Each year, the PGA hosts an event inviting military veterans to play golf with the pros on one of the nation’s most iconic courses. This year, the event was cancelled due to coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped the pro golfers from meeting up with American heroes.
Although the PGA was unable to officially sanction the event, the Olympic Club golf course was able to host a “social gathering” of golfers and veterans on the course this past Monday.
The 24 veterans, all with physical disabilities, have been training for their round of golf for the last two months with the help of golf professionals as preparation for a game on the legendary course.
“I’ve heard a lot of stories about this place, and just to be able to be here and play a round of golf is fantastic,” Marine veteran Kevin Hoy of Stockton said of the Olympic Club Ocean Course.
During a typical year, the PGA’s veteran golf program, PGA Hope, which stands for Helping Our Patriots Everywhere, introduces 200 Northern California veterans to golf, and has done so for more than 1,000 veterans in the last five years.
During this year’s unsanctioned gathering, everyone in attendance was required to wear a mask and submit to a temperature check. Masks were only allowed to come off while participants were eating, drinking, or sufficiently socially distanced while out on the course.
“We are so grateful for the PGA Hope and the Olympic Club for having us still, despite all of the circumstance with the COVID-19, and that we have this opportunity to gather and play with other veterans.,” said Mary Lou Bermudez, an Air Force veteran who participated.
“I’m going to thoroughly enjoy every minute that I’m on this course,” Hoy added.