PGA HOPE—Helping Our Patriots Everywhere—is introducing and teaching golf to Veterans and active duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America.
The beauty of PGA HOPE is you can truly come as you are—no clubs and no prior golf experience are required. The program uses golf as a way to create a welcoming environment for Veterans who are looking to build community and find wellness. Whether they are brand new to the game or returning to it, all Veterans are invited and encouraged to participate. The program is free and led exclusively by PGA professionals who are trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. PGA HOPE programs are available in 47 states at more than 340 locations. Find a program near you today.
Golf has seen a massive spike in participation and popularity in the last four years. According to recent National Golf Foundation reports on the industry, more than 119 million Americans were exposed to the game and 42 million participated in the game this past year.
Of these 42 million players, thousands of Veterans across the country are turning to golf and using the sport as therapeutic rehabilitation through PGA HOPE.
Chris Nowak, PGA of America Military & Veteran liaison, explains how the program is more about the journey a Veteran experiences going through the program than the game of golf.
“When you’re on the golf course, you have to be singularly focused on the task at-hand—which in this case is to get a little white ball into a hole in the ground,” Nowak said. “We encourage the Veterans to find that moment in time because this is part of the rehabilitation process, to forget about everything else that is going on outside of the golf to provide a moment of clarity.”
PGA HOPE is a way forward. The program will serve 11,000 Veterans across the country in 2023, with new locations opening almost every month. At the forefront of these programs are local PGA professionals who are experts in teaching the game. These men and women are the tangible connection to the game and have dedicated their careers to ensuring there are more people playing and enjoying the sport. There are currently more than 1,400 PGA professionals in the country who have been trained to lead a PGA HOPE program at their facility.
Scott Reinhart, a PGA Teaching Professional, who recently established one of the first PGA HOPE programs in Hawaii, says his passion has always been to engage larger communities in the game.
“The joy that our Veterans express during PGA HOPE is something that I think every golfer experiences in their own way,” explained Reinhart. “I’ve experienced so much good from my own golf journey, and I want to make sure these Veterans experience all the same great things that come with playing golf.”
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA. Veterans should verify the information with the organization offering.