Written By: Bob Denney, PGA of America
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The GIVE (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere) program, founded in Iowa in 2007, and today a model initiative that supports our country’s veterans, will be featured by CBS Sports in an hour-long special, “Get Golf Ready,” Sunday, April 29, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT.
As a preview to Welcome to Golf Month in May, co-sponsored by Golf Digest, Nike Golf, and the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance, Get Golf Ready takes viewers to eight states and our nation’s capital. It features a wide swath of the golf industry – from premier Tour professionals; to amateur golfers nestled in the heart of Manhattan; to East Potomac Park Golf Course in Washington, D.C.; and to military veterans in Iowa and Ohio who have discovered that golf enhances their lives.
Get Golf Ready is hosted by CBS Sports golf commentator and PGA member Gary McCord, and filmed at locations in SunRidge Canyon Golf Club and CrackerJax Family Fun & Sports Park in Scottsdale, Ariz. The CBS special highlights two partnerships between The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA) – with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the TEE IT FORWARD initiative, which encourages golfers to play from tees best suited to their abilities. For information regarding the initiatives featured in Get Golf Ready, visit www.PlayGolfAmerica.com
Funded by donations, the GIVE program is a partnership of the Iowa VA Healthcare System of Iowa City, member professionals of the Iowa PGA Section, and the host Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. GIVE has served more than 500 men and women veterans, spanning service from World War II through Afghanistan, and through a specialize golf curriculum formed a bond among families and PGA Professionals. GIVE is featured in the CBS special alongside Clearview HOPE of East Canton, Ohio, which began in 2011 as the first PGA-inspired year-round women’s veterans program.
GIVE was founded by Lou King of Cedar Rapids, a WWII veteran and former executive director of The PGA of America. As president of the GIVE Foundation, King said that GIVE is “as close as you come to a perfect charity, not requiring the taxpayer or any veteran to pay one penny.”
“Our focus from the start was supporting and improving the lives of men and women veterans who were receiving rehabilitative care within the state,” said King. “Golf is the unsung lifesaver for many who have sacrificed for our country. GIVE has produced many success stories, which makes us all extremely proud. We still have much to accomplish, and look to expand GIVE sites across Iowa.” For more information about GIVE, visit www.giveforveterans.com
At closer glance, the CBS special also features:
Get Golf Ready – A showcase for the Get Golf Ready initiative is East Potomac Park Golf Course in Washington, D.C., a public facility that serves as a model for introducing golfers to the game and retaining them. PGA of America Vice President Ted Bishop will highlight the success of Get Golf Ready, which was launched in 2009 as an affordable series of five group lessons with a recommended $99 charge. Get Golf Ready provides golfers with PGA and LPGA on-course instruction, and ultimately drives new players to the game. Visit GetGolfReady.com
TEE IT FORWARD – Tierra Rejada Golf Club in Moorpark, Calif., has embraced the TEE IT FORWARD initiative with a groundbreaking yet challenging 5,600-yard, par-72 layout that allows players to have a more enjoyable experience and play the game faster. With Jack Nicklaus, Dustin Johnson and Paula Creamer as official spokespersons, The PGA and the USGA are encouraging facilities nationwide to incorporate the TEE IT FORWARD initiative into the daily fabric of their golf operations. Visit PlayGolfAmerica.com/TeeItFORWARD
Boys & Girls Clubs of America – The PGA of America’s PGA Foundation and the USGA partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to showcase a curriculum at select facilities this year, featuring PGA and LPGA Professional instruction to junior golfers. The Boys and Girls Club program will use the PGA Sports Academy curriculum that includes elements of health and wellness along with golf instruction at each Club. Among those helping PGA Professionals coach in the CBS Sports special are former NBA All-Star Spud Webb and Fitness Hall of Famer Donna Richardson Joyner. BGCA alumni featured include PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka and baseball great Ken Griffey Jr., an avid golfer and member of BGCA’s Board of Governors. Also featured is new BGCA CEO Jim Clark.
Ryder Cup Junior Academy – Inspired by U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and launched in 2011, the Ryder Cup Junior Academy has enabled young men and women from around the country, who otherwise would not have the means to enjoy golf, experience world-class instruction, and on-course play in the Ryder Cup format. The Academy participants include a boy whose life has been changed because of golf.
On-Course Programs – Among the programs improving the pace of play and delivering fun are: KWIK Golf, which was featured in a youth and family program at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; and Nicklaus’ renowned Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, which hosted 12-hole golf tournaments utilizing 8-inch cups to create a fun, fast and friendly golf experience.
Off-Course Programs – Two inner-city golf facilities include Golf Manhattan and The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River in New York City. The CBS Sports special highlights how those facilities have been a popular stop for golf enthusiasts who do not have the option of playing a golf course on the island of Manhattan. Meanwhile, just outside of Dallas, Texas, TopGolf combines a relaxing social atmosphere, including evening league play, for a one-of-a-kind experience.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.
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