AF cost analyst wins prestigious Veteran Golfers Association tourney

SAN FRANCISCO – For the second time in three years, Capt. Brandon Johnson donned a red jacket after recently winning the men’s division of the Veteran Golfers Association’s National Championship tournament in San Francisco.

Johnson, a cost analyst with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces Directorate, won the highly competitive event after shooting a 73/73.


Hosted at the Olympic Club, site to five previous U.S. Open Championships, the tournament, featured 90 talented golfers ranging from active-duty members, veterans and wounded warriors, representing all branches of the armed forces.

“It felt amazing to win this event again,” said Johnson. “I had a good fist pump on the winning putt. I’m grateful to be part of the VGA family and to represent the Air Force.”

The idea to start a veterans-focused golf association was developed by a group of wounded warriors who were receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. They would get together to play golf to improve their game and encourage each other through competition.

After recovering and relocating to locations across the country, many missed the camaraderie and in 2014 created the non-profit VGA.

Although a two-time champion, Johnson wasn’t always a golfer. Being from Minnesota, hockey was his first love and passion.

He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy where he played Division I hockey, and it wasn’t until he moved to Ohio in 2015 that he started taking golf seriously.

“I love golf,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of parallels between golf and life. It’s probably one of the ultimate tests of your character, how you handle adverse situations. For instance, if you get a bad break, which could have happened to anybody, how do you react to it?”

Speaking to folks interested in taking up golf for the first time, Johnson said that while it’s a difficult sport to learn, there are a lot of benefits, including the camaraderie and being able to play well into one’s later years.

The 2019 VGA National Championship will be held next fall at the Greenbrier golf course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

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