Our veteran program, PGA HOPE, started its 2022 season in January with PGA Supervised Practice session at our Barefoot site. Graduate veterans of PGA HOPE were able to continue their golf learning experience by participating in a four-week supervised practice program enabling them exclusive access to the practice facility while being taught how to practice with a purpose by our PGA Professionals. Look out for more scheduled Supervised Practice days.
On February 1st, we had Opening Day for 21 registered veterans. With a team of 8 PGA Professionals, 6 Ambassadors, and Volunteers we kicked off the six-week program. This year, we expect to surpass attendance projections, with testimonies and word-of-mouth referrals suggesting that growth will continue. Additionally, we are excited that Myrtle Beach Chapter leads the Nation in the number of classes scheduled in 2022. We are able to do this with excellent support from the PGA, our local VA representative and Lead Ambassador, Chris Aranda, as well as many other Veteran Ambassadors of our program who share their experience and spread the word. Additionally, our partnership with Eastern Carolina Housing Organization (ECHO) began in 2021 and has proven that introduction to golf has improved the quality of life for many veterans and disabled veterans in our community. More information to follow on future playing opportunities for our graduate veterans is in the works.
We have been approached by several other veteran groups in the area and we will be working on some pilot programs with them. Others have come to us with offers to conduct fundraising golf events to help with our own efforts.
An Introduction to Golf (“AITG”) six-week clinic series kicked off the 2022 season at Barefoot and Prestwick Country Club in early February, with strong support coming from the residents of Bridgewater as well students attending the Prestwick Country Club clinic. We are introducing future golfers to the game while removing barriers and providing access to golf. Check back on our website to learn of future clinics and locations beginning April 2022.
Patio / Walkway. We have received tremendous support from the Site ONE Landscaping Team to build our patio and walkway, and we were finalizing final bids and a timeline. However, due to the inclement weather and continued labor shortages, the process has slowed down a bit, but we will keep you posted.
A new junior golf program is in the conceptual stage and should kick off by mid-summer.