The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts non-profit organization, “GOLF FOR ALL” (formerly Northeast Accessible Golf Association) has become an Affiliate of SMGA.
Formed in 2007, by former PGA Tour Professional, Jim Estes, SMGA’s mission is to “incorporate the game of golf into the mental and physical rehabilitation programs of post-9/11 wounded warriors, through evaluation, instruction, equipment, and family-inclusive golf opportunities.”
Since its inception, SMGA has worked with over 1,000 wounded warriors recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD, distributing 300 sets of new, custom fitted clubs to these American heroes. The organization currently has two active chapters, one at Ft. Drum NY and the other at Ft. Eustis, VA. GOLF FOR ALL will become SMGA’s third affiliated program outside its Washington/Maryland base.
GOLF FOR ALL will be working with wounded warriors in the Boston area, providing therapy through instruction, equipment and playing opportunities. GFA is partnering with four Boston area Veterans Administration Hospitals in Bedford, Brockton, Jamaica Plains and West Roxbury, as well as the VA Hospital in Providence, RI.
The GOLF FOR ALL instruction program is headed by Director of Instruction and PGA Professional Bob Beach, Head Professional at Braintree Muncipal GC, along with a staff of other PGA Instructors, Brian Bain, Susan Bond.
Beach recently completed the PGA Adaptive Golf Instruction Certification course developed for the PGA of America by SMGA in collaboration with Penn State University. Bob was named Number 1 Teacher in Massachusetts in 2011 by Golf Digest Magazine, and was awarded his third Horton Smith Award by the New England PGA.
Brian Bain has long been a champion of veteran’s golf, and won the highly prestigious President’s Plaque Award last January from the PGA of America. He has just started a new job with PGA of America for developing golf throughout New England.
Susan Bond, from Weekapaug, R.I., recently won the coveted Bill Strausbaugh Award which recognizes PGA Professionals who have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals from the New England PGA. In addit addition to being a superb teacher, Susan has traveled all over New England encouraging and teaching individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
In announcing that GOLF FOR ALL would become an affiliate of SMGA, President Brian Finan stated that “SMGA is proud to welcome an organization such as Golf For All with its vast experience providing adaptive golf instruction to the SMGA family. The commitment of Golf For All’s principals to serving our nation’s wounded and injured heroes is consistent with SMGA’s Mission. We look forward to a long and outstanding relationship with Golf For All in helping the many wounded warriors in the Boston area.”
GOLF FOR ALL Executive Director, Fred Corcoran, echoed Finan’s sentiments that GFA’s affiliation with SMGA will enhance the organization’s ability to serve the wounded warriors in the Boston area. Corcoran stated that “For the past five years, SMGA has been at the forefront of incorporating golf into the rehabilitation and recovery of wounded and injured military personnel. Through its efforts, many wounded warriors have vastly improved their quality of life by introduction to the great game of golf.. Everyone associated with Golf For All is pleased and proud to become affiliated with SMGA. It is a fantastic organization.”