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Chris Connelly has the story of American Lake Veterans golf course and golfing legend Jack Nicklaus’ affection for both the course and its veterans.


Jack Nicklaus topped a significant donation with a personal appearance at an exclusive special event at BIGHORN Golf Club to help raise funds for American Lake Veterans Golf Course. ALVGC is the nation’s only course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.

“I was moved to see the amazing efforts at American Lake Veterans Golf Course where our wounded warriors learn to play golf with the help of an incredible army of volunteers,” Nicklaus said in a statement announcing a donation of design services by Nicklaus Design for an additional nine holes of golf at American Lake.

The campaign for American Lake has a $4.5 million fund-raising goal. The organization says funds will be used to: * Construct the nine new holes (“the Nicklaus Nine”); * Complete the construction of the Rehabilitation and Learning Center for physical therapy, fitness training, skills assessment and golf lessons for every level of ability and mobility. The Center will also function as a clubhouse; * Make improvements to the original nine holes to enhance accessibility; * Upgrade the maintenance facilities and restrooms; * Fund operational costs.


Listen to the Golden Bear as he talks about getting involved with the American Lake Veterans Golf Course.


American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood, WA is a special place. It is a volunteer run golf course that has been upgraded and is being revamped by the efforts of a non-profit called Friends of American Lake with donations from businesses and individuals, and from grants. Most recently, they have received a 9-hole golf course design from Jack Nicklaus Design. Jack shares about how privileged he feels about being able to contribute to in this video.

The volunteer veterans, most of them in their 70s, realized that the younger veterans would need to have a place to rest and recuperate. This course, which is adjacent to the American Lake Veterans Hospital, has been successfully encouraging young veterans through participation in golf. The course has been designed to accommodate solo riders, a specially equipped golf cart for handicapped players. Improvements now provide covered areas for gatherings and a covered driving range, which is crucial in the Washington weather. Goals for the future of American Lake Veterans Golf Course include an upgraded clubhouse and the implementation of the Nicklaus Design Course to bring the nine hole course up to 18-holes. All donations made to the Friends of American Lake are tax deductible under IRS 501(c) (3).


The WINNING Brotherton Community Champions documentary on Harold “Pepper” Roberts and the American Lake Veterans Golf Course.

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