Monty visits troops in Afghanistan


PGA captain Eddie Bullock and Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie helped give British troops a boost with a whistle stop tour of Afghanistan.

The PGA-organised trip was designed to show support for the efforts of soldiers in helping establish a new future for the war-ravaged country.

Former PGA captain Parnell Reilly from Huddersfield club Bradley Park also joined Bullock and Montgomerie as they delivered a series of golf clinics to soldiers and local schoolchildren and also brought along the famous Ryder Cup trophy.

Europe’s victorious 2010 captain took part in a Q&A during an army dinner with Montgomerie also hosting a special golfing masterclass with Bullock and Reilly delivering an insight into the great Scot’s swing.

Bullock, a director at Golf at Goodwood, said: “It was just sensational to see the troops and their reaction to us and Colin and the Ryder Cup and it was a wonderful opportunity to engage and connect with them.

“It was also a tremendous thrill to engage with Afghani youths and introduce them to golf.

“During the golf clinics with the soldiers we had everybody from plus one handicappers to beginners who were just there for the experience.

“This has been a trip I will never forget, the British troops are so professional, working seven days a week without hesitation and when you think of the sacrifice and effort they make on our behalf it is very humbling.”

During the three day trip, the trio travelled to Camp Bastion, the British military’s main base in Helmand Province.

At Kabul headquarters they met the Afghan president of the national Olympics committee, General Mohammad Aghbar and also spent time at the British Embassy, briefing ambassador, Sir William Patey, about the trip.

Montgomerie commented:  “We have been impressed by the calm and professional way in which everyone seems to be going about their business. We have been made to feel most welcome by all in the camp.”

Reilly, who in 2010 took the Ryder Cup trophy on a helicopter tour of Welsh clubs, described the visit as life-changing.

“It was a humbling experience, it was just an honour to be invited to represent the PGA and go and see the troops,” he said.

“Many of the troops love their golf and they had created a special driving range on the Apache helicopter area and it was wonderful to see their passion for golf and to be able to give something back, especially with Colin and the Ryder Cup being there.

“To see what they do out there brings into perspective what dangers they face out there but equally impressive is the quiet, confident way they go about their work and we felt very safe in their hands.”

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