Twenty-three PGA Professionals and Associates became PGA HOPE certified instructors April 16 during a one-day training session at Turning Stone Resort Casino.


PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH. PGA HOPE introduces golf to active military and veterans (including veterans with disabilities) to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.


PGA HOPE national instructor and trainer, JP Lunn, PGA, lead the training. PGA Professionals and Associates as well as LPGA Members are eligible to attend a PGA HOPE training session to earn certification.


The training was broken down into two parts. The morning session focused on understanding the military culture and different things that a Veteran may be working through after they are done in the military.


The afternoon session focused on working through scenarios that a PGA Professional may have when conducting a PGA HOPE session. Those scenarios included: swinging a club from a seated position; swinging with one arm or one leg; and working with someone who is visually or hearing impaired.


To understand these concepts, PGA Professionals and Association took turns simulating these situations with each other.


“After the training, attendees are then able to help at current PGA HOPE sessions or they can work with the Section to start their own PGA HOPE Program,” said PGA HOPE Program Coordinator Claire Jansa, PGA.


Jansa was impressed by the number of CNY PGA members who turned out for PGA HOPE training. Nineteen CNY PGA members earned certification.


PGA members and associates that received certification were:

Mel Baum (CNY Section), Steve Carney (WNY Section), Dick Costello (CNY), Sean Dadey (CNY), Ryan Evans (CNY), Jon Fowler (CNY), Bill Galloway (CNY), Ed Habjan (District 4 National Director), Jason Harris (CNY), Rick Keding (CNY) Mark Kirk (WNY), Chris Krause (CNY), Stan Lisk (CNY), Ben Loughlin (CNY), Ryan McGinnis (CNY), Richard Michels (PA), Michael Morschauser (CNY), Linda Mulherin (CNY), Rick Quick (CNY), Alan Seamans (CNY), Will Weimer (CNY), Martha Wells (CNY) and Ruth Weydig (CNY).


Jansa also gave a presentation on the objectives of PGA HOPE at the 2023 Section Spring Meeting on April 17.


Jansa announced that the Section’s goal was to serve 500 Veterans in 2023. Turning Stone Resort Casino currently offers PGA HOPE clinics for active-duty military personnel and Veterans.


PGA HOPE Central New York presenting sponsor is Visions Federal Credit Union.


The CNY PGA hopes to expand its PGA HOPE community to Nichols, NY and Watertown, NY.