From the PGA

PGA HOPE and DIRECTV Join Forces to Support Mental Health Awareness for Active Duty Military and Veterans

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PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the flagship military program of the PGA of America REACH Foundation, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, is joining forces with DIRECTV to unlock connection and community through sports and entertainment to create belonging and support mental health year-round for active duty military and Veterans.
PGA HOPE, with the support of DIRECTV, provides active duty military and Veterans opportunities to participate in free developmental 6-to-8-week golf training sessions in more than 500 locations across the U.S., including on 18 military installations. Sessions are designed to enhance participants' physical, mental, social and emotional well-being and are taught by PGA of America Golf Professionals trained in military cultural competency and adaptive golf. PGA HOPE will serve over 17,000 participants in 2024, and with support from DIRECTV, the organization plans to double the number of participants over the next several years.
DIRECTV is also proud to sponsor events at the 9th annual PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup May 11-13 at the University of Louisville Golf Club, in conjunction with the PGA Championship, played May 16-19. The Secretary’s Cup, named after the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, is a unique and memorable experience for Veterans and PGA of America Golf Professionals working year-round to positively impact Veterans’ lives.
  • May 11: DIRECTV will kick off the weekend as the presenting sponsor of the PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup Welcome Reception at Churchill Downs, featuring opening remarks from decorated veteran Mike Wittrock, chief operating officer at DIRECTV.
  • May 12: DIRECTV is also the presenting sponsor of the Taste of Louisville Tailgate at the University of Louisville Golf Club immediately following practice rounds for Secretary’s Cup participants.
  • May 13: The weekend will culminate in a 9-hole scramble tournament amongst 48 invited PGA HOPE participants representing programs nationwide. Each team consists of four Veterans and one PGA of America or LPGA Golf Professional.
“PGA HOPE stands out among organizations focused on mental health for the military community given their long-standing nationwide commitment to creating a foundation for belonging by serving those who’ve served,” said Mike Wittrock, chief operating officer at DIRECTV. “DIRECTV is humbled and excited to make a lasting and positive impact.”
“We are honored to work with DIRECTV to further PGA HOPE’s efforts in making the game of golf available as a form of therapy, with a shared focus on mental health for active duty military and Veterans nationwide,” said Chris Nowak, U.S. Marine Corps retiree and PGA of America Military and Veteran Liaison. “The beauty of PGA HOPE is that Veterans can truly come as they are. With DIRECTV’s support, we can impact even more lives through this great game."
This engagement extends DIRECTV’s year-round commitment to supporting Veteran’s mental health. Additional support from DIRECTV for military mental health includes a dedicated S.A.V.E. initiative (Suicide Awareness Veterans Engaged) and Military Basketball Association playoffs and MBA Championship Game in 2023 and 2024.