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Finding Peace on the Fairway: The Transformative Power of PGA HOPE


The Springfield Park District hosts an annual free program known as PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), which aims to assist veterans in transitioning to civilian life through the game of golf. 

One such participant, Matthew Sorenson, a United States Marine Corps veteran, struggled with PTSD upon returning from deployment. Despite initial apprehension, Matthew attended his first PGA HOPE clinic and was warmly welcomed by Lead HOPE Instructor and Head PGA Pro Lance Flury, himself a United States Air Force veteran. With the support of his wife Kristi, who encouraged him to revisit his childhood love of golf, Matthew found solace and purpose on the course, experiencing a positive shift in his battle with PTSD.

Matthew's journey reflects the challenges many veterans face upon returning home, and the importance of programs like PGA HOPE in providing support and a sense of community. The Springfield Park District is proud to offer this golf program free of charge to active duty military members and veterans. To learn more about this opportunity, visit gatewaypga.org/military or call 217-786-4111.

In recognition of his remarkable progress and dedication, Matthew Sorenson was honored as the 2023 PGA REACH Gateway Veteran of the Year. Let us extend our heartfelt congratulations to Matthew on this well-deserved achievement.

To learn more about Matthew's journey, please click here.

Photo by: PGA