About Us

Special Operations Warrior Golf Foundation is a charitable organization qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. SOWGF utilizes the healing and networking power of golf to assist Special Operations wounded, ill, and injured warriors recover, rehabilitate, and reintegrate into civilian life. This assistance is provided using a retreat format held at golf venues throughout the U.S. and Ireland, using the game of golf as its core activity. Each retreat has 6-10 participating warriors and lasts for 5-7 days. Participants are limited to Veterans of the U.S. Military Special Operations Forces who experienced wounds, illnesses, or injuries related to combat (or the military training directly associated therewith) while in the service of our country.

The USSOCOM Care Coalition assists in the selection and approval of participants utilizing the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program Standard as summarized above. SOWGF reserves the right to extend consideration to members of the Gold Star families of Special Operations Veterans.

Medical and Therapeutic Component

The Medical and Therapeutic Component of the retreat focuses on both the mental and physical health of the wounded warrior. First, the game of golf is a highly rated adaptive sport that can play a significant role in helping a wounded warrior deal with physical issues and handicaps resulting from his injuries. The PGA instructors while teaching the game will help the injured warrior make necessary adaptations. If adaption in the form of prosthetics or specialized equipment is required, then SOWGF will look to its Partners such as US Adaptive Care or PGA Cares for assistance. Second, golf is a social game by nature and promotes the development of personal connections between the wounded warrior and the PGA instructors/coaches as well as the other warriors on the retreat. This relationship-building aspect plays a significant role in helping a wounded warrior deal with emotional injuries such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Third, the game demands focus, routine, and repetition. These are all facets that assist warriors dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which is one of the most persuasive injuries occurring in the special operations community.

In addition to the benefits of the game of golf, SOWGF will have physical and behavioral health professionals on-site to provide evaluation and short-term therapy. The short-term therapy is designed to not only treat short-term issues but to introduce the warrior to therapies that can be continued after the retreat. In addition, an assessment for long-term therapeutic needs will be made and a post-retreat plan provided to each warrior under the Supervision of our Program Quality Committee. In providing these services, SOWGF will look to its Partners such as Operation Healing Forces, Homes Fit for Heroes, Brian Bill Foundation, and others.

Career Transition Component

The Career Transition Component of each retreat is promoted by the SOWGF Mentor Program that includes having each of our wounded warriors sponsored by benefactors/mentors from the business community who accompany them on the retreat, develop direct and personal relationships with them, and serve as warrior’s career transition mentor during the reintegration process from military service to civilian life. More specifically, the mentors will aid the wounded warriors in understanding how their military skills and leadership experience translate to the civilian business community and will serve as a post-retreat personal guide as they select and move to their new careers.

Our Leadership

SOWGF is a Florida Not for Profit Corporation qualified as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the lnternal Revenue Code.  Under the SOWGF By-Laws the property and affairs of SOWGF are managed by the Board of Directors. The officers of the Board of Directors are the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman of the Board, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.  The Board has delegated to the Executive Committee the authority to manage daily affairs of SOWGF, has formed an Advisory Board to provide additional assistance and expertise, and has appointed Ambassadors to serve as representatives  and spokespersons for the Corporation.

team

Colonel Cary Harbaugh

Co-Founder/Board Member/Chairman/Executive Committee

Colonel Cary Harbaugh

Co-Founder/Board Member/Chairman/Executive Committee

Colonel Cary Harbaugh, US Army (ret) served 41 years in the military with much of his career with SOF. His last six years were as the Director of SOCO

team

Tom Gates

Co-Founder/Board Member/Vice Chairman/Executive Committee

Tom Gates

Co-Founder/Board Member/Vice Chairman/Executive Committee

Thomas G. Gates served as a Viet Nam Fighter Pilot followed by a full career in the FBI and years of philanthropic work. He is a Florida Veteran Hall

team

Art Welhoelter

Co-Founder/Board Member/Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Committee

Art Welhoelter

Co-Founder/Board Member/Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Committee

Arthur R. Welhoelter served as a Marine Corps JAG officer followed by a career as a practicing attorney, restaurant owner/developer, and business lead

team

Dr Colleen Harbaugh

Board Member/Senior Medical Advisor/Executive Committee

Dr Colleen Harbaugh

Board Member/Senior Medical Advisor/Executive Committee

Colleen Harbaugh, MD, currently serves as the Chief of Staff of the Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Harbaugh has years of experience treating

team

General Tony Thomas

Founding Board Member/Senior Military Advisor

General Tony Thomas

Founding Board Member/Senior Military Advisor

General Raymond A. Thomas, US Army (ret) is the former USSOCOM Commander and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Special Operations Warri

team

Jan Stephenson

Founding Board Member/Senior Golf Advisor (LPGA)

Jan Stephenson

Founding Board Member/Senior Golf Advisor (LPGA)

Jan Stephenson is a World Golf Hall of Fame Member and the founder of the Crossroads Foundation (which provides golf instruction to wounded warriors a

team

Scott Bill

Board Member

Scott Bill

Board Member

Scott Bill is a Gold Star father of a fallen SOF soldier (Seal Senior Chief Brian Bill) and founder of the Brian Bill Foundation (which provides PTSD

team

Gary Markel

Board Member

Gary Markel

Board Member

Gary Markel is a Florida based business leader and founder of Operation Healing Forces (which provides couples therapy retreats for SOF warriors and s

team

CSM Pat McCauley

Board Member

CSM Pat McCauley

Board Member

Command Sergeant Major Patrick McCauley, US Army (ret) Former Senior Enlisted Leader, USSOCOM Board Member Command Sergeant Major Patrick L. McCauley

team

Sam Raia

Board Member

Sam Raia

Board Member

Samuel Raia is a New Jersey business leader (Raia Capital Management) and a co-founder of Homes Fit for Heroes (which provides nocost housing for OF

team

Larry Raia

Board Member

Larry Raia

Board Member

Larry Raia is a New Jersey business leader (Raia Capital Management) and a co-founder of Homes Fit for Heroes (which provides nocost housing for SOF

team

Mark Rosenthal

Board Member

Mark Rosenthal

Board Member

Mark Rosenthal is a Florida based business leader and founder of SOCOM Transition Assistance Resource (which provides networking

team

James Regan

Board Member

James Regan

Board Member

James Regan is a New York based business leader and gold star father of a fallen SOF soldier (Ranger SGT Jimmy Regan) and founder of Army Ranger ea

Mike Nicholson Staff Sergeant, USMC (ret) DoD Warrior Games and INVICTUS Games Athlete Board Member USMC Sgt Michael Nicholson was deployed to Afghani

team

Dave Windsor

Board Advisor

Dave Windsor

Board Advisor

David Windsor is a PGA Founder who received the PGA of America Patriot Award for his work as one of the foremost experts in teaching golf to individua

team

Todd Keirstead

Board Advisor

Todd Keirstead

Board Advisor

Todd Keirstead is one of the leading golf entertainers and trick shot artists. He has been active in both the Invictus Games and Warrior Games events

team

David Spirk

Board Member

David Spirk

Board Member

David Spirk, after an active-duty career in the USMC, entered civilian service with the ODNI that included serving as Associate Director of USSOCOM

Sergeant First Class Jose Miguel Morales III enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2007 as a Special Forces Candidate. He spent his entire career with 7th Spe

SFC U.S. Army Ranger, Medal of Honor Recipient.

team

Honging Xi, M.D.

Board Advisor

Honging Xi, M.D.

Board Advisor

Staff Physician, Compensation and Pension, Haley Veteran’s Hospital, Tampa, FL.

team

William Purdy

Board Member

William Purdy

Board Member

Bill Purdy is a New York based business leader and owner of Spry Therapeutics (which is a medical supply company)

team

CSM Pat McCauley

Board Member

CSM Pat McCauley

Board Member

Command Sergeant Major Patrick McCauley, US Army (ret) is the former Command Senior Enlisted Leader for USSOCOM.