PGA Program Helps Veterans Learn To Golf

Friday, May 13th 2022, 6:05 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

US Air Force Veteran Robert Rodriguez is slowly perfecting his golf swing.

The Owasso man just completed a six-week program called PGA Hope or Helping our Patriots Everywhere, which pairs veterans with PGA professionals to either learn golf for the first time or improve their skills.

Rodriguez has played for 20 years but struggled with some technique.

"It's one thing trying to play golf on your own and improve your skills and get better at it,” said Rodriguez. “After the second or third week, from receiving lessons and just giving me little subtle tips, I was able to improve my game and actually hit better golf shots."

Rodriguez is one of the hundreds of veterans around the country participating in the program.

Every year around the PGA Championship, the PGA hosts a tournament called the Secretary's Cup, where PGA Hope graduates compete against other 5-person teams from around the country in a 9-hole scramble.

Rodriguez is on a team representing Tulsa and will play at Indian Springs on Monday.

"We feel confident,” said Rodriguez. “We got four veterans and our PGA pro."

Rodriguez was referred to the program by Waco Blakley who works for the Eastern Oklahoma VA Healthcare System.

And says this means so much to so many veterans.

"For them to be able to network,” said Blakley. “For them to be able to make new friends and hopefully create a new healthy, hobby of golf it's just beyond measurable."

"Socially now I'm able to get out and meet with other veterans and enjoy the game of golf," said Rodriguez.

That tournament on Monday is open to the public.

It starts at 9 am and they are hoping for big crowds.