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The Simpson Cup 2018 – Team USA – Chris Hall
American Golfer Chris Hall tells us about the On Course Foundation and taking part in the US v UK Tournament for injured servicemen and veterans
Thank you for talking to The American magazine about the On Course Foundation and the upcoming Simpson Cup. First of all, can you tell us where in the States you're from?
I live in Fuquay Varina, NC.
How did you become involved with the On Course Foundation, and the upcoming Simpson Cup?
I first became involved with the On Course Foundation in 2016 when I was referred by a friend and past National Program Director, Mike Lacey. I qualified for this year’s Simpson Cup at Kernwood Country Club, Salem, MA.
What does being involved in the organization mean to you, and how has it helped you personally?
I find the friends made, from both sides of the competition and old friendships renewed, play a huge role in all our lives as veterans. Transition to civilian life after 22 years of service was not easy. Being part of the organization post-military in a sense allows me to maintain ties to the professional climate I once knew and loved.
With awareness of the needs of veterans and servicemen and women always growing, how does it feel to be part of a competition which both raises awareness as well as offers an opportunity for veterans to compete?
I am humbled by all of the opportunities that The On Course Foundation has afforded us. This organization makes us feel like rock stars and exposes us to genuinely grateful people and experiences we otherwise would have never met or been given.
Had you played Golf before your participation in the On Course Foundation? If not, how has the sport changed your life, and if you have, how is it different for you now?
Yes, I have been an avid golfer for 34 years. Some people have drinking, some have a therapist, I have golf.
How has your golf improved since getting involved with the On Course Foundation?
I had my first lessons this past year and got worse before I started getting better. So yes, it has improved, mainly in my short game.
What makes Golf an ideal sport for recovering service personnel?
Golf is a great equalizer and can be modified to reward the individual that performs to the best of his/her ability. People from all walks of life, age, body type, etc., can play the sport and be competitive.
Is it important to you that disabled golfers can play against able bodied ones on an equal basis?
It is imperative for the sanity and sense of belonging without a "perceived sense of pity" for injured and disabled service members to be able to compete against able bodied players. We are all on an even playing field. A 15 handicap can beat a 3. Everyone must play to the best of their ability and can take pride in knowing they did just that, play their rear end off or in some cases their leg.
How does it feel to be representing the USA ahead of the Simpson Cup on home soil?
It feels amazing to still be able to represent your country in the spirit of competition.
The Simpson Cup is a Transtlantic competition pitting the USA against the UK. Have you served alongside British forces before?
I served with the Special Air Service and some Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan. They have the same drive to succeed as we do and suffer equally. Combat doesn’t discriminate by where you come from. True warriors.
How intense will the competition be for the Simpson Cup?
We will all share stories and laughs with a few drinks each night of the competition but once we start the round we take it very seriously and do our best to honor the spirit of the game. Neither side will submit without a fight. Good luck.
What aspect of being involved in the foundation and The Simpson Cup are you most proud of?
I hope that I help others with their issues post-combat as much as they help me. It is the best therapy I have ever had and look forward to the next event as soon as the current one ends.
The 2018 Edition of The Simpson Cup takes place at The Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York between September 23 and 26. Find out more about the Cup and keep to date with results via their website, www.simpsoncup.com. You can find out more about the On Course Foundation via www.oncoursefoundation.com. Good luck Team USA!
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