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Teaming Up with the PGA for HOPE

The PGA and the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone in Jacksonville, FL have teamed up to enhance veterans’ lives.

Clinic Director, Elizabeth Sherr, recently spoke at a PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) event, sharing insights on various mental health conditions including managing your mental health during a pandemic.

“Our partnership with PGA HOPE, the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the Professional Golfers Association has been incredible,” Sherr said. “Together we hope to help our nation’s heroes heal through physical activity and educational events aimed at improving overall well-being.”

PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with physical and mental health disabilities. The mission is to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The program enables veterans and their families to establish relationships with PGA professionals within their communities while encouraging a sense of belonging.

“As a veteran myself, and through my work with military families, I understand how vital it is for this population to feel connected,” Sherr said. “After a life of service, military members can find themselves feeling alone or struggling with a sense of loss where once they had a team around them. PGA HOPE and the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone are both dedicated to providing support during these difficult times and to encourage connections.”

PGA HOPE is a year round program that consists of 6-8 week developmental curriculum, taught by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. Veterans who struggle with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and amputees have benefited from the HOPE program.  It is designed to provide golf as a therapeutic rehabilitation tool for all military veterans. It encourages physical activity, reduced social isolation and empowers veterans to learn a new skill that some may never thought possible based upon their disabilities.

The HOPE program provides a gateway for veterans to assimilate back into their community through social interaction with other like-minded veterans. Sessions include instruction, meeting other veterans and additional playing opportunities. In addition to instruction and camaraderie, local groups meet monthly to discuss topics surrounding the sport but also mental health and wellbeing.

Presently there are 132 PGA Hope programs across the nation. Since 2019 over 2500 Veterans across the nation have participated.  The program is open to veterans of all service eras. At the end of the program a graduation ceremony is held and participants receive a PGA Hope Identification card, discounts to area clubs and invitations to local PGA events. To find more information or locate a chapter near you please visit https://www.pgareach.org/services/military/

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