Thanks to multiple Department of Veterans Affairs Grants over the years to serve Military Service Members and Veterans, we have helped serve thousands to include families through partnerships in 25 states. Most recently the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) implemented multiple 8-week golf clinic series surrounding the Savannah and Columbus communities. The GSGA’s, MVAG program, “Military Veterans Adaptive Golf” reached 106 Military / Veterans in just 3 months proving the attraction to the game and it’s restorative values. Press Release March 12, 2020
Bob Thibodeau, USAF Retired
Veterans Outreach Director
Phone: (770) 856-9442
David Windsor, PGA
Adaptive Golf Director / VA Grant Programs Manager
Phone: (678) 961-4742
As one Veteran states, “Golf for me is nearly a religious event. Some people find peace in a building on Sunday, but for me golf brings inner harmony that I cannot replicate. The skills needed are the perfect tools to help a recovering veteran, patience, perseverance, focus, adapting to new environments, staying professional in all conditions, the tempo, self-control.. It’s all there and then some. Golf empowers my social and communication skills, encourages new friendships and is an effective and measurable way for me to hone my skills and enhance my abilities. I’ve met people that I will stay friends with for the rest of my life because of a single round of golf. I can’t say the same about a spin class at the local YMCA. Golf has power, power to build friendships, create teams, find champions and most importantly, get me out of the house for a few hours with some good buddies.”
Kendall Madden, USAF Special Operations Retired
The Adaptive Golf Association has partnered with local Veterans Hospitals for over 20 years. In Atlanta, VA Recreation Therapists have been bringing groups of Veterans to participate in our monthly N. Atlanta community clinic alongside civilians in recovery with adaptive needs since 1997. Then in the midst of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, with an overwhelming need for recovery through community re-integration outlets, we became a community partner with Tampa’s VA Hospital (one of 4 major poly-trauma treatment facilities) establishing clinics for in-patients, Veterans of Tampa Bay every Friday. Today, it continues to be the longest-running Veterans adaptive golf program in the country serving injured, ill and disabled Veterans.
From 2014 through 2017 through support of a Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grants, the Adaptive Golf Association in conjunction with the PGA of America’s military program entitled “HOPE” – (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), traveled the country training 155 PGA/LPGA Professionals through the Adaptive Golf Academy,™ a specialized Coach Training Workshop to implement 8-week golf clinic series with 23 different VA hospitals serving nearly 400 Veterans and family.
We are grateful for all the support from the Veterans Administration over the years and only hope that we can continue to collaborate to administer more on-going programs for those who have sacrificed so much for our Freedom.
Contact your local PGA Section office today to learn more about getting involved with a PGA HOPE or Veterans program nearest you! VA Hospitals across the US with golf programs:
West Haven, Connecticut
VA Augusta, Maine
Overton Brooks Shreveport, LA
Salisbury, N. Carolina
San Francisco, California
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Salt Lake City, Utah
Columbia, South Carolina