Senior PGA caddie opportunity benefits Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor
May 22, 2014
By Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff
BENTON HARBOR, Mich.- One of the beauties of the game of golf is the bond that can be created between player and caddie. In many cases, it can meld into a friendship that lasts a lifetime or sometimes it’s just a brief partnership that can have a lasting effect on the life of one or the other.
This week at the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, Roger Chapman, the man who held the Wannamaker Trophy high at Harbor Shores in 2012, gave Christopher Rederstorf, a U.S. Air Force veteran, a are opportunity to experience what it’s like, up close and personal, inside the ropes during a practice round in preparation for this year’s championship. It proved to be an experience he will not soon forget.
Rederstorf was afforded the chance to become a looper for the Englishman after a late cancellation opened up the opportunity. It was Chapman who originally proposed the idea to Jeff Fettig, the chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation, while in Benton Harbor to do a corporate outing for KitchenAid last August, benefiting the local Boys & Girls Club.
After $8,000 was raised in a silent auction, Fettig added an extra $2,000 for the Boys & Girls Club. But when the high bidder had one of his children become sick, he relinquished the spot back to Fettig and he in turn, contacted Jeff Hinz, the championship director who in turn, contacted the Michigan PGA Section who has a relationship with the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. Rederstorf, now an employee of the hospital was eventually asked if he had any interest and he quickly accepted.
Rederstorf is a golf enthusiast who tried to play as much as possible while he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan from 2004-2008. He was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom from January to May in 2006 as part of a civil engineering unit. He now works at the VA Hospital in his hometown.
“It was kinda cool to see the world of a professional from so close,” Rederstorf said afterward. “Not many get the chance to do what I did today. They have their routine down pat and they calculate every shot. It’s definitely different than playing all the time with my amateur friends.”
“I think he enjoyed it. I think for military, personally, we don’t do enough. I know that’s the case back in the U.K.,” Chapman said. “It’s nice to do something for these guys and give them a bit of a spur.”
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