Injured veterans complete first golf class

By The Press-Citizen Newsroom on behalf of Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

November 19 was a special day for participants in the Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere (G.I.V.E) program. Seventeen disabled veterans completed their basic training . . . in golf.

The VA Medical Center in Iowa City, the Iowa PGA Section and Riverside Casino & Golf Resort established G.I.V.E. to allow veterans with disabilities being seen at the Iowa City VA Medical Center the opportunity to learn and play the game of golf.

The golf program has four phases of training for veterans to enhance their mental, social, physical, and emotional well-being and improve their quality of life. Instruction is provided by golf professionals from across the state who are members of the Iowa Section PGA at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort where they have access to the Blue Top Ridge at Riverside golf course.

This first class included veterans from WWII, Vietnam War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the final session the graduates were presented with complete sets of golf clubs donated by Iowans at Iowa City, Coralville, and Cedar Rapids Hy-Vee stores and refurbished and fit to the individual player by PGA professionals. Hy-Vee also presented the graduates with a free Thanksgiving turkey.

Iowa VA Medical Center Director Barry Sharp praised the program calling it a “truly unique partnership” that will benefit our veterans “We could not be more pleased to have the Iowa Veterans for Golf Program start in Iowa City. It shows a commitment from Iowa businesses and organizations to our veterans. It will bring great enjoyment to our veterans, their families, VA staff, PGA staff and Blue Top Ridge at Riverside staff.”

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort CEO, Dan Kehl, said, “We are proud to have been a part of this program and are anxious to have the graduates play the course next spring and summer. Golf might be one small way we can repay the debt all of us owe these great Americans.”

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