AKRON  With the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational set to return to its usual setting in the first week of August, the tournament has announced multiple military events and initiatives for the 2017 edition of the event.

The tournament temporarily moved to July last season due to golf’s inclusion in the 2016 Summer Olympics, but will take place this year at Firestone Country Club’s South Course Aug. 2-6.

One of the military-centered elements of this year’s events is Birdies for the Brave, a national military imitative proudly supported by the PGA Tour. As part of the effort, the Bridgestone Invitational will offer all National Guard, active duty, Reserve military members, military retirees and their dependents free admission to the tournament by showing a Department of Defense-issued military ID at the gate, along with a military ticket voucher.

In order to receive a military ticket voucher for complimentary admission or discounted tickets, military guests must register online and have their military status verified by Sheer ID. They can then download a military ticket voucher from the website and a 1 military status verification fee will apply for each military ticket voucher downloaded. Ticket vouchers can be downloaded by visiting https://birdiesforthebrave.sheerid.com.

Benefits for military visitors to the tournament will also be offered on site, as those individuals  will be treated to complimentary food and beverage and a relaxing venue for viewing all of the tournament action at the United Rentals Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost presented by Kent State University, a military-exclusive hospitality chalet located adjacent to the 14th green at Firestone Country Club. 

The Outpost will be open from 11 am. to the end of play Aug. 3-6.

On the penultimate day of the tournament, the Bridgestone Invitational Military Recognition Ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Pennzoil Fan Zone. The Saturday ceremony will feature military pageantry to honor special achievement military members from Northeast Ohio. 

This year’s Bridgestone field is still taking shape, but the tournament already has commitments from golfers Harold Varner III, Mackenzie Hughes and Jason Dufner to the field, who all share ties to Northeast Ohio.

Varner, an Akron native, won the Australian PGA Championship in December to secure his spot in the field and will be making both his tournament and World Golf Championships debut. 

Hughes is a Kent State alumnus and Tour rookie who will also be making his Bridgestone Invitational debut. Dufner, who typically draws a large crowd for his rounds at the event, captured the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in Dublin for his fifth career PGA Tour victory earlier this season.