Honor in the game: Private golf course hosts vets who love the game

HAVERHILL — It was a good day for Armand Sayers, 71, as he stood on the practice range at Renaissance Golf Club.

On this particular Tuesday, the Haverhill resident who suffers from diabetes and a cardiovascular disorder was a welcomed guest at the private club.

“I have my good days and my bad days, but it seems like more are bad,” Sayers said between swats off the practice tee. “Agent Orange is a really bad thing, it’s still affecting me every day. But today I feel pretty good.”

Another reason Sayers and about a dozen other guys like him were feeling good had something to do with why they were at the club in the first place.

Thanks to the idea of course agronomist Bill Pennington, Renaissance has offered military veterans a chance to practice every Tuesday in September, with professional instruction, followed by lunch. All for free.

Near the end of the month the vets will get a chance to play the course for real.

Head pro Rhett Bishop said he thought the sessions were a good idea game private “But it was even better than I thought,” he said. “I am so honored to be around these guys and so grateful for what they do for our country.”when Pennington mentioned them.

For all of the participants, who range in age from 30 to 75, this was their first chance to play at Renaissance.

Ray Robinson Sr. and Ray Robinson Jr., both of Haverhill, signed up immediately when they heard about the program.

Ray Sr. was a Marine in Vietnam in 1966 and ’67, and Ray Jr. served overseas in the Air Force, including a stint in Bosnia in 1996.

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