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Operation Double Eagle gets vets onto golf course, into new careers

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:56 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s something we see often. Veterans who have a hard time adjusting to life after they’re done serving the military. Now one local program is hoping to help give some direction. Operation Double Eagle is getting veterans on the golf course to start their career.

If you’ve played a round of golf at the patch, you may have noticed what looks to be a beat up par 3 between the 14th green and the 15th tee box. But it’s actually a performance center Operation Double Eagle, a program designed to help veterans find a career path by knowing how to turn this into a playable golf hole.

In a city known for a strong golf and veteran presence, Operation Double Eagle brings those worlds together. Veterans can sign up for a nine week course at Augusta Tech learning the ins and outs of golf course management and landscaping.

“We have classroom instruction in the mornings and then we come out here to the municipal course where we have this mock par,” said Scott Smith, instructor at Augusta Tech.

The hole gets overgrown and out of shape during the nine weeks. At the end of it, the veterans take what they learned and put it into practice.

“I’ve always believed doing it is so much better than just hearing about it,” he said.

Program coordinator Jeremy Tindell says being outdoors and doing landscaping has a therapeutic effect on the veterans.

“You’re seeing the fruits of your labor as you cut the grass and maintain the property or put in landscaping. Plants and grass isn’t gonna lie to you. It’s gonna tell you what’s wrong or what you’re doing right, so it’s nice to have that feedback from the job that you’re applying,” said Tindell.

They say the veterans who join the program aren’t always in the best place mentally when they come in. But watching them figure out their next move in life makes the program worth it.

“If you’re a veteran out there, and you feel that you’re struggling to find a career or find a job after your service, this is a great place to start,” said Tindell.

Tindell says a lot of the veterans don’t just go into golf management. Some even start their own landscaping businesses.

They’re currently looking for their next cohort of veterans for the program. To apply, visit Operation Double Eagle.

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