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The Simpson Cup 2018 – Team USA – Todd Tongue
American Golfer Todd Tongue 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?
Rochester, New York Home of the 2016 Simpson Cup at Oak Hill Country Club.
How did you become involved with the On Course Foundation, and the upcoming Simpson Cup?
I heard about the On Course Foundation in late 2014 as Oak Hill was preparing to host the 2016 Simpson Cup. I attended the 2016 Simpson Cup Qualifier at Penfield Country Club and placed second. I have been invited back to qualify and have made the team each year since.
What does being involved in the organization mean to you, and how has it helped you personally?
Being involved with the On Course Foundation is wonderful. As members we are always looking for ways to improve what we do and find more locations to assist our fellow veterans with recovery and employment. Because it’s such a great organization I am constantly promoting it to everyone i meet. John Simpson is an amazing and genuine man who personally takes the time to welcome and speak to each and every veteran involved.
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?
It is an honor to be involved with such a great organization that has helped so many veterans.
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?
I have been playing golf on and off since I was a child. Since my departure from the military the golf course has become my happy place. The beauty and peacefulness out there is extremely relaxing and calms the soul.
How has your golf improved since getting involved with the On Course Foundation?
My short game has improved due to the outstanding clinics with top of the line instruction the we have had the opportunity to attend.
What makes Golf an ideal sport for recovering service personnel?
I always say golf is like life after the military. There are no mulligans in life. When we hit a bad shot, we have two choices, continue to dwell on the past mistake and tank the hole or get up to the ball and make a good swing and move on and improve from that point on. In my opinion golf is perfect because veterans at all stages of recovery and at any skill level are able to participate and compete against each other individually or as a team.
Is it important to you that disabled golfers can play against able bodied ones on an equal basis?
Absolutely, I don’t see the purpose of competing if we can’t create a level playing field.
How does it feel to be representing the USA ahead of the Simpson Cup on home soil?
Being a part of Team USA is a an honor that cannot be put into words.
The Simpson Cup is a Transtlantic competition pitting the USA against the UK. Have you served alongside British forces before?
I have worked with British forces several times and always got along extremely well with them.
How intense will the competition be for the Simpson Cup?
The competition will be fierce. Team USA has won the last two Simpson Cups to tie it all up 3-3. Team USA will win this year to take the lead 4-3!
What aspect of being involved in the foundation and The Simpson Cup are you most proud of?
I love explaining to people I meet on the golf course what the foundation has done for veterans on both sides of the pond. Hopefully my speaking about what we do for veterans will have an impact on the people I talk to and they can either recommend some to the organization or see how they can help support it.
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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