Golf legend Jack Nicklaus helps veterans golf course

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 30 at 6:04 PM

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus has designed nearly 300 highly-ranked golf courses around the world.

When asked where he thinks his newest venture at the American Lake Veterans Golf Course will rank, Nicklaus said, "Right now it's my number one."

Nicklaus, also known as the "Golden Bear," is giving more than half a million dollars' worth of expertise in designing a new nine-hole expansion for the course used by veterans and their guests.

The current nine-hole course is routinely used by wounded veterans for physical and mental rehabilitation.

"It is the greatest place to heal," said Staff Sgt. Leroy Petry.

Petry, who received a Medal of Honor after losing his arm in Afghanistan in 2008, now works with wounded soldiers after they return home.

He said getting them on the golf course helps with their healing and that expanding the course could save lives.

"People with no purpose and direction who think it's the end of the world come out here and realize there's a lot to do, a lot to see," said Petry.

Nicklaus hopes his support will help soldiers.

"I didn't have the privlege of serving my country back in our time," said Nicklaus, "But I'm having a lot of fun being part of it today."

Volunteers run the golf course and say despite Nicklaus' help, they still need more funds to expand the course.

For more information, visit: http://www.veterangolf.org/

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