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Injured Servicemen and Veterans participate in the Simpson Cup

August 23, 2013

Ian Bishop, a former Royal Marine Corporal who lost both legs above the knee when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan in February 2009, is living proof of the power of golf.

Since suffering such devastating injuries, he has found a new purpose in life through the On Course Foundation, a golfing charity (operating in the UK and US), that offers injured Servicemen the opportunity to learn golf, and importantly supports their transition to civilian life via work experience and employment opportunities in the golf industry. Ian now works in the golf industry, plays every week and in September, he will captain Team GB in the second staging of the Simpson Cup.

The Simpson Cup is a unique event that will pitch 13 injured Servicemen and veterans from the UK against their American counterparts in a Ryder Cup style tournament over the challenging links course at Lytham, a venue that has hosted the Open Championship ten times.

The event is named after the Founder of the On Course Foundation, John Simpson, the former manager of, amongst many others, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Greg Norman. John set up the Foundation with a view to helping injured Servicemen, women and veterans get back on track, both via golf itself and jobs in the golf industry.

"The match and the events leading up to it are key aspects of the On Course Foundation's programme, which builds confidence in the wounded Service Personnel as they face new challenges in their lives. Most importantly we aim to give these men and women opportunities for the future via work experience and employment opportunities in the golf industry," said Simpson.

"The Simpson Cup gives these determined and focused men and women something to work towards - a real target."

"Royal Lytham is delighted to be hosting the Simpson Cup following the success of the inaugural event at TPC Sawgrass last year." said Charles Grimley, Secretary at Royal Lytham & St Anne's.

"The Club is used to hosting high profile Championships and the Simpson Cup is a great addition to our illustrious event history. Our Members are very much looking forward to welcoming the competitors in September for what promises to be a superb event."

The UK Foundation has been running for three years now, and in that time it has experienced huge success, and since the Simpson Cup in 2012 (held at TPC Sawgrass in December 2012) On Course Foundation USA has launched and is already helping many injured Servicemen, women and veterans.

With the support of the R&A, US PGA Tour, and with the backing of two impressive Patrons in HRH The Duke of York and Arnold Palmer, the On Course Foundation is aiming to help many more deserving individuals in the future.

John McAfee, who works as a National Liaison Officer for the US Foundation, is a case in point. McAfee, from Florida, is a former member of the 101st Airborne Division, who was injured three times in combat, is relishing the opportunity of helping his fellow injured Servicemen and veterans through the game of golf; "these warriors face a daunting challenge as they transition out of the military, and the On Course foundation provides them with a new avenue many of them never even considered." John is one of the 13 members of Team USA who will be hoping to bring the Simpson Cup back to their side of the Atlantic after suffering a heavy defeat at TCP Sawgrass 2012.

Three time Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher, who will be attending as honorary Captain for Team GB as, has sent his congratulations to the selected players "I have been fortunate enough to play with the beneficiaries of the On Course Foundation on several occasions, and I am always hugely impressed by the their drive to overcome such adversity. The Simpson Cup provides these impressive men and women with an excellent target to work towards. I would like to send my congratulations to all the players and I look forward to meeting them in September."






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