MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
A swing of the golf club sends the ball hurling down the fairway and a satisfied Marine steps to the side to make way for the next player. A swing and a miss are a strong implication that some are better at golf than others. The group shares a laugh and prepares to try it again, since they’ve got 18 holes to navigate.
Marines with Headquarters Battalion enjoyed 18 holes of golf April 4 as a pre-cursor to the unit’s family day at Desert Winds Golf Course.
A maximum of 100 spots for Marines to play were provided and filled up, according to Meghan Bishoff, family readiness officer, HQBN.
“Some Marines might think [family day] is just for those with kids,” Bishoff said. “I wanted to make sure there was something other than kid games.”
Marines took full advantage of the opportunity, and were afforded caddies, clubs and golf balls for use on the course, free of charge.
“What we do is set everything up and walk through the process of what we have where and guesstimate where everyone will be,” said Chuck Mastropoalo, manager, DWGC. “You can’t find like that anywhere else.”
According to Mastropoalo, golf events for Marines held aboard the Combat Center are popular.
“We’ve had eight units in the past month,” Mastropoalo said. “We’re planning ahead for other events as well.”
HQBN’s event quickly turned into a friendly competition, even for those who had little experience with the game.
“I’ve never really been into golfing, but I play every once in a while,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Vozzo, ammunition technician, Center Magazine Area, HQBN.
The Marines who enjoyed the 18 holes of golf were appreciative of what the battalion offered as a reward for their hard work.
“It’s a time for everyone to just hang out,” said Pvt. Devon York, aviation ordnance systems technician, CMA, HQBN. “[Family day] is not just limited to one unit but the whole battalion.”
Recreational events such as sports and family days are offered to boost morale and unit cohesion, and in this instance, left a positive effect on the Marines of HQBN.
“It’s good for the Marines to get away from work and their stresses and remember how to have fun,” Bishoff said.