Former Navy SEAL teaches golf to disabled vets

By |  February 6, 2013

Fred Brattain’s main goal in life is to give back, and he’s been quite successful in attaining that goal. Brattain, a former Navy SEAL who served in Vietnam, teaches disabled U.S. military veterans the game of golf. While he’s been doing that for years, he established the Disability Golfers Learning Foundation ( in Corona, Calif., three years ago.


Brattain, who has had 13 knee operations, has golfed since he was 8 years old. Pebble Beach was his home course, where he paid $75 a year for all the golf he could play. Brattain travels all over the country to VA hospitals to host clinics about the game of golf free of charge.


“He’ll always continue to do this,” says Joni Collins, Brattain’s partner. “He has a great heart.”


On Feb. 5, the California Golf Course Owners Association recognized Brattain with an annual award for community service for his work with disabled veterans and ADA compliance with golf courses at a reception during the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.


“I’m proud of the work Fred has done to help our veterans find there way in life,” says Ed Smilow, Esq., the executive director of the California Golf Course Owners Association who has a law practice called Golf Course Law based in La Quinta, Calif. “I’m pleased as punch to recognize him tonight.”


Smilow has known Brattain for years. They first met when Brattain was Smilow’s student at the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula, Calif.


Brattain, who also teaches computer skills to adults at military bases throughout the country, provided the entertainment for the reception as he played guitar and sang songs.

– John Walsh

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