Story of 'A Course in Courage' to Air on Thanksgiving

For six minutes on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), Americans are invited to view a special program that will give new meaning to this traditional "day of thanks." At 3 p.m. (PST), Golf Channel will air a special feature on American Lake Veterans Golf Course (ALVGC) in Tacoma, Wash.

ALVGC has launched a $4.5 million capital campaign to complete the nation's only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans. The existing nine-hole course is operated, maintained and managed by 160 volunteers. Funds are needed to add nine new holes and make other improvements to better accommodate demand from the growing influx of wounded veterans.

The report features interviews during a site visit and the special launch event with Jack Nicklaus at Bighorn Golf Club at Palm Desert, Calif. A crew from the Golf Channel visited American Lake Veterans Golf Course earlier this month and spent a day interviewing wounded veterans, many with severe physical impairments who use the course to regain strength and hope. Also interviewed were several volunteers who devote countless hours to providing a positive experience for the veterans.

Following the visit to the course, the crew traveled to Bighorn to capture highlights from a two-day special event held at that exclusive facility to benefit American Lake VGC. The reception and clinic featured Jack Nicklaus, who is donating his design services for the "Nicklaus Nine" at American Lake.

In announcing his donation of services (valued at $500,000), Nicklaus said, "I was moved to see the amazing efforts at American Lake Veterans Golf Course where our wounded warriors learn to play golf with the help of an incredible army of volunteers."

Nicklaus and retired General John Shalikashvili, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993-97, are serving as honorary chairs for American Lake's capital campaign. Gen. Shalikashvili, who is partially paralyzed from a debilitating stroke he suffered in August 2004, uses the course as part of his own rehabilitation.

Monies raised during the campaign for American Lake will be used to construct the new holes, complete the construction of the Rehabilitation and Learning Center, make improvements to the original holes to enhance accessibility, upgrade the maintenance facilities and restrooms, and help underwrite operational costs.

An earlier campaign by the "Friends of ALVGC" supported construction of a covered driving range and meeting/activity rehab pavilion, new accessible tee boxes, various practice areas, electrical service updates, a sprinkler system, and the purchase of golf carts, including SoloRiders for the mobility-impaired.

The Golf Show feature on American Lake Veterans Golf Course will air for the first time at 3 p.m. PST on Thanksgiving. It will be repeated at 7 p.m. and again during two time slots the following day (November 27), at 3 a.m. and 7 a.m (all times Pacific Standard Time.)

American Lake Veterans Golf Course is also welcoming contributions of all amounts to support its quest to help heal America's disabled veterans through golf. The expanded and improved facility will set the example as a venue where wounded warriors regain hope and strength, while enjoying the benefits of golf in a positive, therapeutic and accepting social environment.

Donation information is available online at or