For veterans haunted by memories of war, a few hours on the golf course can transform days of isolation and flashbacks into afternoons of cheers and companionship.
The PGA HOPE program teaches veterans, many of whom are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, to golf. The idea is that getting out on the course will improve their physical and mental health and social well-being.
About 15 veterans graduated from the most recent installment of the program at the Country Club at Mirasol on Wednesday. It was the fifth PGA HOPE session offered to veterans in northern Palm Beach County. Nearly 400 veterans have participated in the South Florida PGA Foundation’s program since 2015.
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center can refer veterans to the program.
Most of the lessons are on the driving range, but for the final day, the fledgling golfers shoot nine holes on the course. When they graduate from the six- to eight-week program, their instructors encourage them to exchange phone numbers so they can keep golfing together...
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