Archive for October, 2014
The Ritz Carlton Members Club in Bradenton, Florida is the newest site of PGA REACH’s growing military program, PGA HOPE. HOPE (Helping our Patriots Everywhere) is a golf program designed to assist military veterans with their physical, mental, and social rehabilitation back into their communities.
“Just to see how lives are transformed, and they’ll be the first to tell you,” program director PGA Professional, Dave Windsor said. “They’ll send you a card or they’ll send you an email and just say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been away from the game for so long and thanks for kind of making the means to get us introduced again.'”
For eligibility, a participant must be a veteran who is registered under the care of the local Department of Veterans Affairs.
The veterans currently in the golf class have a smorgasbord of ailments, ranging from mental to physical injuries. Participants have injuries to the shoulder, neck, femur and have undergone hand surgeries with nerve damage. There are also amputees, and several participants have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Click the link below to see the video of the program in action.
Team California captured the 2014 PGA Junior League Golf Championship title Sunday, with a 7 to 5 victory over Team Georgia at TPC Sugarloaf. Team California also won the title in 2012.
Team Indiana won the third-place match, 8 to 4, over Team Tennessee. Team Connecticut claimed fifth place with an 8 to 4 victory over Team Texas, while Team Iowa and Team Texas tied for seventh place after a 6-6 tie in their match.
Representing San Ramon (California) Golf Club, Team California was the only undefeated squad in the three-day Championship. Team California and Team Georgia met in the Championship for the third consecutive year, as both teams went 3-0 in their conference matches on Friday and Saturday.
PGA Professional Jim Collins, the Captain of Team California, was thrilled by his team’s performance.
“I am overjoyed right now and it’s been an incredible ride,” said Collins. “I am so proud of my team and to win a national championship really puts an exclamation point on my career.”
Aaron Chen, a member of Team California who was playing in his first and final PGA Junior League Golf Championship, loved the experience.
“The match was neck-and-neck all day, and it feels so good to win,” said Chen, 13. “This is my best experience in a team sport. It’s actually the highlight of my golf career so far.”
Team Georgia, which captured the title in 2013, finished 3-1 overall and has competed in the Championship match every year since the inception of PGA Junior League Golf.
“Team California played extremely well and deserved to win this Championship,” said PGA Professional Chuck Scoggins, the Captain of Team Georgia. “Our team battled incredibly hard, and I’m proud to be their coach.”
Each of the eight teams played three matches between Friday and Saturday to determine the winner from the East (Team Georgia) and West (Team California) Conference. The eight teams competing in the 2014 PGA Junior League Golf Championship qualified by winning their respective regional competition.
The team format of PGA Junior League Golf features matches with points awarded based on number of holes won. Coaches are able to alternate players every three holes, ensuring all team members play in each match.
Much like other recreational league sports, PGA Junior League Golf participants play in team uniforms with jersey numbers. Young golfers learn the game and play under the direction of PGA/LPGA Professionals, who serve as team captains.
PGA Junior League Golf Championship – Final Standings
Champion – Team California (San Ramon)
2nd – Team Georgia (Atlanta)
3rd – Team Indiana (Avon)
4th – Team Tennessee (Knoxville)
5th – Team Connecticut (Hartford)
6th – Team Texas (Houston)
Tied for 7th – Team New Jersey (Trenton)
Tied for 7th – Team Iowa (Spencer)
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, in partnership with the WLKY-TV Spirit of Louisville Foundation, presented KENTUCKY PGA REACH with the Mayor’s Spirit of Louisville Award for their leadership role with the 2014 Give -A-Day week of service during the Bell Awards on October 9th.
“The WLKY Bell Awards is a legacy program in our community, and our Mayor’s Spirit of Louisville Award is a partnership that allows us to recognize outstanding organizations that lead and inspire every citizen to help make our community even better,” said WLKY general manager Glenn Haygood.
“The Give A Day week of service is designed to inspire the entire community –individuals, companies and organizations — to be creative in helping others,” Fischer said. “KENTUCKY PGA REACH showed the power of creativity, leadership and the power of dedicated volunteers in making our community a better place.”
PGA REACH recruited volunteers to help build a fresh produce garden at Roosevelt Perry Elementary School, conducted a Backpack Raiser for Blessings in a Backpack and donated passes for practice rounds at the recent PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club which helped reward volunteers for their good deeds during Give-A-Day week.
The 2014 PGA Championship marked the return of the PGA Long Drive competition supported by PGA REACH. Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was this year’s winner with a late afternoon drive of 340 yards. The South African earned a gold money clip and the top charitable prize of $25,000.
Oosthuizen chose PGA REACH Inclusion Pillar Partner the Els for Autism Foundation as his charitable choice. REACH and the ELS for Autism team have partnered on the #GAMEON golf clinic series for the past two years to introduce individuals on the autism spectrum to the game of golf. Jason Day’s 338 yard shot was good enough for second place and will provide funding to the Brighter Days Foundation of Wexford, PA . PGA Professional Jon Kok represented his fellow PGA members well finishing third and earning funds for Exceptional Opportunities based in Fayettville, GA. The $50,000 charitable pool will be split equally between the players’ designated charity and the American Lake Veterans Golf Course.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the American Lake Veterans Golf Course is the nation’s only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.
The Gateway PGA REACH team continues to positively impact the lives of St. Louis youth. MLB Hall of Famer and Gateway PGA REACH President Ozzie Smith recently hosted the 5th annual fundraising Pro Am at St. Albans CC and raised over $150,000 to support their REACH initiatives. Ozzie was joined by celebrity friends Joe Piscopo and NBA legend Julius “Dr.J” Erving in support of this worthy cause.
PGA REACH was born in St. Louis, MO as a partnership of the Gateway PGA Foundation, the Bellerieve Country Club, and the community of St. Louis. The key goal of PGA REACH in St. Louis was to leverage the 2013 Senior PGA Championship Presented by Kitchen Aid and the 2018 PGA Championship to positively impact youth in St. Louis. Their program partnerships with Urban K Life, the Boys and Girls
Club, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters ABCToday! inititiave work to keep youth in school and provide greater opportunities through golf.
Click here for some photos of the 2014 Pro Am.