Open to the public, new facility to host golf programs for disabled military veterans and Special Olympics athletes; PGA pro Andy Brock named director of instruction
(L to R) John Griffith, Acting Executive Director of Medical Center, VA New Jersey Health Care System; Jared Forest, PGA Works Fellow, Ambassador and PGA HOPE Veteran; Chris Hunt, executive director, New Jersey Golf Foundation; James Baldassare, Jr., Mayor of Bernards Township & Veteran and Mike Attara, PGA Professional & Chairman, New Jersey Golf Foundation participate in the departure ceremony during the grand opening of the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center located on the campus of Lyon of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, in Bernards Township.
Bedminster, NJ,…Disabled military veterans and Special Olympics athletes from New Jersey joined dignitaries from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Somerset County, NJ, as the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), the charitable arm of the New Jersey Chapter, PGA of America (NJPGA), officially opened the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center located at the Lyons Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System in Bernards Township.
The multipurpose facility – which is now open to the public – will serve as the home site for the NJGF’s lineup of dynamic golf programs, highlighted by PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), a rehabilitation 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 as well as their unified partners – who will have access to the facility to prepare for the state, regional, national and international golf. competitions.
PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to improve their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. It is the only adaptive golf program that has a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Veterans Affairs and allows recreation therapists to refer veterans to the PGA HOPE program as a form of therapy. The Rehabilitation Golf Program, offered FREE to veterans, positively impacts more than 4,500 veterans nationwide each year.
“As golf grows in popularity, the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center provides a venue to expand our programming to youth, military veterans and those with special needs,” said Mike Attara, president of New Jersey Golf. Foundation. “This is an opportunity to further support America’s Heroes, while providing a top notch training facility for the surrounding community as it is open to the public.”
Rounding out the opening, NJPGA professional Andy Brock has been appointed as the facility’s Instructional Director, where lessons and a diverse range of player development programs will be available to the general public. A decorated PGA member for nearly 25 years, Brock is a longtime supporter of the NJGF, having served as president in 2010-2011 and as a member of the board of directors for several years. His commitment to volunteerism also includes serving as an NJPGA chapter officer, including a stint as president from 2012 to 2014.
Prior to his new role, Brock served as Chief PGA Professional at Metuchen Golf & Country Club for 20 years (2001-2020) and most recently served as Director of Instruction at Golf Range at Branchburg, Branchburg, New Jersey. An accomplished player, Brock was captain of the University of Richmond golf team before becoming a member of the PGA. He was named the 2014 NJPGA Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, which is the chapter’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 includes 22 strike stations, will be open to the public 7 days a week from April 1 to November 15 (weather permitting). Hours of operation are 9am (10am on Wednesdays for maintenance) until dark – shooting bullets being sold out until 30 minutes before dark.
For more information on the Inspiration golf course and activity centre, visit www.inspirationgolfrange.org.
About the New Jersey Golf Foundation
Founded in 2004, the New Jersey Golf Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and the charitable arm of the New Jersey Section, PGA of America. Through a wide range of programs, the NJGF upholds a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) with the goal of evolving the makeup of the game of golf to better reflect the wide range of differences in our society in general. With a focus on 3 main pillars (Youth, Military, Special Needs), NJGF’s mission is to positively impact lives and communities through the game of golf. Led by PGA professionals, the NJGF offers dynamic programming that allows people from all walks of life to experience the game of golf in a welcoming environment. Flagship programs include Golf In Schools, held annually in over 200 schools, reaching over 120,000 boys and girls (K-8); PGA Junior League with more than 80 teams and 1,300 children under 13 throughout New Jersey; Special Olympics New Jersey Golf and programming for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and PGA HOPE, the flagship military program that introduces golf to veterans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.njgolffoundation.org.