Penfield Country Club holds tournament for veterans facing PTSD and other challenges

[anvplayer video=”5176980″ station=”998131″]

PENFIELD, N.Y. — One swing is all it takes for veterans who may be dealing with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, or other mental health issues.

The PGA HOPE (helping our patriots everywhere) Secretary’s Cup is a nine-hole golf competition that brings 12 teams from across the country together, all consisting of one PGA professional and four military veterans. The competition was held on Monday at Penfield Country Club.

PGA Hope military veteran liaison Chris Nowak said the event is not only designed to help veterans cope with the trauma they’ve been through, but it’s also a way to honor their service.

“It takes a nation to heal a veteran,” said Nowak. “The VA can’t do it, DOD can’t do it, so organizations need to lean in,” he said. “The PGA of America are experts in golf and teaching the game of golf recognizes the therapeutic value of this great game and we’re going to put 11,000 veterans through this year.”

With the program eight years in the making, one of the ambassadors of the program said he experienced first-hand how life-changing the program can be.

“When veterans are hitting the golf ball it’s the one thing that they’re focused on and it’s the one thing that they all need to be focused on,” said Western New York PGA Hope ambassador Nicholas Martone. “It’s obviously replacing those experiences and memories that they’ve had in service and that’s the difference maker.”

Any veteran interested can also become a part of the program by visiting this website.