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Veterans Find Renewed Purpose Through PGA HOPE Program At PGA Frisco

The program provides veterans with more than golf, fostering community, skill-building and relaxation

The PGA Frisco course recently hosted a remarkable PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) session during which veterans played more than golf. The turnout was successful, as veterans took to the course "The Swing," after which they enjoyed lunch, listened to speakers and attended their official graduation ceremony.

PGA HOPE, the flagship military program of PGA REACH, offers a unique approach to enhancing the lives of veterans and active-duty military personnel through the game of golf. Led by PGA professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency, the program provides a 6-8 week curriculum aimed at improving physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.

In an interview post-event, Morris Tate Jr., a retired Army Master Sergeant, shared his journey from novice to enthusiast: "Before I came out here, I couldn't even hit the ball. Now, I've taken two swings out here and even got a couple of birdies."  For Tate, the program offers more than just golf skills; it provides a sense of community and stress relief. "Coming out here is a relaxing environment. It's fun. I forget about everything, even if I'm hungry," he said.

Paul Hauck, a PGA HOPE Ambassador from the North Texas PGA section, echoed Tate's sentiments, emphasizing the program's role in rekindling the camaraderie veterans often miss post-service. "PGA HOPE doesn't create a community of dependency; it creates a community of progression," said Hauck. "Regardless of whatever challenges you have as a veteran, that's what you're looking for. You want to be surrounded by an empowering community that helps you progress."

Hauck discovered the program after seeing an ad during the PGA Championship and participating in a PGA HOPE Clinic in the spring of 2021. This experience led him to discover a renewed sense of purpose within the military community. During this graduation ceremony, Hauck observed the veterans' profound appreciation for the opportunity and the program's unwavering commitment to their well-being. "There's something about being on the golf course, being challenged, surrounded by a community with whom you share a common bond. Your guard's a little down; you can joke and relax," said Hauck during an interview.

The PGA HOPE program addresses the pressing issue of veteran suicides by providing a therapeutic outlet through golf. With over 500 programs nationwide impacting thousands of lives, PGA REACH's commitment to honoring and supporting veterans shines brightly on and off the course.

To learn more about the program, click here. 

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