The Metropolitan PGA Section and its PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program for veterans at West Point Golf Course was featured on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive in celebration of the PGA of America’s Centennial.
In March of last year, David Windsor, PGA Professional and founder of the Adaptive Golf Academy, trained 25 Metropolitan PGA Professionals on how to teach golf to veterans through the PGA HOPE program. PGA HOPE, part of the military pillar of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, is a free golf program for veterans designed to help with their rehabilitation and assimilation back into society. These PGA Professionals lead 30 local veterans through the six-week program at West Point Golf Course.
“As the veterans returned each week for their instruction, they recognized the program as being more than just golf instruction, but also an opportunity to share experiences with fellow veterans and even with their PGA instructors, some of whom were also retired military,” said former Metropolitan PGA Section Executive Director Charlie Robson.
To encourage veterans to continue playing golf, each participant received a free set of golf clubs after completing the program. The Metropolitan PGA Section also formed a weekly league for the group. In the fall of 2015, Metropolitan PGA Professionals welcomed new veterans to the program and also expanded to Northport VA Golf Course and Woodside Acres Golf & Country Club on Long Island. This year, the program will be hosted at West Point Golf Course as well as two additional sites – Eisenhower Park Golf Course and Mosholu Golf Course – and the Metropolitan PGA Section estimates they will have over 200 veterans graduate their HOPE programs this season.