Grissom golfer takes 1st in Armed Forces championship

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michael Hunsaker
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing public affairs

One of Grissom’s own, not only made the cut for the Air Force Golf Team, but she also took home top honors in the Armed Forces Golf Championship’s individual women’s category.

Linda Jeffery, 434th Force Support Squadron operations officer, has a long and storied career on the links while still serving in the Air Force Reserve.

She was able to compete by first participating in the Air Force tournament for placement on the team.

“You have to make the top three for women or the top six for men,” Jeffery said. “Once you make the team then you compete against the other services. Right now, it’s just the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force, with us incorporating the Space Force and the Navy incorporating the Coast Guard.”

She has participated in the Air Force tournament for many years. She also explained the short time frame between the tournaments.

“It was about ten days that we competed,” said Jeffery. “Four days of Air Force Golf trials and championship, one day off time then four more days we played the Armed Forces.”

Jeffery explained the selection process to getting on the team with previous tournament experience and handicap regulations being a deciding factor. She explained the coach for the team has years of experience and is looking for others with previous backgrounds competing in other similar tournaments. Jeffery shared her golfing experience since being in the military.

 “He is looking for people who have already competed other events have had some success before he’s allowed to put them in the trials,” said Jeffery. “Basically, having other tournament experience and a low handicap helps.”

Jeffery’s experience has not gone unnoticed and has shown her prowess in competitive golf for the Air Force having previously won several medals throughout her career.

“I would have to go back for the actual facts on how many times I actually [medaled], but I have made the Air Force team every time I’ve tried,” said Jeffery. “In my 22 years I’ve probably competed maybe 17 years of that and in the Armed Forces [tournament], I’ve won that several times as well, but it’s been quite a while since I won that, so I was really excited to win it.”

Jeffery continued that once you’ve participated in the Armed Force tournament, depending on the year you may have the opportunity to compete internationally against military from other nations.

“This year I was awarded the 2-star award from [the international military sports council] for having the most medals as a participant,” said Jeffery.

She went on to say she gave up the opportunity to compete in the international team so that she could be on the technical committee.

“They’ve never had a woman serve before,” she said. “My goal was to further the military women. That we weren’t just another part of the competition. To really think about where we are teeing them off from or how the events being played from the female perspective not just the males.”

Jeffery says this could be her last time competing with the future being uncertain regarding her career. She says it was a lot of fun because she was able to see a lot of youth coming up.

“I had a couple young players I had never met before, so I got to do a lot more mentoring,” she said. “The Air Force is in good shape anyway but knowing that you have some strong folks on the Air Force Sports side, specifically on the golf side for me it’s exciting.”

Jeffery concluded by advocating for Air Force sports and those who want to participate to do so. She explained how they should be promoted more, and members of the Reserve and Guard can participate.

“You have to have permission of your supervisors and your commander,” said Jeffery. “You have to be on a duty status. Which means you have to be on active orders to do so, but if you have a talent whether it’s shooting, basketball, soccer or golf in my case. Its worth competing and trying to put in the applications. It can be cumbersome, but it’s definitely worth the opportunity. And I would highly recommend supervisors/commanders to support the Airmen if they have a talent.”

The 434th ARW is the largest <a href="">KC-135R Stratotanker</a> unit in the <a href="">Air Force Reserve Command</a>. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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