The game of golf provides much to golfers – exercise, both mental as well as, physical, plus it provides an enjoyable social experience with friends and family, to name a few. Golf also benefits non-golfers, communities, and organizations.
In 2017 alone, over $3.9 billion dollars were generated for charitable donation, through golf events. Since 2012 the cumulative number is more than $20 billion! Visit WeAreGolf.org for more info.
The PGA also uses their venues to help charitable causes and donated $166 million in 2016.
Many of these philanthropic groups have a specific focus, such as helping disabled veterans of the military. One of these organizations, Salute Military Golf Association (http://smga.org/), is based in Maryland and helps 100% disabled veterans get into the game of golf to assist in mental, emotional, and physical recuperation.
Andrew is an Army veteran, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a recent recipient of a full set of golf clubs and lessons from the SMGA’s American Golfer program.
Transitioning back to civilian life was challenging for Andrew, like many soldiers returning from war. He found the game of golf provided peace of mind and was also a therapeutic physical activity. Despite never playing the game prior to military life, he now sports a 2.3 handicap. He is proud of his results, but states much work went into achieving the low number. He tells others they can attain similar results through hard work. He advises to refrain from listening to negative comments about one’s game, equipment, or goals but rather just press on with your desire.
Another recognized military focused golf group is FoldsOfHonor.com, a charitable organization that provides educational scholarships and assistance to the families of military members disabled or killed in service to our country.
If you prefer to show your patriotism by just playing golf, there are many outings and events to do just that.
One is TeeItUpForTheTroops.org and VeteransClassicGolf.com. Additionally, golf facilities across the country host special events and collect donations around Labor Day for Patriot Golf Day, the primary fundraiser for Folds of Honor.
Are you part of the military and love to watch golf? Most PGA and LPGA Tour events offer discounted or free admission to events, for active and retired service members.
If you feel blessed to be able to play this great game of golf and want to pass along the same opportunity to those that gave so much of themselves in serving our county, consider a contribution to any of the listed organizations. Donations are generally tax deductible.
Regardless, the next time you walk the links take pride in our freedom to play golf.