Through PGA Team Golf & Other Local Events, NYPD Golf Team is Flourishing
By Ryan Adams, PGA
NYPD Golf Team members at a recent PGA Team Golf event.
During the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, New York City was reeling.
Its well-known New York City Police Department (NYPD) was on the frontlines facing off with the coronavirus, and a mental health crisis was unfolding within their ranks, with a spate of suicides occurring. Something needed to be done.
And that's where golf stepped in.
Under the leadership of NYPD Deputy Commissioner Bob Ganley, Inspector Mark Wachter, and Sergeant Jimmy Hall, the NYPD Health & Wellness Unit created the NYPD Golf Team.
The mission of the newly-formed group is to provide NYPD members — uniformed, civilian, active and retired — with an outlet to de-stress and foster positive and healthy interactions through golf. NYPD Golf Team members live all across the New York City region, from Staten Island to Montauk, from Brooklyn up through the Bronx to Putnam Orange and Westchester counties.
"We are bound by the mission to serve the citizens we protect, as well as each other and we are joined together through the game of golf," a statement reads on their website.
One way the NYPD Golf Team has been growing is through participation in PGA Team Golf. This spring and summer, dozens of NYPD members took part in the local Team Golf tournaments around the New York area. A group has also made it to a past national PGA Team Golf Championship, but no matter the results, the team has already fulfilled their mission: to bring NYPD members together and create positive relationships through golf.
The NYPD has also paired up with the Metropolitan PGA Section to have an impact. Vincenzo Rallo, a PGA Member and NYPD Officer, received a grant from the Metropolitan PGA Foundation for Met PGA Bridges.
It’s a collaborative effort between the Section and NYPD aimed at growing the game for underserved and minority kids to help build police relations within inner city communities. It also introduces the game to a demographic that would probably never be exposed to the game and it gives the youth another sports outlet to pull them away from gangs and keep them on the right path.
Between the NYPD Golf Team and an effort like Met PGA Bridges, NYPD members are using golf to go beyond their line of duty — helping each other, and their communities, through the game.