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How one woman’s efforts are helping to restore hope to wounded veterans

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The 10th annual Simpson Cup, a match-play game that puts 13 wounded military members from the UK and the US against one another in a Ryder Cup-style competition, will include 26 participants on Tuesday, August 30.

The tournament for this year is held at Baltusrol CC in New Jersey. There is just genuine love of the sport and the nation at stake, not any money.

When the 2021 Simpson Cup was contested at The Creek Club in Long Island, New York, Shauna Snyder, one of only two women who qualified to participate, became the first woman to ever compete for Team USA. Snyder has complicated shoulder, back, and neck issues, although she is eager to dismiss them.

Snyder recently told a friend over the phone, “I feel extremely blessed to be as healthy as I am. “Still have a few things to deal with. But it’s nothing compared to what these guys gave.”

Before retiring as a full colonel in 2020, Snyder served in the Army for more than 32 years on active duty. Her next task was to take on the role of Military Liaison and Employment Manager for the On Course Foundation.

The On Course Foundation, which was formally established in 2010, seeks to provide wounded military members—both active and retired—the chance to improve their golfing abilities, compete on the course, and connect with job prospects in the golf industry.

Since the foundation’s founding, On Course has grown to provide beginning clinics, game creation under the direction of PGA experts, and business seminars in 15 areas around the nation.

Additionally, since 2012, there has been the annual Simpson Cup, in which participants must first compete in a qualifying competition.

Snyder’s civilian position with the On Course Foundation has been a natural match for him as the former chief of staff for the Army’s Warrior Transition Command. Snyder oversaw all of the Army’s returning wounded, sick, and injured service members while he was still on active duty. She can now combine her love of helping the community of disabled veterans with her knowledge in human resources.

Snyder was taught how to play the game by her father and grandfather, but she didn’t begin playing competitively until she was an adult. Her love in the sport and competitive fire were both cemented during a period of on-duty service in Georgia. Snyder continued to play for the Army, participating on the All-Army team from 2011 to 2018, and attending competitions all around the world. But she claims that the most fulfilling aspect of her work right now is getting to see how golf helps her fellow military members rehabilitate.

Her words were, “The game of golf has just changed their life. “The guys with PTSD, who just were struggling. Struggling with alcohol, struggling with addiction, trying to come off pain meds, whatever it might be. And there’s just a total refocus to the game of golf, and using golf as their method to rehab and find that passion and purpose again in life.”

“And that’s what’s exciting about the employment side,” she continued. “Because they get so excited that they just want to play and potentially get into the industry.”

Building partnerships with partners like Callaway, Top Golf, Golf Pride, Troon, Marriott, Club Corp, and others is one of Snyder’s numerous duties at On Course, which subsequently leads to new employment chances.

One On Course participant just accepted a position with Callaway as the head of security at a distribution facility, thanks to Snyder’s assistance. At the foundation, another employee was hired to assist Snyder. Others have found employment at golf courses around the nation.

Employment is merely one component of On Course’s objective, according to Snyder.

Giving our sick and wounded soldiers a place to go as part of their rehabilitation is important, she added. Additionally, and perhaps more crucially, the programs allow them stay in touch with other veterans who share their perspective and have experienced many of the same things.

“It’s just a comfortable level that you have with other veterans,” she continued. “When you walk in the door, you know the bonds are pretty much instantaneous. It’s just a shared understanding of what we’ve all been through, what we’ve seen, you know, and the struggles. But using golf to just find that passion and that mental focus that you need to recover and just to get re-engaged back in life, I think that’s what’s just so important.”

Six four-ball matches between Team USA and Team GB (Great Britain) will be played on Tuesday, and then 13 singles matches will be played on Wednesday.

Original article posted on Golf.com

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