WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 800 golf fans in Washington, D.C. honored our American heroes and helped kick off Family Golf Month at the Military Family Golf Day held at East Potomac Golf Course on Sunday (July 3). The free event featured golf lessons from Middle Atlantic PGA Professionals, a PGA Sports Academy Fitness and Nutrition Station with PGA Director of Fitness David Donatucci and the Dennis Walters Golf Show, a trick shot show by PGA Honorary Lifetime member Dennis Walters and his sidekick dog, Bucky. Those attending the event also had the opportunity to sign the Audubon Green Golf Pledge to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment.
The highlight of the day was the Wounded Warrior Golf Clinic hosted by PGA Professional Jim Estes. The clinic featured four Wounded Warriors from Estes' Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) who demonstrated how golf provides therapy and a positive outlet for them after being severely injured serving our country. Estes' students are not only playing golf for enjoyment, but they are also playing competitively on the Golf Channel's Amateur Tour. Ramon Padilla and Dan Pulsipher, both Wounded Warriors and SMGA students, have won events on the tour.
PGA Director of Fitness David Donatucci hosted a PGA Sports Academy Golf and Fitness Clinic, focusing on ways to incorporate fitness, nutrition and sports into the game of golf. Launched earlier this year, The PGA Sports Academy offers a fun, systematic approach to growing junior participation with PGA Professionals at the forefront of the experience. The PGA Sports Academy's curriculum blends five core elements – golf skills; physical skills, fitness and nutrition; assessments; sportsmanship, rules and etiquette; and play activities and on-course experiences. Studies show that 49 percent of those introduced to golf as juniors and having played in a structured junior program were still playing golf at 25-years-old or older.
In addition to celebrating the game of golf and its positive impact on disabled military veterans, the event also celebrated golf as a game for family members of all ages and skill levels. Nearly 2,100 facilities nationwide are registered to host Family Golf Month events during July and throughout the summer, including Family Golf Clinics and Play Days, PGA Family Course, Kids Play Free, Bring Your Kids to the Range, Take Your Daughter to the Course Week (July 4-10) and special junior rates, as well as a variety of other events and activities which can be found at PlayGolfAmerica.com. These programs provide a structured, yet casual opportunity for families to learn and play the game of golf together and promote golf as a regular family recreation activity.
East Potomac Golf Course offers several opportunities for families to enjoy the game of golf together during Family Golf Month in July. Girls ages 18-years-old and younger play free (9 or 18 holes) with a paid adult greens fee during Take Your Daughter to the Course Week, July 4-10, as well as special family rates throughout July. East Potomac will also host a free one-hour family golf clinic on July 16 from 3 – 4 p.m. Registration information is available at PlayGolfAmerica.com.
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.