In partnership with the PGA of America, the hour-long, documentary-style program will follow several individuals who have been welcomed into the game through PGA REACH programming.
CBS, in partnership with the PGA of America, will broadcast an hour-long network special, “PGA REACH: Impacting Lives Through Golf,” on Sat., May 16, from 2-3 p.m. ET.
The program details how PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA, has made a difference for people across the country. The documentary-style program will follow several individuals, who under the guidance of PGA Professionals have been welcomed into the game through PGA REACH programming.
“PGA REACH is designed to introduce the game of golf and its vast attributes to boys and girls from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as military veterans and individuals with cognitive and physical challenges,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “Through programs implemented by PGA Professionals across our 41 PGA Sections, we are able to make a difference by using golf to promote family values, health, fitness, and most importantly, fun.”
The stories will feature individuals who have utilized golf to cope with serious illnesses and injuries, as well as enjoy the excitement of the game for the first time:
• Working together with the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) created a progressive and therapeutic year-round military golf program that introduced more than 70 veterans to the game in 2014. The show features the Gateway PGA Section, which pioneered PGA REACH programming through their education initiative to keep at-risk kids in school, and whose members are dedicated to PGA HOPE and our nation’s veterans. National Baseball Hall of Fame member and Gateway PGA REACH Foundation President Ozzie Smith takes part in this charitable outreach.
• PGA Professional Paul Surniak of Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club at Fort Carson, Colo., instructs Ret. Sgt. Brandon Adam, a double-amputee and accomplished X Games skier, who struggled with assimilation after serving in Iraq. Through Surniak’s coaching and adaptive equipment, Brandon is now able to experience the mental, social, and physical benefits of golf.
• In Florence, Ky., PGA Master Professional and World of Golf General Manager Ralph Landrum is one of the first PGA Professionals to introduce PGA Junior League Golf to youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati. The PGA Junior League Golf program is an organized team playing experience for kids 13 and under and the key youth initiative of PGA REACH. The program has grown exponentially, with participation rates doubling from 2013 to 2014. PGA Professional Jack Dean, a 2014 PGA Junior League Golf Regional Captain of the Year, also is shown for his work in bringing together youth from four rural counties across Middle Georgia.
• Joshua Deer, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas, is the first individual with autism to play golf in the Grand Finale of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge (a charitable partner of PGA REACH), and won low gross at the Golf Challenge regional event at TPC Craig Ranch. Deer found purpose and direction from his experience with golf, and under the mentorship of PGA Professional Josh Smith, became a two-time MVP and captain of his high school golf team.
• Brynn Winter, 15, of New Orleans, also found confidence and a passion for golf through an Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf Clinic. Once shy and uninterested in sports, Winter now receives lessons from PGA Professional Robert Birtel and practices weekly.
• PGA Professional Steve Adamiak recounts how a young cancer survivor named Kendel Hodges, 16, impacted his life while he was building his junior golf program in Temecula, California. Hodges, who overcame Cancer as an infant, was an avid basketball player. Yet, he was forced to give up the sport after receiving a separate diagnosis at age 9 of a degenerative heart disease. Through the encouragement of his parents and lessons from Adamiak, Kendel discovered his love of golf, and in 2014, competed in the Junior PGA Championship.
PGA REACH is dedicated to benefiting communities nationwide through golf with a focus on three key pillars: youth, military, and diversity/inclusion. PGA REACH works closely with the 41 PGA Section Offices and charitable partners across the country to positively impact lives through the game of golf.
For more information on PGA REACH and PGA HOPE, visit www.pgareach.com.