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Veterans receive special gift ahead of Honda Classic at PGA National

Posted at 12:39 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 04:08:17-05

The Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens is gearing up for a big week.

WPTV will be starting week-long coverage, with tournament action starting on Thursday.

FULL COVERAGE: The Honda Classic

As crews and golfers set up on Monday, local veterans were treated to one-of-a-kind golf experience.

Birdies for the Brave picked several veterans from across the country — including two local vets — for a custom golf club fitting.

The veterans were given an entire set of brand new, top of the line clubs that are fit precisely to their height and injuries they’ve sustained in battle.

“I got shot a couple of times in Afghanistan, I was thrown from an open vehicle another time…back surgery, dislocated shoulder … so I have a little trouble sometimes with my turn and flexibilities," said Andrew Mick, Army veteran from Jupiter.

On Monday morning, the veterans worked with swing coaches to help customize the perfect clubs to fit their needs.

“I deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005 and I was injured by a roadside bomb," said Lyndon Ortiz, Army veteran from Orlando wounded in action. “It’s given us, given me personally an outlet as a form of therapy and recovery. That’s what I do to get out of my own head, is go to the range to hit some balls or play some golf.”

All of the clubs were covered free of charge by Callaway Golf.

More events for veterans are planned this week, including Military Appreciation Day at the 17th hole on Thursday.