Archive for September, 2015
“I am pleased to announce that Rickie Fowler, the 2015 Players Championship, Scottish Open and Deutsche Bank Championship winner, has been named an Official Ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf. Rickie joins fellow golf superstars Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie as an Ambassador. I had the pleasure of joining Rickie and “Morning Drive” host Cara Robinson on Golf Channel to discuss his role and the mission of PGA Junior League Golf.” — PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua
PGA Junior League Golf is owned and operated by the PGA of America and is positioned as the key youth initiative of PGA REACH, the PGA of America’s charitable foundation. Under its guidance, the program boasted a soaring number of participants in 2015, with approximately 30,000 boys and girls playing on 2,500 teams. There were 17,500 kids participating on 1,425 teams nationwide in 2014, a 95-percent increase from 2013.
For more information, visit PGA.org.
NCPGA Foundation Invites Military Veterans to Learn Golf at the PGA HOPE Introductory Clinic
VACAVILLE, CA – The Northern California PGA Foundation invites Veterans from all the military service branches to attend PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) Northern California, a free clinic that introduces golf to all Veterans in order to enhance their mental, social, physical and emotional well-being. The introductory clinic will be held on September 10 (8:30-11:00 a.m.) at the Cypress Lakes Golf Course at Travis Air Force Base in Vacaville. Interested Veterans can RSVP to Suzy Schneider of the NCPGA Foundation at SSchneider@pgahq.com or (707) 449-4742.
The clinic will be taught by local Northern California PGA Professionals with assistance from trained volunteers and include clubs and equipment if needed, training aids, range balls and weekly golf course access.
In order to prepare for the clinic, 16 NCPGA Professionals participated in a hands-on workshop to learn teaching “adaptive golf” to Veterans with physical or cognitive challenges. Through the day-long workshop with Veterans Administration (VA) specialists, the NCPGA Professionals learned how golf is utilized as a vital element in the rehabilitation and recovery process.
Following the introductory golf clinic, a six-week PGA HOPE program will be available for all local Veterans to participate in at no cost. These weekly HOPE sessions will be held every Thursday at the Golf Club at Cypress Lakes Golf Course.
PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The PGA of America and local PGA Professionals are working closely with the VA system across the country to assist Veterans in their transition.
About the NCPGA Foundation
The Northern California PGA Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives and communities of those in Northern California and Northwestern Nevada by providing resources to community action organizations that foster and embrace life’s positive values. For additional information, please visit www.ncpgafoundation.org.
by Senior Airman Kaylee Clark, 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. — The golfer’s diet is a healthy balance of “greens,” perfect weather and a group of friends who know how to push buttons.
The environment that surrounds the course is friendly, yet competitive. Like all other golfers, Randy Hays embraces the banter and desire to compete. He commands an inanimate object to do as he says -which may seem like lunacy, but it’s simply part of the game.
He concentrates on proper grip, ball placement and body alignment for his swing.
And when his one-handed swing hits that sweet spot sending his ball soaring down the fairway on the Deer Run Golf Course, Hays stops and watches in admiration.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Hays was involved in a car accident 19 years ago and left with little to no use in his left arm and leg.
He played golf prior to his accident, but it has been two decades since the last time he has swung a club. With no intentions of letting his injuries hold him down, Hays takes full advantage of any opportunity that keeps him active.
Randy initially learned about the opportunities at the Little Rock AFB course at an Arkansas Freedom Fund tournament.
“You can do anything you want to under the right conditions and with the right attitude,” he said while preparing to take another swing.
Hays uses one of the course’s specialized golf carts for wounded veterans. The carts allow those with limited mobility a way to continue their love of the links. The golf course has adopted the Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) program.
He takes the training home by using the carpet in his living room as an opportunity for putting practice.
Twelve employees and volunteers offered up their time to train and get a feel for what people with disabilities deal with while trying to master the game.
“We have programs to help everyone learn the game,” said Doug Carlton, 19th Force Support Squadron PGA Golf Course manager. “This year, we trained and started helping golfers with disabilities. Now we can say we truly have a program to help everyone learn the game.”
The golf clubs may be shorter and built to be swung with one hand or built with special grips, but HOPE provides the specialized equipment so the participants can focus on the swing.
“Each person is different, and we set up and build equipment for their specific situations,” said Carlton. “Helping everyone enjoy the benefits of the golf course makes my job very rewarding.”
With supporting equipment ready for hitting the links, the golfers only must worry about “gripping it and ripping it.”
Hays’ legs may be weak and he can’t grip the club with both hands, but his drive and passion becomes more visible than the scars from his accident. When asked if he’d be back next week, he looks as if that question shouldn’t even have to be asked.
Spending most of his time on the driving range and practice green, Hays’ goal is to take his lessons to the course and play a full round of 18 holes.
“When I told Randy’s therapist he was ready to play, he told me that Randy had been talking about the last golf lesson all week,” said Carlton. “That’s all I need.”
For more information and recent news, please visit the Little Rock Air Force Base Website.
Deer Run Golf Course offers a variety of golf programs: to try out a free lesson contact them at 987-6825 for more details.
Whistling Straits – With a 327 yard drivet Whistling Straits’ 593-yard par-5 second hole, Anirban Lahiri won the 2015 PGA Championship Long Drive Competition.
Lahiri received $25,000 donated to his charity of choice and a gold money clip like the one Jack Nicklaus won for winning the Long Drive Competition in 1963. Lahiri chose to split the winnings between the Illinois Vipassana Association and the American Lakes Veterans Golf Course.
For the second consecutive year, a PGA Professional finished in the top three of the competition. Matt Dobyns, who won the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship shot 323 yards.
Bookworm Gardens – PGA REACH, PGA Tour Wives, PGA of America Spouses, and Kohler all joined together the Wednesday of the PGA Championship to leave a lasting impact on the youth of the local Sheboygan community.
The group worked together to create a new space within Bookworm Gardens, a public garden that enhances children’s literature through play and imagination.
The team created a replica of the Whistling Straits clubhouse based off the book Connor the Caddie by Ulrich Koberstein.
For more information on the park or the new featured area, visit BookwormGardens.org.