Player Development Best Practices
Visit Local VA Hospitals
by Bob Beach, PGA
Bob Beach, GOLF FOR ALL co-founder, the 2013 Patriot Award winner and New England PGA Section Hall of Fame member, is the PGA head professional at Braintree (Massachusetts) Municipal Golf Course.
Bob Beach on the importance of visiting local VA Hospital to help veterans:
New England PGA Professionals give free golf lessons to our veterans every Friday afternoon at the Brockton VA in Brockton, Massachusetts. The VA has a putting green with artificial turf on site that allows us to help all veterans including wounded vets in wheel chairs. We also have an area where we can work on chipping, pitching, bunker play and the full swing. By having our golf clinics on site at the VA, we are able to attract many veterans who cannot make it to a golf course. We also have veterans from the long term care division of the VA that show up every week to do some putting. The caretakers who accompany the veterans are amazed at how well they do. They are all heroes to me, so it is important to extend their playing time any way we can.
Bob Beach on the business impact of visiting local VA Hospital to help veterans:
Simply put, VA hospitals are loaded with veterans. We always have veterans strolling by and checking out what we are doing. Next thing you know, they're hitting balls and having fun. We average between 12 -20 vets each Friday, of which we see 50 percent further their golf with lessons at the Braintree Municipal Golf Course. This practice never started as a way to increase lesson revenue, but it's been a welcomed side-effect of helping veterans through golf. Team Titleist has been a huge supporter, as they donate drivers, hybrids, wedges and putters. The New England PGA Section also helps with a donation program called 'Clubs For Vets', in which full sets of golf clubs are donated from surrounding golf courses. Each vet pays a nominal green fee at Braintree which helps drive revenue, but everything else is free. This offer is just a small token of our appreciation for these heroes and their service to our country.