Former U.S. army sergeants William “Will” Sherman and Thomas P. Savage are veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Will was honorably discharged in 2007 and Savage in 2008. While serving in Iraq, Will was injured when an IED exploded while he and others were in a truck. Savage was wounded twice in combat in Iraq. Both men are proud of their military service and of their country’s efforts to liberate Iraq and to bring democracy into Afghanistan.
Will is partially paralyzed on his left side. He has trouble walking and has lost some movement in his left hand. Will says he was a “skilled communicator in field artillery and armor areas of combat.” As a result of his injuries, Savage has difficulty lifting and bending. An auto mechanic, he says, “My crew and I kept the army moving, moving, moving.” He spends about 10 hours a week working on his neighbors’ cars.
“The Army gave me a career,” Savage says.
Both men are avid sports’ followers who watch baseball, tennis and golf on TV, and they spend several hours daily playing computer games. One of their, shared new interests is My Golf Game featuring golf great Ernie Els.
‘There are many, free, fun golf games on the web, and I’ve played almost all of them. My Golf Game is better than most,” Will says.
“The game is easy to install and tons of fun to play,” Savage says. “It takes five minutes to install, and you only have to type in a code.”
Sometimes Will plays My Golf Game alone, and often with Savage. When they play together, they play nine holes. Players can play 18 holes and win a trophy. Will wins more games than Savage. A nine hole game lasts about 40 minutes. If they play with partners the game lasts over an hour. The game gives the players five courses to play on. Will prefers Pinehurst. Savage prefers Westchester. When they can’t agree on a course, they play on Firestone.
My Golf Game has three levels. Level 1 gives players a chance to practice putting, chip shots, getting out of a sand trap and offers a driving range. Level 2 allows players to pick golfers to play with or create a golfer. Level 3 is golfing.
Will likes the choices offered in level 1. “It’s the hand-eye coordination and the intellectual challenge that I relish when playing this level,” Will emphasizes.
“The Avatar golfers look real and show emotions when they are good or when they stink,” says Will. He likes seeing emotions because they make him feel almost as though he is on a real course.
Other features Will thinks are cool are the claps, cheers and boos from the crowd. He says it adds realism to the game.
Savage has his likes, also. “The women golfers are sexy looking,” says Savage.
Both men believe My Golf Game offers veterans therapeutic benefits such as relaxing and building friendships. They also like the competitiveness the game provides.
In a future version of the game, both men want to see golfers with disabilities as players and a putt-putt golf game for people with disabilities.