July 3, 2015 AUGUSTA, GA-- This July 4th weekend, we thank the military for their service. While the game of golf provides a huge service to the military.
A new program, the Veteran Golfers Association, is taking their support another step forward for our servicemen and women.
The VGA started only a year ago, and is already making a difference. Several of our local military members are part of the program, readying for the chance of a lifetime.
Later this year, the VGA will host its inaugural National Championship, but the game of golf is the main prize. Local veteran Jonathon Knight says the sport has been vital in his return home.
"The game of golf, for me, is extremely therapeutic and has very much changed my life. I try to tell as many veterans to get into the game. When this organization came about...it's life-changing, it's great," Knight said.
Knight was deployed twice, spending 12 months in Afghanistan. He only picking up golf after his service was complete. Now, he's hoping to compete in the VGA national championship. In August, the VGA will host eight regional qualifiers. From there, the flight winners get an all-expenses paid trip to play for the national title at historic Pinehurst on Veterans Day. The site of the 2014 US Open.
"I imagine, it would be extremely life-changing...to get to go to Pinehurst for a four-day trip and get to play Pinehurst No. 2. I mean, even if you don't win, you still get to go play one of the nicest golf courses in the country," Knight said.
The perks don't end on Veterans day. The national champion also earns the trip of a lifetime to Augusta-- a badge for the 2016 Masters.
You can find the Veteran Golfers Association at www.vgagolf.org or on facebook at www.facebook.com/vgagolf