VA New Jersey Health Care System is proud to welcome the Inspiration Golf Range and Activity Center to the Lyons campus.
The New Jersey Golf Foundation’s (NJGF) program, PFA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a rehabilitative golf program for Veterans living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. It is the only adaptive golf program that has an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs and enables recreational therapists to refer Veterans to the PGA HOPE program as a form of therapy. The rehabilitative golf program, offered free of charge for Veterans, positively impacts more than 4,500 Veterans nationwide each year.
“Our Recreation Therapy staff will be incorporating this opportunity as part of our leisure skills development programming with the Veterans who reside on the residential units," said Laurie Tomaino, Chief of Recreation Therapy. “In addition, we have other Veterans from our CLC who, as permitted, who will be able to use the driving range as well. We are excited to have the driving range back up and running. Golf is beneficial for physical and mental health recovery."
Some of the many benefits of playing golf include: improved heart health, muscular strength and coordination, confidence, self-esteem and sleep; improved brain stimulation, and reduction in stress and anxiety. Golf requires the player to exercise various mental skills while practicing a precise physical skill. The sport requires problem-solving, visualization techniques, trajectory calculations, advanced accuracy, and intense focus, which all increase mental aptitude.
Mr. John Griffith, Acting, Executive Medical Center Director; along with Jared Forest, PGA Works Fellow, PGA HOPE Ambassador & Veteran; Chris Hunt, Executive Director, New Jersey Golf Foundation; James Baldassare, Jr., Mayor of Bernards Township & Veteran and Mike Attara, PGA Professional & President, New Jersey Golf Foundation, participated in the ceremonial tee shot at the grand opening. “This restorative program allows VA New Jersey Health Care System to offer a new therapeutic recreation therapy to our inpatient Veterans along with the possibility of learning the game,” said Mr. Griffith. “All Veterans from the community are welcome before of after clinic appointments or on the weekends.”
“As golf surges in popularity, the Inspiration Golf Range & Activity Center offers a venue to extend our programming for youth, military Veterans and individuals with special needs,” said Mike Attara, President, New Jersey Golf Foundation. “This is an opportunity to further support America’s Heroes, while also providing a premier practice facility for the surrounding community, as it is open to the public.”
The driving range, which features 22 hitting stations, is Open to the Public 7 days a week from April 1st through November 15th (weather permitting).
Operating hours are from 9:00 am (10:00 am on Wednesday for maintenance) through dark - with range balls being sold up until 30 minutes before dark.