How Lt. Col. Dan Rooney has used golf to give back to military families

Golf is a game that brings people together. Lt. Col. Dan Rooney knows this well and has used the game as a vehicle to give back through both the Folds of Honor foundation and Patriot Golf Day, charity initiatives that benefit the families of fallen and disabled military heroes.

“I think the purest form of good is doing something for someone and expecting nothing in return,” Rooney said on a recent episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “These families have gone through so much and their lives have been torn apart. And we get to play a role in putting that back together.”

Since he founded Folds of Honor in 2007, the organization has provided scholarships for family members of fallen and disabled servicemen. Patriot Golf Day is one of the ways they gather funds for the cause.

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Rooney said his inspiration for the founding of these charitable endeavors was touching the lives of families who have lost so much. The story arc of falling to the depths and then emerging back stronger than ever is something that speaks to him. He wanted to be a part of that story.

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“That’s a story that’s written throughout the ages,” he said. “Look at Tiger Woods winning the Masters (in 2019). There’s no more powerful rise and fall that I’ve ever witnessed, at least in a public viewing. That’s what we get to do for these military families is bring this beautiful light to these inherently dark places.”

Co-host Colt Knost has had the opportunity to play in the Patriot Cup and called it “one of the coolest events (he’s) ever been a part of.”

“It’s the greatest blessing of my life,” Rooney said.

Listen to the entire episode of Subpar below as Rooney discusses his relationship with Jack Nicklaus, his unique background and more.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”