The Bath, Maine-based golf course operator sent four full sets of clubs, nine custom-made flags and pins, and more than 700 new balls to the 133rd Engineer Battalion at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The company also created “Task Force Black Bear Pass,” a program in which a person can purchase a golf pass to one of its four golf courses and Harris Golf will in turn donate a pass to a service member.
In response to a serviceman’s email, Bath, Maine-based Harris Golf reached out with a donation to keep troops deployed to Afghanistan swinging, the Lewiston-Auburn (Maine) Sun Journal reported.
Staff Sgt. Justin Poirier, currently serving with the Maine Army National Guard, as part of the 133rd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Gardiner at Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, contacted Matt Barnard, marketing director at Harris Golf, about purchasing some equipment. Harris Golf operates nine golf courses throughout southern and central Maine, the Sun Journal reported.
In the December 19 email, Poirier told Barnard that the troops built a makeshift nine-hole course among the rocks and sand of Bagram but there was a problem: Searching for lost balls among the terrain of Afghanistan can be dangerous, the Sun Journal reported.
Poirier said many balls were lost to the desert—so many that the troops had taken to pelting rocks with an old five iron, a club that would not be making the trip home. Poirier sought advice on a resource where he and his fellow soldiers could locate used equipment: “If you know of anything or any place where we could accomplish this, it would be deeply appreciated.”
Barnard and Harris Golf arranged for a donation of clubs, bags and, most importantly, balls to the battalion. According to Barnard, the care package includes four full sets of clubs, three right-handed and one lefty. Each set has a putter, wedges, irons, woods and a driver. Each set of clubs will come with a standing bag, the Sun Journal reported.
Harris Golf is also sending over nine custom-made flags and pins for their “course,” along with two full-size hitting mats with tees and more than 700 new balls to keep soldiers playing, hopefully, until their estimated return in the summer, the Sun Journal reported.
In a continued gesture to the members of the 133rd, Harris Golf created a program where a person can purchase a golf pass and Harris Golf will in turn donate a pass to a service member in what they are calling their “Task Force Black Bear Pass.” The matching pass will be donated in the purchaser’s name to a member of Task Force Black Bear, the Sun Journal reported.
The $50 pass includes 18 holes of golf, a cart and the choice of playing Sunday River, Old Marsh, Penobscot Valley or the Bath Golf Club. Some patrons are contacting Barnard, not to receive a pass for themselves, but to purely donate passes to service members, he said.