For Military & Veterans
The Military Pillar of PGA REACH provides golf as a therapeutic rehabilitation tool for all military Veterans. The lifetime sport of golf has proven to be an excellent outlet for activity and competition but also allows military to assimilate back into their community through the social interaction the game provides.
- More than 3 million disabled veterans in the U.S.
- 1.4 million active duty US military personnel worldwide with 1.1 million in the U.S.
- Total number of active duty military that have returned from Iraq, Afghanistan and other current conflicts with some form of disability equals well over 300,000
- There are over 21.5 million military veterans in the United States (2011 US Census)
- Over 3.5 million veterans have some form of service connected disability
- 1 in 10 veterans are disabled
- 810,245 have a disability rating of 70 percent or higher
- 1.3 million veterans are living in poverty and many are homeless
- Suicide is a major issue among military veterans, with recent statistical studies showing that rates of veteran suicide are much higher than previously thought: 5000 to 8000 Veteran suicides a year (22 suicides a day)
PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a year round golf program for all military Veterans, designed to enhance their rehabilitation and assimilation back into society. The HOPE program provides all Veterans with FREE golf instruction taught by local PGA Professionals. PGA HOPE is broken down into a two-part process:
- The first step of the HOPE program is the Down Range Clinic, a free introductory golf experience open to all veterans that serves as an orientation to the HOPE program. PGA Professionals provide proper instruction on the game, the use of adaptive equipment when necessary, and are paired with our heroes by zip code to create a local hometown for our heroes to stay in the game.
- Following the Down Range Clinic, all veterans are invited to participate in the weekly HOPE sessions that will be conducted over the next 5 to 8 weeks.
PGA REACH, the regional PGA Sections and PGA Professionals partner with local VA hospitals and military installations to initiate this program. The program includes a working partnership with physical therapists, introduction of the participant to the sport of golf, golf instruction, playing opportunities and social events – using golf as an activity to assist veterans with their progress in rehab along with helping them to assimilate and mainstream with their families and into their communities and into life.
Programs take place in local markets nationally and are fully funded for military and their families’ participation. Currently there are 68 programs in 38 states with over 3,500 veterans impacted.