and then, amazingly, re-enlisted. On Course Foundation gives him purpose.

  • Shawn Whitmore, National Programs Director – He helps conduct programs nationwide where veterans learn golf playing and business skills. On Course Foundation saved his life from post-military depression, anger, an amputated left leg and 36 surgeries. He was employed by TaylorMade before joining the organization full-time.
  • Shauna Snyder, Military Liaison, Employment Manager – Focused on relations with military recovery centers, she also places On Course Foundation members in jobs with 100-plus golf businesses. Shawna previously ran important initiatives in human resources for the Army and is a low-handicap golfer.

All of this is made possible thanks to the financial and in-kind contributions from scores of companies, as well as individual donations, across the land.

That’s the challenge to SwingU readers:  contact On Course Foundation Executive Director John Dodds at john.dodds@oncoursefoundationusa.org to do your part leading into, during and beyond Military Appreciation Month.