Patriot Golf Day, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness and scholarship funds for the families of fallen and wounded Veterans, will take place over Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4-7, to honor the sacrifice of America’s heroes.
Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled Veterans, and PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) will host Patriot Golf Day. Beginning this year, the two organizations have joined together to expand and grow annual fundraising efforts for both Folds of Honor and PGA HOPE to better serve the needs of Veterans and their families through the game of golf. PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of the PGA of America’s 501(c)(3) foundation, PGA Foundation, Inc. d/b/a PGA REACH.
“Patriot Golf Day is truly the most heroic round of golf you will ever play,” said Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, CEO and Founder of Folds of Honor, and a PGA Member. “The academic scholarships provided by Folds of Honor through Patriot Golf Day benefit so many deserving people. Many recipients are first-generation college students who would not have the opportunity to attend school without the generosity of Patriot Golf Day participants. This is the 13th anniversary of Folds of Honor (August 26) and Patriot Golf Day, and while it’s been an unprecedented and difficult year, the commitment from our supporters has not waivered.”
The Patriot Golf Day campaign is backed by Jack Nicklaus, who annually serves as honorary chair of the event and is also a strong supporter of PGA HOPE. Mr. Nicklaus will continue to stay involved in both causes through this new partnership.
“I never had the privilege to serve our great nation, but I am passionate and committed to any initiative that allows us to recognize, assist and support the men and women of our military, who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” said Nicklaus, who is the first sportsman and fourth person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal and Lincoln Medal. “When we can use the game of golf as the vehicle to give back, it becomes even more meaningful to me. That’s why I feel blessed and honored to partner with great organizations like Folds of Honor and PGA REACH.”
Patriot Golf Day began as a grassroots fundraising initiative over Labor Day Weekend in 2007, with golfers nationwide encouraged to add an extra dollar to their green fees to fund Folds of Honor scholarships. Over the last 13 years, the effort has grown to encompass onsite donation boxes, a variety of fundraising events, tournaments and golf marathons led by PGA Professionals and golfers across America, resulting in over 10,000 scholarships provided through Patriot Golf Day. Overall, Folds of Honor has distributed more than 28,000 scholarships in total within all 50 states and 41 PGA Sections.
PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The program includes a developmental six-to-eight-week curriculum, taught by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. In 2019, PGA HOPE programming impacted 2,500 Veterans nationwide.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the work that PGA Professionals have done through PGA HOPE, utilizing the game of golf as a form of therapy and rehabilitation for Veterans,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “By partnering with Folds of Honor on Patriot Golf Day, we can expand our footprint within the families of those we serve through golf. This partnership is a natural extension of our long-standing mission to support our nation’s heroes.”
If you can’t locate a participating course near you, you can still play golf during Patriot Golf Day Weekend and donate at FoldsofHonor.org or Venmo @PariotGolfDay.
For more information on Patriot Golf Day, visit FoldsofHonor.org. For more information on PGA HOPE, visit PGAREACH.org.
In 2021, Patriot Golf Day will move to Memorial Day Weekend.