More than 50 veterans receive golf instruction to kickoff KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship week
FRISCO, Texas – On the Monday of the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship week, more than 50 veterans gathered at PGA Frisco to learn the game from a Ryder Cup Hero and Major Champion Corey Pavin, as well as 17 local Northern Texas PGA Section (NTPGA) Professionals.
On the range near the Home of the PGA of America at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas, Pavin took time out of his preparation for the most prestigious Major in senior golf—and the inaugural championship at Fields Ranch East golf course—to say ‘thank you’ and also provide a few swing tips to Veterans from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“It’s a great healing process to be out here for them. I’m glad I can play a tiny part of giving them some joy and some hope, that’s what it’s all about,” said Pavin. “They’ve put their life on the line, so we can have a place like this to enjoy. It’s just a way to say thank you, as simple as that, thank you.”
Pavin is a 15-time winner on the PGA Tour; a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams (1991, ‘93, ‘95) and Captain of the 2010 team. After winning the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock, he rose to become the No. 2 ranked golfer the following year.
After Pavin spoke, he spent a significant amount of time hitting shots and fielding questions from Veterans interested in playing better golf and catching a glimpse of the thought process a major champion has when hitting different shots.
PGA Member John Easterbrook Jr., the Chief Membership Officer of the PGA of America, kicked off the event with a word of thanks to those who have served our country.
“We are so very proud of the PGA HOPE Program at the PGA of America,” said Easterbrook. “This year we are delighted to announce that the PGA HOPE program is going to serve over 11,000 Veterans across the United States from 2,500 certified PGA Members. We’re happy you are out here at our new Home at PGA Frisco, and on behalf of the nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals, thank you for your service. We want you to feel like this is your home, too.”
PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans and Active Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
Also in attendance to support local Veterans and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship was Frisco City Vice Mayor John Keating.
“On behalf of the city of Frisco, we are excited to play a part in this great adventure with the PGA of America, Omni PGA Frisco Resort and of course, our partners with the Frisco Independent School District,” said Keating. “Today is a special day. Today is the day we recognize the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform, to defend us all.”
Veterans learned how to chip, putt and take full swings, thanks to the support and guidance of 17 PGA Professionals from the NTPGA, whose headquarters sit 50-yards from where the clinic took place.
One of those Veterans is JD Lawless, who served in the Army for 20 years and now volunteers with the Frisco Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8273.
“This is amazing,” said Lawless. “PGA HOPE has been very accommodating for our post locally in the past, and being out here with all these Veterans is amazing. It’s a wonderful facility and great program. The Northern Texas PGA HOPE has been a partner of the VFW in Frisco, and we’ve sent several Veterans to their program, and they’ve all loved it.”
Major Championship golf will be played this week for the first time at PGA Frisco, but the lives of Veterans being impacted through PGA HOPE, which has 10 programs in the DFW area, is a major victory in its own right.
The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, the most historic and prestigious Major Championship in senior golf, will be contested May 24-28, 2023, on Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco, broadcasted on Golf Channel and NBC. This is the inaugural Major Championship played on Fields Ranch East, the first of six Major Championships over the next 11 years scheduled for PGA Frisco.