Using Golf to Promote Health and Wellness in NJ Schools
Steve Adubato talks to Chris Hunt, Executive Director of the NJ Golf Foundation, about how his organization is using golf to promote health and wellness in New Jersey’s schools and communities.
"Steve Adubato, we are proud to be at the 2016 PGA Championship at beautiful Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, and our honor to be talking to Chris Hunt, executive director New Jersey Golf Foundation. By the way, what is the foundation? The New Jersey Golf Foundation is a 501(c)3 started by the New Jersey PGA Section in 2004. It has three pillars. A youth pillar, a military pillar, and a special needs pillar. And the mission is to positively impact lives in communities through the game of golf. Let's talk a little bit about this. The PGA Junior League is? The PGA Junior League is a relaxed way to get beginner golfers out playing golf in a relaxed atmosphere. Most golf is stressful, a lot of the Junior tours are competitive. But PGA Junior League's... they have numbers on the back of their jerseys, they come out as a team, they play a relaxed rules golf, and it's just a way to introduce and get kids on the golf course that otherwise probably would go to another sport. And for folks who don't appreciate or understand this or understand it, our boys are 12 and 13 as we do this program, and I've tried to get them out there with me, and it's tough to keep them out there for all 18. And so you play a few holes, are there any keys for parents who would want to get their kids into the game no matter where they live, inner city, urban, suburban, rural environment? I would say, you should really look out for your local PGA professional, whether that be at a local private club or a local public golf course. A lot of people don't realize that you can go to a private club and get instruction from a PGA member if even... if you are not a member of that club. And I think if you reach out through PGA Junior League Golf on their website, find a local team in your area, a lot of 'em are... have open tryouts and a lot of 'em don't even often have a tryout, they'll accept anybody on their team that's interested in the game. The other area you talked about is veterans, is there a particular program, is it called PGA HOPE? Yeah. What is that program? HOPE is an acronym for Helping Our Patriots Everywhere. It's run through the VA. There's a partnership between the PGA of America and the VA. And what we do is we use golf as an additional rehabilitation widget if you will, when the member... when the veterans are up in the hospital and they go through their treatment, we get 'em out on the golf course, get 'em in a relaxed atmosphere, bring PGA professionals in..."