Military veterans with disabilities and Special Olympics New Jersey athletes joined dignitaries from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Somerset County, as the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), the charitable arm of the New Jersey Section, PGA of America (NJPGA), officially opened the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center located on the Lyons Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, in Bernards Township.
The multi-purpose facility – which is now open to the public – will serve as the home-site for the NJGF’s line-up of dynamic golf programming, highlighted by PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) a rehabilitative golf program for military Veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI, among other challenges. To complement military programming, the Inspiration Golf Range will host youth programs and serve as a training site for Special Olympics New Jersey Golf Athletes along with their Unified Partners – who will have access to the facility to prepare for State, Regional, National & International golf competitions.
PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. It is the only adaptive golf program that has an MOU with the Department of Veterans Affairs and enables recreational therapists to refer Veterans to the PGA HOPE program as a form of therapy. The rehabilitative golf program, offered FREE of Charge for Veterans, positively impacts more than 4,500 Veterans nationwide each year.
“As golf surges in popularity, the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center offers a venue to extend our programming for youth, military Veterans and individuals with special needs,” said Mike Attara, president, New Jersey Golf Foundation. “This is an opportunity to further support America’s Heroes, while also providing a premier practice facility for the surrounding community, as it is open to the public.”
To complement the opening, NJPGA Professional Andy Brock has been named the Director of Instruction at the facility, where lessons and a diverse line-up of player development programs will be available for the general public. A decorated PGA member for nearly 25 years, Brock has been a longtime advocate of the NJGF having served as President in 2010-11 and a member of the Board of Directors for several years. His commitment to volunteerism also includes serving as an Officer of the NJPGA Section, including a stint as President from 2012-14.
Prior to his new role, Brock served as the head PGA professional at Metuchen Golf & Country Club for 20 years (2001-2020) and was most recently the director of instruction at the Golf Range at Branchburg, in Branchburg. An accomplished player, Brock was captain of the University of Richmond Golf team before becoming a PGA Member. He was named the NJPGA Section’s Golf Professional of the Year in 2014, which is the Section’s highest annual honor.
Founding Partners of The Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center include RWJBarnabas Health; Horizon BCBSNJ; Jersey Mike’s Subs and Premium Companies. The facility, which features 22 Hitting stations, will be Open to the Public 7 days a week from April 1st through November 15th (weather permitting). Operating hours are from at 9am (10am on Wednesday for maintenance) through dark – with range balls being sold up until 30 minutes before dark.
For more information on the Inspiration Golf Range and Activity Center please visit www.inspirationgolfrange.org.
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