PGA HOPE recruiting for fall session

by Rich O’Brien

Scott Kmiec, Senior Director of the PGA Foundation, has called PGA HOPE Charleston their model program upon which new programs will be patterned. The growth of the program, combined with tremendous community support of our fundraising efforts, has had a positive impact on the lives of the 65 veterans that have participated in the program to date.

We are currently recruiting for our fall series which begins in early September. Our preliminary recruitment is over 30 participants and includes two paraplegics who will be able to now use the Paramobile during the clinics at Wescott.

In anticipation of approximately 60 veterans in the program this fall, we have added the Links of Stono Ferry to the list of our host courses for the program. We would like to thank the ownership, management and professional staff at the club for opening their facility up to the program. David Kite, the Director of Instruction, will serve as the Lead PGA Instructor for this site. With the addition of Stono Ferry, the PGA HOPE Charleston program has expanded to the the north, east and west areas of Charleston With the addition of Stono Ferry, participants no longer have to make a long commute because a course near them will be offering the program.

We would also like to thank sports medicine faculty and staff from local colleges and universities who volunteered to assist with the program. Their skill and expertise helps wounded veterans rehabilitate existing injuries, and avoid injuries while participating in PGA HOPE. As we continue to expand. additional PGA Professionals, sports medicine, peer mentors, and volunteers are needed. We are grateful to those who have already offered their assistance and look forward to more joining as we expand.

Adaptive golf training provides valuable insight into the needs of the participants whether they are a paraplegic, amputee, suffered a TBI, or suffer from PTSD. In order to train the new instructors and support staff of the program, a training session with PGA Master Professional Judy Alvarez will be held on August 29. Contact Rich O’Brien for details.

So please help us spread the word among the veteran population that PGA HOPE is an excellent way for wounded veterans to improve the quality of their lives. For more information, or to register, veterans with a disability rating should contact Rich O’Brien at 843-826-0837 or by email at richobriengolf@gmail.com.