ATKINSON, N.H. – On a pleasant April day, twelve PGA Professionals and another four guest instructors arrived onsite at the Atkinson Resort to fine tune and further develop their Adaptive Coaching skill set, an integral requirement to host a PGA HOPE military program.
RELATED LINKS: PGA HOPE New England Homepage
PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH New England, the charitable foundation of the New England Section. PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.
Led by fellow PGA Professional Judy Alvarez, the session’s participants were hopping on one leg, swinging with one arm, giving lessons without speaking, and – while hitting balls with their eyes closed – seeing a world of golf they never imagined: how a veteran may be playing or learning the game for the first time.
Through the training program, PGA Professionals became certified to host a PGA HOPE program at their facility or assist at one hosted by another facility. The full-day event was broken up into a morning classroom session and the on-range afternoon experience. The goal – equip PGA Professionals to work with veterans who may be battling physical or mental disabilities. But the reach far overshot a typical day of education.
“We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for them, and we don’t think it’s that big of a deal but when you hear them talk to you after the seven weeks and how much it meant to them it gives you an appreciation of what you’re actually doing, and it makes you want to do more,” said Peter Doherty, Director of Golf at Atkinson Resort.
ABOUT PGA HOPE
PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans through a developmental 6-8 week curriculum, delivered by PGA Professionals who have completed PGA HOPE Training. Programs are funded by PGA REACH New England, which aspires to create a physically and emotionally healthier veteran community by shaping lives, changing lives, and possibly saving lives through the game of golf.
PGA HOPE has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which enables Recreational Therapists to refer veterans to the PGA HOPE program as a form of therapy.
PGA REACH New England is proud to support eight programs in 2021 including:
PGA HOPE – Atkinson (N.H.),
PGA HOPE – Bangor (Maine)
PGA HOPE – Bedford (Mass.)
PGA HOPE – Hyannis (Mass.)
PGA HOPE – Lakeville (Mass.)
PGA HOPE – Lincoln (R.I.)
PGA HOPE – Portland (Maine)
PGA HOPE – Worcester (Mass.)