Only one golfer on the PGA Tour has a custom golf bag designed to look like the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon. The bag belongs to Navy veteran Billy Hurley III, a former surface warfare officer who served on the Hawaii-based ship from 2007 to 2009.
Hurley’s gray bag features the ship’s “93” hull number on a side panel, while the belly is embroidered with a U.S. flag, DDG 93, Hurley’s name, a gold surface warfare officer insignia and the Chung-Hoon’s seal and motto. Gear pockets are decorated with the U.S. Naval Academy’s “N” logo and “Beat Army.” The Navy motto: “Don’t give up the ship” is inscribed on the base.
Hurley, 35, who earned his first PGA Tour victory at the 2016 Quicken Loans National held at Congressional Country Club, has made his mark as the only military veteran currently playing on the PGA Tour. A member of the Naval Academy Class of 2004, Hurley also is the only service academy graduate to ever advance to professional golf’s highest circuit.
Though there was not a tradition of military service in his family, Hurley knew early on the Naval Academy was the right fit.
“It was the whole picture,” explains Hurley, who lives in Annapolis. “The honor, courage, commitment. It was the tradition, the ideals, the service. I became enamored and fell in love with the whole thing and everything the academy stood for.”
Hurley credits the Naval Academy and his military service for providing him with the mental toughness needed to navigate a climb from the lower rungs of professional golf to the PGA Tour in 2012 and notch his first tour win at the 2016 Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Maryland.