The Tennessee Golf Foundation is excited to announce that Steve Reed of Franklin has been selected by PGA REACH as a PGA HOPE National Ambassador, representing the PGA HOPE TENNESSEE chapter.
The PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program helps Veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf provides, and is offered at no cost to Veterans. Led by PGA Professionals, there are currently more than 165 PGA HOPE programs, helping approximately 3,500 Veterans annually.
The Tennessee Golf Foundation and the Tennessee Section PGA started a PGA HOPE chapter at Golf House Tennessee in Franklin in 2016, under the leadership of Golf House PGA Professionals Valerie Vaughn and Paul Stanek. Since its inception, the Golf House Tennessee chapter has had over 300 graduates of the program. The program has also recently expanded to other golf courses around the state.
“It is just very special to see the impact this program has on the lives of these veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving our country,” said Vaughn. “These men and women come into the program and realize that it’s so much more than just golf.”
“They regain a sense of camaraderie and fellowship. With the alarming suicide rate amongst our veterans, programs like PGA HOPE help save lives. Our graduates are beginning to get out and enjoy life more because of PGA HOPE and they realize people do care.”
Reed becomes the second Tennessean to be named a National Ambassador, joining Clark Harrison. Together, these two will help move PGA HOPE TENNESSEE forward by working with veterans, partners and volunteers statewide.
Harrison is an employee with Veteran Affairs and works with judges in VetCourt to refer veterans to the PGA HOPE program. Harrison also represents PGA HOPE TENNESSEE through networking and public speaking engagements.
Reed first joined the United States Army in 1978, serving four tours before retiring from civil service in 2016. He was involved in an IED attack in Iraq in 2005 and was treated for PTSD for several years when he returned home.
Reed did not play golf for 20 years before the PGA HOPE TENNESSEE program reignited his enthusiasm and helped him continue to move forward in life.
“Steve has the leadership skills to be a tremendous representative for PGA HOPE TENNESSEE on the national level,” Vaughn said. “He is at every single military initiative at Golf House Tennessee. He shows up early, he is the last to leave, and does whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Steve will attend PGA HOPE National Golf and Wellness Week in October, where he will complete a specialized training program, which includes advanced golf instruction and wellness training for healthy living.
The Tennessee Golf Foundation strives daily to help our veterans through the game of golf, including initiatives like the PGA HOPE program. Recently the TGF amended its mission statement to reflect this, stating: “To promote golf and its life-enhancing values, with an emphasis on teaching youth, our veterans, and the disadvantaged.”