PGA Hope Reaches Out To Veterans

PGA Hope Program Overview

  • PGA Hope is a flagship military program of PGA Reach, a charitable organization.
  • It is designed to introduce golf to veterans, particularly those who have suffered life-changing circumstances on the battlefield.
  • The program lasts for 6 to 8 weeks, starting with teaching veterans the basics of golf and culminating in them playing a round.
  • The purpose is to provide a focus on something other than trauma and help veterans deal with their issues.
  • Golf was chosen as a sport that allows both able-bodied and disabled individuals to compete on an equal playing field.

Impact on Veterans' Lives

  • Randy Sha, a retired veteran, found the Hope program after struggling with paralysis and feeling lost at home.
  • Participating in the program helped him get out of the house, connect with others, and fill a void in his life.
  • 1995 US Open Champion Cory Paven supports the program and serves as a mentor to veterans.
  • The opportunity to learn and play golf with other veterans helps them lead a more normal life and find joy.
  • The program provides a safe environment recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs for healing and support.

Overcoming Challenges and Achievements

  • Randy Sha's determination to master golf became an obsession, and he practiced for hours daily.
  • With the help of a specialized golf cart, he adapted and overcame his physical limitations.
  • Starting from hitting the ball 75 yards, he can now hit it over 100 yards while sitting down.
  • The program's growth is largely due to positive word-of-mouth from veterans who have experienced its benefits.
  • The PGA Hope program partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a modality for healing and support.

The Importance of Community and Camaraderie

  • Veterans who have battled depression and PTSD, like Randy Sha, find solace and camaraderie through the program.
  • Meeting other veterans and experiencing camaraderie again is life-changing for those who have been isolated.
  • The program emphasizes the importance of a collective effort to heal veterans and acknowledges the role of organizations like PGA of America and individuals like Cory Paven.
  • It provides an opportunity for individuals from different backgrounds to come together and support veterans.
  • The program serves as a way to express gratitude to veterans for their sacrifices and to say thank you.

The Power of Hope

  • The PGA Hope program personifies the word hope for veterans who have faced struggles and isolation.
  • It is a way for veterans to find healing and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
  • The program highlights the significance of organizations like PGA of America and individuals like Cory Paven in the healing process.
  • It emphasizes the importance of supporting veterans and recognizing their sacrifices.
  • The program serves as a way to express gratitude and say thank you to veterans for their service.