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VA program offers golf lessons from pros

Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 08:00:04-05

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — For golfers, getting back into the swing of things for before spring shows up, can be tough. For veterans, getting back into the swing of things after a deployment, is more often than not, a lot tougher.

"It's an outlet to get out there with the guys again and get the camaraderie you had in the military," said Scott Smalter, a Navy veteran. He is one of 40 plus veterans at the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome in the Town of Tonawanda. For the next six weeks they'll learn about the game of golf.

They'll receive professional instruction from local PGA golf pros.

"You're kind of back together with your band of brothers, going through a week by week, a progression, together as a team," said Steven Bartkowski, the PGA executive director for WNY.

It's called the PGA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program. It has been happening in Western New York every summer since 2013. But, this is the first year the VA has offered winter golf lessons..

This winter's course is full, but check with the VA if you know someone who might be interested for this summer's PGA Hope Program.