SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For the third round of Savannah’s professional golf tournament, the biggest stars are outside the ropes.
“It’s crazy that we can have all these members of the military and all these people that we learn to respect,” said Layton Steigelman, who attended Military Appreciation Day.
Respect and appreciate — Saturday is Military Appreciation Day at the Club Car Championship at The Landings Club as golf fans get a chance to express gratitude and admiration toward service members, on the grounds, at their equipment and in the air.
“I think it’s huge. Our community is made up of a ton of soldiers and their families. They’re a huge part of the Savannah market and population. It’s something that we want to wrap our arms around and continue to celebrate,” said Cheyenne Overby, the Club Car Championship Tournament Director.
Fans get a close up look at combat gear, and a chance to meet, speak with and thank members of the military in person.
“It was so fascinating to see all the cockpits and all the different buttons that they use,” said Landry Steigelman, another attendee at Military Appreciation Day.
“They give up a lot of their lives and of course they put their lives at risk for us, so it’s nice to show the appreciation,” said Carol Schretter, who attended Military Appreciation Day.
And today especially, Saturday at Club Car was an opportunity for the military as well.
“We just came back from a nine-month deployment and the opportunity to come out and reconnect with the community that supports us when we’re here and when we’re not. A lot of soldiers come through Fort Stewart and decide to stay here for a reason. It’s because this community is so supportive,” said Capt. Ricardo Herrero, Commander of B Company 9 Engineer Battalion.
And always excited for Saturday at this event when golf shots are not all fans are looking up at.
“Seeing a veteran jump into and finalize the event for the day, it’s just a great way to close this great day,” said Capt. Herrero.
“We’re really grateful to the military for supporting this, we’re grateful to our fans for consuming it and enjoying it and being a part of it. It’s just really nice to have it back,” said Overby.
The Hero Hut is a tent out on the 17th hole where military can go to get off their feet for a little while and enjoy some refreshments and the company of other military and military-support groups.
David Hoffmaster started Hero Hut three years ago and brings the concept to festivals and events across the country. The Club Car Championship is the first Korn Ferry Tour event they have been at it has been a great way to show appreciation to Savannah’s large military community.
“We have a regional director here and he used to fly with the 160th out of Hunter and he was able to get with the chamber and we found huge buy in by the community across the board. We have the VFW here, USO, Fight the War Within has been a bug supporter of us,” Hoffmaster said. “We do veterans, active duty, their families and also first responders. And our goal is to bring that community together to hang out, talk, maybe grab a beer and have some food or some snacks, and then also see the resources that are out there and available to them in the local community to them as well. You know, so many of them have given so much to their own communities, so we’re just trying to say come out, you’re already at an event like, you’re at a golf tournament, a music fest, a barbecue fest. Here is a spot where you can sit down and see there are others out there that appreciate what you’re doing as well as giving back to you for that service.”