The Military Pillar of COLORADO PGA REACH seeks to improve the physical, mental, and social rehabilitation of our military heroes and their families through the sport of golf. The lifetime sport of golf has proven to be excellent for activity and competition, but has also allowed military personnel to assimilate back into their community through the social interaction the game provides. In recognition and thanks for the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, the Colorado PGA has, and will continue to engage in the following Military initiatives:
PGA Professional Training
The Colorado PGA recognizes the need for qualified, well trained professionals to take part in any and all efforts related to our Military Pillar. As such, the Colorado PGA has partnered with the PGA of America and the Adaptive Golf Academy of Tampa to provide adaptive golf training to PGA Professionals and industry partners. Classroom and downrange training, along with hands-on experience with volunteer wounded warriors enables our PGA Professionals to better help those with physical and mental challenges as a result of their service.
Down Range Clinics
In partnership with the Veterans Administration, the Down Range Clinic series is a program created to provide military heroes with a free introductory golf experience. PGA Professionals provide proper instruction on the game, the use of adaptive equipment when necessary, and are paired with our heroes in their communities to create a local hometown connection for them to stay in the game.
Helping our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) is a year round program designed to keep interested veterans playing golf in order to embrace their mental, social, physical and emotional well-being. PGA Hope includes an introduction to the sport of golf, golf instruction, playing opportunities and social events.
The founding chapter of PGA HOPE within the Colorado Section borders is located at Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course at Fort Carson and was launched in 2014. The Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Ft. Carson serves as a temporary assignment for soldiers who are recovering from major service-induced injuries. Through a partnership with the WTB at Ft. Carson, and with the support of the PGA Professionals at Cheyenne Shadows GC, the PGA HOPE program was able to provide an introductory golf experience, playing and social events for more than 100 wounded warriors and their families all at no cost to the soldier or their support system.
In coming years, the Colorado PGA hopes to expand the HOPE Program across the Section boundaries to serve our wounded heroes in all of our communities.
Denver VA Hospital “Visit a Veteran” Program
Each year, the week of February 14th has been designated “Visit a Veteran” week by the Veterans Administration. The Colorado PGA and its Member Professionals have taken up that charge. For each of the past 5 years, PGA Professionals have come together, with the support of our partners, to spend a day at the Denver VA, visiting veterans in all areas of the hospital to simply spend a few minutes thanking them for their service and providing them with a Colorado PGA hat and lapel pin, a small token of our gratitude.
The Youth Pillar of COLORADO PGA REACH seeks to improve and advance opportunities for youth. Introduction to the sport at an early age has proven to provide great opportunities in the area of education, health and wellness, and character building.
COLORADO PGA REACH programming will ensure that cost doesn’t prohibit youth from entering the sport and will serve as a central role in the golf industry’s effort to introduce the sport to youth of all ages and backgrounds in a safe, fun environment.
Golf in Schools
Colorado PGA Golf in Schools Program is an introductory program at absolutely no cost to the students and no cost to the schools. The program, in partnership with the Colorado Open Golf Foundation, has been bringing golf to schools for the past four years where over 38,000 kids have been introduced to the game in over 160 schools.
The program is built on the synergy created between the participating school, the PGA Golf Professional, and the host Golf Facility. The program offers:
• 3 days of high quality instruction by PGA Professionals where the children are – at school using golf and near golf equipment.
• Transition for the children from the school to the golf facility on a field trip to experience the game in its intended setting.
• Opportunities for continued engagement in the host facility’s youth golf programs
• A setting to incorporate STEM education through a partnership with the Golf Course Superintendent.
Colorado PGA Golf in Schools is supported by the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, and the curriculum has been developed, in part, by our partnership with youth development and education experts with Aurora Public Schools.
PGA Junior League
In 2014, the Colorado PGA introduced a team-format youth golf program with outstanding participation results. More than 350 junior golfers across the Front Range experienced golf in an innovative team format. With ambitions of expanding the program exponentially over the next few years, the Colorado PGA is pleased to partner with PGA Junior League Golf to continue the tradition of a team-focused opportunity for young players to enter the game.
PGA Junior League Golf (PGA JLG) is designed to better socialize the game for boys and girls, ages 13 and under. PGA JLG features team vs. team competitions in structured leagues that provide a popular, less stressful scramble format as opposed to stroke-play competition.
Golf’s version of Little League baseball has seen significant growth since its inception as a pilot program in 2012. PGA Junior League teams consist of at least 10 players, managed by a PGA Professional, with each player receiving a uniform and PGA instruction. The format is focused on fun and recreation, and is a great way to begin in the sport.
Local Leagues consist of a minimum of four teams. At the conclusion of the regular season, an All Star team for the league is chosen. Those All Star teams compete for the Regional Championship with the Regional winners moving on to compete for the National Championship.
Multiple major champion Rory McIlroy has recently signed onto to become an ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf.
Diversity and Inclusion Pillar
Diversity and inclusion are core values and a focus of COLORADO PGA REACH and we embrace the spirit of differences.
We work each and every day at the Colorado PGA to have our commitment to diversity and inclusion resonate throughout the organization, the activities, programs and business we conduct. We strive to look through a lens of diversity and inclusion at all times. As the Colorado PGA serves its members and grows participation in golf, we help drive the awareness that golf is in fact affordable, welcoming and fun for all individuals regardless of age, gender, ability, background or lifestyle.
Growth of the Game Grants
Each year COLORADO PGA REACH awards Growth of the Game Grants to local PGA Members and golf facilities that offer programming that strives to make golf inclusive of people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds and for individuals with disabilities. In 2014, more than $25,000 in grant funding was distributed to Colorado PGA Members who had developed programs and opportunities that met our strict Diversity & Inclusion guidelines.
In support of our commitment to ensure that the future of our industry is served by the best and brightest, we are pleased to announce the formation of a Diversity Scholarship Program. Beginning in 2015, Colorado PGA REACH will partner with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Professional Golf Management Program (UCCS PGM) to award a Diversity-based Scholarship to produce future golf industry leaders from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
USOC F.L.A.M.E. Program
The United States Olympic Committee's FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) program provides high school, college and graduate-level students with an intensive look into the corporate world of elite sport. The program offers an exciting and rigorous curriculum aimed at increasing knowledge of the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and providing participants with personal and professional development.
The Colorado PGA has partnered with the United States Olympic Committee’s FLAME program to introduce golf as a career enhancement option to a dedicated group of diverse college-age students enrolled in the USOC’s sports leadership program. The introduction of golf as a vehicle for professional development by PGA Professionals to a group of high-performing students is crucial to the diversification of both the participant base of golf and to the future leaders in the sports industry.
In partnership with the PGA Professionals at the venerable Broadmoor Golf Club, the students are introduced to golf in a dynamic, hands-on immersion day during which they are provided instruction by volunteer PGA Professionals and have a unique opportunity to take part in a leadership mentoring session with golf industry leaders and peers. The program was so successful in 2014 that several members of the FLAME program have elected to accept internships at the Broadmoor for 2015.
Employee Talent Development Programs
Recognizing the natural marriage between business and golf, and in support of our desire to introduce more women to the game; the Colorado PGA has begun engaging with local businesses to partner with their women-focused employee resource groups to introduce golf as a career building and enhancing avenue. Through “exposure” events conducted on-site at the business, the Get Golf Ready Program is introduced to these resource groups, along with fellow employees by PGA Professionals. The interested parties are then funneled to Get Golf Ready Programs conducted by PGA Professionals at their local golf facilities. Opportunities to learn and to continue to play provide current and future female business leaders with an additional tool in their career development toolkit.