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The New Mexico State University golf course will host the PGA Helping Our Veterans Everywhere (Hope) program beginning in May to benefit local veterans and active-duty military, NMSU said in a news release.
Dan Hon, a local U.S. Marine veteran, is participating the free program as a HOPE ambassador for the Sun Country Golf Foundation (SCGF), which awarded NMSU a grant to provide the program.
“We help veterans who don’t have a happy home life and try to make their days brighter so they will reach for their tomorrows,” Hon said. “I don’t know exactly how to put the feelings into words, but being around other veterans feels right, and brings everything into plumb and level.”
The NMSU golf course will offer two six-week sessions of the program, both held 2-3:30 p.m., with the last day of each session being held 3-5:30 p.m. NMSU said. Session one will meet every Thursday, May 11-June 15. Session two will meet every Saturday, Sept. 2-Oct. 7. Equipment will be provided.
The nationwide HOPE program is a flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of PGA of America.
“To date, we have had four PGA HOPE sessions and we have had the opportunity to serve about 100 veterans and active military service men and women,” said Jason White, director of the NMSU golf course and PGA member. “It gives the opportunity to introduce and teach golf to veterans and active-duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.”
The program will include putting, chipping, pitching, iron play, driver, fairway woods, golf course experience and graduation, the news release said.
PGA HOPE is in the planning stages of bringing a HOPE Cup to the Sun Country, which would bring veterans from all four programs in the region: Albuquerque, El Paso, Farmington and Las Cruces, together to take a team to the Secretary’s Cup in 2024, Hon said.
To register for the program, visit www.PGA.com and click on “Things To Do,” then “PGA HOPE.” If “PGA HOPE NMSU” does not appear on the list, type in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the “search city” bar.