The Coast News Group
Professional golfer Pat Perez, whose father, Tony, founded Operation Game On, sinks one while offering putting tips before the tournament. Looking on is Jim Flick, left, golf instructor and a retired pro who provides gold lessons for the program. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Event for injured troops breaks records

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Operation Game On Golf Classic continued to break records this year, selling out in less than three weeks, attracting major sponsors from outside California and for the first time featuring wives playing alongside their husbands. 

Now in its fifth year — and third at Morgan Run Club & Resort — the tournament raises funds for a golf rehabilitation program for combat-injured troops.

With two $10,000 contributions from donors in New Jersey and Arizona, 160 golfers who paid $300 each, raffles and an auction, founder Tony Perez said he raised approximately $75,000 this year, a $35,000 increase over 2011. Proceeds from the Aug. 13 event will go toward lessons, specially fitted clubs, reduced green fees and playing opportunities for soldiers returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom with physical and mental challenges who are going through rehabilitation at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Participants receive free lessons from PGA-certified instructors at the Del Mar Golf Center and a professional fitting session from The Kingdom at TaylorMade Golf.

There is no cost to the soldiers, hospital or military.

In the past, wives of the soldiers volunteered at the event because few if any played golf. Perez recently founded Wives of Warriors to complement his previous program and allow spouses to enjoy the game as well.

“You’re playing together so be good to each other,” he said jokingly as he greeted one couple the day of the event.

Zsa Zsa Gabor takes a few tips from the “Mother of Western Yoga,” Indra Deva, far right, during a 1960 session at Golden Door.   Courtesy photo/Golden DoorTri-City Medical Center has introduced the Zilver PTX drug-eluting peripheral stent — a self-expanding, small, metal, mesh tube that helps prevent the clogged artery from narrowing again. Courtesy photoThe theatrical biography “Zora” is part of the Oceanside Public Library Big Read program centered around “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Cheryl Howard, of The American Place Theatre Company, plays Zora Neale Hurston in “Zora.”  Photo by Promise YeeA tiger rests in the shade in February, a month before the coronavirus pandemic closed the San Diego Zoo Safari Park near Escondido. The zoo is scheduled to reopen later this month. Courtesy photo via FlickrMural artist Linda Luisi demonstrates live painting during the fundraiser. Paintings were auctioned off to raise funds for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Photo by Promise Yee

1 comment

Lois Sunrich July 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Hello, this e-mail is for Bianca Kaplanek, I am trying to contact Derrick Ford who is pictured in an article she did about the Operation Game On Golf Classic.

I simply would like to know if I might contact him.

I am the Founding Director of StoryArts, Inc . . .and we collect and celebrate people’s life stories.

If there is anyway you can help me contact him I would really appreciate it Bianca.

Thank you,

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