ATLANTIS, FL – The South Florida PGA Foundation recently scored a “hole in one” with patients at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital when it partnered with Great Greenz to install an Astroturf putting green on the facility’s fourth floor. The winning stroke was part of an ongoing South Florida PGA program, called “Smiling Fore Life.”
Initiated in May, 2010, this effort has brought PGA Professionals to the Hollywood hospital every Tuesday afternoon to teach pediatric patients the basics of golf. “Smiling Fore Life provides a welcome distraction to young patients from personal and medical hardships they may be facing,” said Geoff Lofstead, Executive Director of the South Florida PGA. “It also allows the patients to learn a fun activity they can play at any age.”
“We opened our freestanding facility with the theme of ‘power of play’ because we appreciate the value of letting a kid be a kid, even in the hospital setting,” said Nick Masi, director of Family Centered Care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. “The putting green is a perfect addition to an already well-received program.”
Smiling Fore Life, now supported by the Florida Golf License Plate Program, was first developed as a means of providing PGA Professionals with an opportunity to touch the lives of individuals in South Florida. Since the program started at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, it has grown leaps and bounds. Today, nine PGA Professionals visit four south Florida children’s hospitals weekly, teaching young patients and visitors the game of golf.
“What we have accomplished to date would have seemed unimaginable two years ago,” said Tom Wildenhaus, president, South Florida PGA Foundation. “All the PGA Professionals who volunteer at Joe DiMaggio are very excited about the installation of the putting green. Perhaps during our Tuesday visits, we’ll uncover a future PGA Professional.”
About Joe DiMaggio Children’s Center
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., is a facility of Memorial Healthcare System, the fifth-largest public healthcare system in the nation. It is a patient- and family-centered care facility that meets the complex needs of children by providing a wide scope of inpatient and outpatient pediatric services supervised by the largest diversity of board-certified specialists in the region. As an advocate for children’s healthcare and related causes, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital offers community education, child safety programs and the Conine Clubhouse, a home away from home for families of hospitalized children. For more information, visit jdch.com.
About The South Florida PGA Foundation
The South Florida PGA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to support the South Florida community, with a focus on junior golf, education and scholarships, and charitable gifting. The South Florida PGA Foundation falls under the direction of the of the South Florida PGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 1,600 men and women PGA Professionals dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
About The South Florida PGA
The South Florida PGA, one of 41 PGA Section offices throughout the United States, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The South Florida Section is one link in the grass-roots network used to facilitate communication amongst the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and the PGA’s 28,000 members. The South Florida Section PGA is comprised of over 1,600 men and women PGA Professionals dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf. For more information, please visit www.sfpgagolf.com or call 561-729-0544.