WMBF: Nonprofit uses golf to help create community for veterans in Myrtle Beach

(WMBF) – A local nonprofit is going into its fifth year of bringing golf to veterans, and they hope to see more growth and success in the future.

Project Golf Myrtle Beach was started in 2018 and focuses on using golf as a form of therapy to serve those who served us. They serve disadvantaged youth and those who are newcomers to the sport.

The class which focuses on veterans will graduate over 400 participants this year.

Once someone goes through the class they can even become an ambassador.

Dennis Primiano is one of those ambassadors. He graduated three years ago and knew he had to stay involved with this community because of the camaraderie it created for him.

“When they hit that first really good shot, I mean to see the joy in their eye it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Project Golf works with PGA Hope to expand even further on what they’re able to do for veterans in the Grand Strand.

Chris Aranda, who’s part of PGA Hope, said that this six-week class is so much more than just hitting a ball.

“Golf is the one that keeps us alive and it’s one golf swing at a time that we’re able to care for each other,” he said. “It’s a special community of golfers here that are veterans.”

Part of PGA Hope and Project Golf’s mission is helping veterans with disabilities use golf as a community builder as well as a form of therapy.

All of the instructors in the program receive training in adaptive golf so that they can teach anyone to play.

Gary Schaal, Executive Director of Project Golf said that no matter what branch you served in, or when it was, this program makes veterans want to come back and be a part of the family, even after they’ve finished the class.

“The men and women who have gone through our program say ‘I really want to come out and hang around, can I do that?’ because I miss the engagement with veterans,” said Schaal. “We speak a different language, we laugh at things maybe other people don’t laugh at, I can’t explain it, but it’s different.”

Dennis Nicholl, the nonprofit’s president, added there may be some nerves about getting on the course at first.

By the end, however, they’ve gained more than just golf skills.

“A lot of them are hesitant coming in honestly and then after six weeks they’re golfers,” said Nicholl. “They are dedicated, they’re hooked, they can’t wait to get back to the sport, and it’s actually in many cases saving lives, not just changing lives. It’s actually saving lives.”

Project Golf is holding its second-annual Show Some Love charity tournament on March 25.

2051 Golf Academy Way
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

© Project Golf • All rights Reserved.

Project Golf is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization

Project Golf is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

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