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American Lake Veterans Golf Course

American Lake Veterans Golf Course is the only golf course in the United States designed to be played by disabled veterans (note: it is only open to veterans and their guests).

The American Lake Veterans Golf Course is on the grounds of the VA Hospital in Lakewood, Washington, one hour south of Seattle. The Veteran’s Hospital was approved for construction in 1926 and the first building was dedicated in 1929. The golf course, situated on 377 acres, was added shortly after World War II in the mid 1950’s. 

In 1995, the US government withdrew all funding for the operation and maintenance of all VA golf courses. For the next decade-plus, the course fell into serious disrepair and was nearly abandoned. In 2001, Harold “Pepper” Roberts, a retired teacher, golf pro, and veteran of the Korean War, joined the American Lake VGC as a volunteer. The following year, he was asked to join the VA Golf Course’s Board of Directors. It was then that he discovered there were no funds for needed improvements or upkeep of the course. By 2003, it was evident that a non-profit organization was needed to raise funds to support the course and the necessary paperwork was filed. 

The course has since been immaculately restored. It features an accessible bathroom so that veterans with mobility issues can use the facilities without getting off of their specialized paragolf carts. 

The American Lake Veterans Golf Course offers rehabilitation, therapy, socialization, and support to those who have given so much for our country. To restore just one person to a productive life enhances our community. To help just one young soldier turn away from suicide, to ease the feelings of isolation and depression, or to help a family avoid divorce greatly impacts our community. To accomplish these things one hundred times over affects our community and the world far beyond what mere words can describe.

VeteranGolf.orgIcon: External link

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