As the founder of the Folds of Honor foundation, he participates in everything from the Patriot Cup in Tulsa, Okla., to the PGA Championship.
But the one event that he holds dearest to his heart is the annual Patriot Golf Day celebration at Grand Haven Golf Club.
On Friday, Rooney, who co-owns GHCG with his father, Dr. John Rooney, joined a few hundred golfers for the sixth Patriot Golf Day outing,
“This is my favorite event,” Rooney told a collection of golfers before the morning tee time. “There’s incredible venues, from the Patriot Cup to the PGA Championship. This year, for Patriot Golf Day, we’ll have almost 6,000 courses across America tee it up over Labor Day weekend.
“It all comes right back to a faithful gathering here of 68 guys six years ago, and the only explanation for that is, God is really good, because what he has grown from this sleepy place makes this my favorite event each year.
“As I look through the crowd, I see faces that have been here since Day 1. ... We just wanted to get together and make a difference, and we never could have imagined. The only logical explanation is that there’s a higher force at work that is conspiring on the behalf of the 1 percent that insure the freedom of the other 99 percent of our country.”
The Folds of Honor is a foundation that presents collegiate scholarships to children or spouses of U.S. military personnel who have been injured or killed in the line of duty.
Dozens of foursomes flooded Grand Haven Golf Club on Friday for morning and afternoon shotgun starts.
One of the most recognizable groups drove a golf cart resplendent in American flags and streamers.
Riding in the cart were Tim VandenBosch and Rick Brionez.
“A friend of mine lives across the street, and his wife works here,” VandenBosch explained.
“She found out we were playing and wanted to do something special, and she did,” he added with a laugh. “I got to the golf course today and registered, and the girl chuckled and said, ‘See if you can find your cart.’
“It’s a beautiful day out here and a great cause.”