WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is partnering with PGA REACH, the philanthropic arm of PGA of America, to bring a specialized golf program to disabled Veterans. The program, PGA HOPE – Helping Our Patriots Everywhere, is a therapeutic program to aid in the rehabilitation process for disabled Veterans.
The purpose of PGA HOPE is to help Veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf provides. Led by PGA professionals – certified in golf instruction for Veterans with disabilities Veterans will learn the rules of the game, and for those already familiar with it, the professionals will help them refine their skills.
“We are grateful to PGA REACH for their commitment to our nation’s disabled Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “When you think of rehabilitation, golf is not always the first thing you think of, but it can play an integral role in the healing process through social interaction, mental stimulation and exercise. This is a great complement to the care our Veterans may receive at VA. I am confident that our Veterans will use this introduction as a platform to reenergize their competitive spirit, as well as to reengage back into their communities.”
PGA HOPE is a two-step program, beginning with an introductory “Down Range Clinic.” There are currently 50 programs across 20 PGA sections, enhancing the lives of more than 2,000 Veterans nationwide.
“As many Veterans struggle with the transition back into civilian life, the game of golf delivers camaraderie and a new level of enjoyment that provides them with hope,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “We are thrilled to collaborate with VA to offer PGA HOPE programming nationwide, as the PGA of America is committed to making a more meaningful impact on the lives of America’s Veterans.”
For more information about VA’s adaptive sports program, visit www.va.gov/adaptivesports/index.asp. For information about PGA REACH or the PGA HOPE program, visit http://www.pgareach.com/.