The Minnesota PGA and its charitable arm, PGA REACH Minnesota, and Treasure Island Resort & Casino are hosting the inaugural 100 Holes for HOPE on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at Mount Frontenac Golf Course in Frontenac, Minnesota.
The mission for 100 Holes for HOPE is to involve PGA Professionals, military veterans and other golf enthusiasts in a marathon round of 100 holes on the longest day of the year. The day will also include golf clinics for veterans and their families as well as a celebration after the 100 holes have been completed. Proceeds from 100 Holes for HOPE will benefit PGA REACH Minnesota; specifically, its PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program as well as Disabled American Veterans.
A small group of PGA Professionals and veterans will be playing all 100 holes in support of our nation’s heroes. Two of these veterans, Jeremy Wolfsteller and Martin Caraway, have unique stories and are thrilled to show what the game of golf has meant to their recovery process while raising funds for other veterans in need.
Wolfsteller had a severe injury in 2005 and was told he may never walk again. Thanks to his motivation and drive to prove others wrong, he is not only walking, but playing golf regularly.
“After my injury, I started physical therapy in Fort Carson, Colorado Springs. There was a nice golf course on base and I asked my doctors if I was cleared to play. Once they gave me approval, it became my new therapy, both physically and mentally,” said Wolfsteller, who had lifesaving surgery after being injured in combat operations in Iraq in 2005. “My interest in this event is to bring awareness to other veterans who might be struggling and show them that we can’t quit, life is short and when you push yourself you’ll be surprised about how much you can still do.”
Wolfsteller’s playing partner in 100 Holes for HOPE, Caraway, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1999 and served six years including two deployments in Iraq, has dedicated his professional life to serving veterans, their families and caregivers. Like Wolfsteller, he is also an avid golfer who has reaped the benefits the game offers.
“Golf has been instrumental in my transition and recovery. The game requires discipline, integrity, focus, and patience. Most of those attributed, I thought I already carried, but focus and patience were two that I knew I needed help with,” Caraway emphasized. “The game of golf allows us to work on those traits at our own pace. To be outdoors with the smell of fresh cut grass surrounding you and sound of birds speaking is very tranquil. It allows you to pause and think of life through the lens of golf. We’ll make bogeys more often than birdies, but the mistakes make the success all the sweeter. I am doing this because I love the game of golf and what it has done for me. More importantly, if I can ever do anything that will have a positive impact on a veteran, I’m all in.”
The efforts from these two passionate veterans and about a dozen other participants will provide funding for more veterans to participate in PGA HOPE programming.
PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH Minnesota. PGA HOPE aims to provide a therapeutic rehabilitation introduction to golf and is readily available to all veterans with physical, emotional and PTSD challenges who would benefit most from such a program. There are currently six PGA HOPE chapters in Minnesota.
For more information on how to participate or get involved, please visit 100HolesforHOPE.com. This is an open media event.