LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. – The Patriot All-America is proud to announce Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, Founder of Folds of Honor, will speak at the 2020 Patriot All-America Opening Ceremony, set for Sunday, December 27 at 3:30 pm MST at the Wigwam Golf Club.
“We are humbled and honored to have Lt. Col. Dan Rooney deliver the keynote address at this year’s Patriot All-America,” said Ed Gowan, Arizona Golf Executive Director. “His distinguished military career and his contributions to the game of golf are sure to resonate with this year’s field of world-class amateurs.”
Lt. Col. Rooney is an F-16 Fighter Pilot (1,800 hours of flight time) with three combat tours in Iraq and a PGA golf professional. He continues his military service as aggressor pilot as a proud member of the 301st Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB in Destin, Fla. Rooney is a decorated military aviator; he is a two-time recipient of the Top Gun award and was honored with the Spirit of Attack award as a top graduate of F-16 training. For his service and patriotism, Lt. Col. Rooney was presented the White House’s “Presidential Volunteer Service Award” by President George W. Bush, the Air National Guard’s “Distinguished Service Medal”, the Air National Guard’s “Directors Service Award” and the Ellis Island “Medal of Honor”.
As an author he has written two bestselling books, A Patriot’s Calling – Living Life between Fear and Faith and Fly Into the Wind – How to Harness Faith and Fearlessness On Your Ascent to Greatness.
Lt. Col. Rooney founded Folds of Honor to provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of wounded or fallen military service members. In 13 years, Folds of Honor has provided 30,000 scholarships totaling over $140 million dollars.
He was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America with the “William D. Richardson Award” for his outstanding contributions to golf, and received the PGA of America’s first “Patriot Award.”
The Patriot All-America honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The golfers receive a golf bag donated by PING Corporation at the event’s opening ceremony emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story so they can be familiar with that soldier
At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags are shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation.
About The Patriot All-America Invitational
Featuring golf’s stars of tomorrow, The Patriot All-America is regarded as a top amateur event nationally, attracting PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from universities outside the United States. The Arizona Golf Association (AGA), JDM Partners and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the tournament. For more information visit patriotallamerica.com.
About Wigwam Golf Club
The Wigwam’s three 18-hole championship golf courses offer a diversity that cannot be matched by any other Arizona resort, with 54 holes of championship golf including two courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Gold Course has hosted many signature tournaments over the years, including numerous U.S. Open Qualifiers, U.S. Amateur Qualifiers, several NCAA Regional Championships and the annual Patriot All-America Invitational, one of the top amateur competitions in the world. The 7,430 yard, par 72 track has also received various industry awards and accolades since opening in 1965, including being named one of the “Top 100 Golf Courses in America.” In December 2009, The Wigwam (including the golf courses and resort property) was purchased by JDM Partners, led by sports icon Jerry Colangelo. For more information, please visit www.wigwamgolf.com.
About Arizona Golf Association
The Arizona Golf Association has been serving amateur golfers in Arizona since 1923 when it held the first State Amateur Championship. Today, it is licensed by the United States Golf Association to provide handicapping and course rating services to member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise and to oversee the application of amateur status.
About Golf Coaches Association of America
Established in 1958, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional organization of golf coaches. The GCAA’s mission is to support its member coaches by creating educational opportunities, providing resources, and promoting its members with the purpose of enhancing their overall performance as coaches, mentors, and teachers. The GCAA also recognizes the excellence and achievements of its members and their student-athletes in academic, athletic and civic endeavors.