War veterans get custom clubs at Colonial

05/19/2014 3:26 PM

05/19/2014 3:27 PM

Army veterans Andrew Miller and Joseph Lowery have Purple Hearts from injuries they suffered fighting in Afghanistan.

Miller, who is studying finance at the University of Houston, stepped on a land mine and lost a leg below the knee.

Lowery, of Dripping Springs, was riding in an all-terrain vehicle when it was hit by two anti-tank mines. He suffered brain injuries and nerve damage in his head, neck, shoulder and feet.

Both are golfers, and Tuesday morning at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, they will get something that can help them overcome their injuries: fitted golf clubs.

Callaway Warrior Club Fitting program will make club sets designed specifically for the two wounded warriors as part of Birdies for the Brave military outreach and appreciation activities, PGA Tour spokesman Jay Voelker said.

The Crowne Plaza Invitiational begins Thursday and continues through Sunday at Colonial.

Even though it happens 15 times each year at PGA Tour events, it’s always moving, Callaway Golf spokesman Randy Rubin said.

“For the guys on our team from Callaway it’s extremely emotional,” Rubin said. “This is the top experience for them.”

Miller and Lowery will be fitted with the clubs in the Calloway tour trailer next to Colonial Country Club’s driving range, Voelker said.

“I think more than anything we’re just honored to play a small part in the rehabilitation of these warriors who were wounded in action serving our country,” Voelker said. “If golf can serve as a conduit for these guys to have a return to normalcy in civilian life, we’re happy to partner with Callaway to provide that experience.”

Created by Phil and Amy Mickelson in 2006, Birdies for the Brave collaborates with nine military home-front groups to include a variety of outreach initiatives. With PGA Tour tournaments and other events, the organization has raised more than $11 million to provide programs and services to meet needs of combat-injured warriors and military families, a news release said.

Miller and Lowery will go through a full tour-type fitting experience, Rubin said.

“They’ll hit different model clubs and the fitters will analyze their swings to come up with the proper prescriptions,” Rubin said. “They’ll check the club head speed, angle of attack, ball speed … and come up with the right ones.”

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