ORLANDO, Florida – On Course Foundation will place up to 14 injured Service members to work at the 2023 PGA Championship, May 15-21, at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.
Active and retired veterans who are On Course Foundation members will partake in a wide array of tournament operations and agronomic jobs. Their assignments align with the organization’s mission to use golf as a vehicle for physical and mental recovery, and harvest newfound confidence into careers in golf.
American Veterans Group, Wall Street’s only public benefit corporation, is funding the work experiences, including travel, lodging and other logistics and training elements. The company is a military veteran-owned, social impact-focused investment bank and broker dealer for institutional clients that provides meaningful philanthropic support for the miliary veteran community.
On Course Foundation members working at the 2023 PGA Championship parallels programs at the PGA TOUR’s Charles Schwab, The Masters Tournament and the Royal and Ancient’s Open Championship.
“It’s extraordinary to witness golf change the lives of our veterans, many of whom undergo horrific physical wounds and PTSD, including contemplation of suicide,” says Ben Biles, Founder and CEO of American Veterans Group. “On-the-job training supports On Course Foundation’s year-round golf business curriculum, and American Veterans Group is thrilled to participate.”
Experiences at the PGA Championship and other professional tournaments will augment Service members’ resumes and lead to full-time employment in the golf industry.
“It’s a foot in the door for service members to demonstrate their unparalleled work ethic, dedication and commitment to the sport and business of golf,” says Shauna Snyder, a 35-year military veteran who directs employment placement for On Course Foundation. “We are grateful for the support of American Veterans Group and the PGA of America, producer of the PGA Championship.”
Thousands of On Course Foundation members benefit from the organization’s golf education and career services. Exhibiting profound changes of character, they are placed in full-time jobs with Callaway, Invited, Marriott Golf, TaylorMade, TPC Network and other golf companies, courses, clubs and resorts. Members also learn playing skills with many achieving low, single-digit handicaps and qualifying for the annual Simpson Cup where U.K. and U.S. teams square off in Ryder Cup-style matches.
Service members’ stories involve lost legs and arms, dozens of life-saving surgeries per member, and hidden wound like post-traumatic stress disorder, complicating their transitions from active duty to civilian life.
Corporate and individual contributions of financial and business resources are earmarked to expand On Course Foundation’s impact in new regional markets across America. The organization currently conducts free programs in 15 states which help injured Service members develop golf business and playing skills.
Sponsors include Apollo Wealth Management, Barclays, Charles Schwab, CSX, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, Callaway, Clubessential and Summit Golf Brands. Their salutes to the military and the game of golf vastly improve veterans’ lives which otherwise could have spiraled downward.