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March 5, 2020

Benny Menton: Host PGA HOPE at your Indoor Range

Benny Menton, the 2019 PGA Minnesota Section Patriot Award Recipient, is a PGA Teaching Professional at PGA Tour Superstore, in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Benny Menton on the importance of hosting PGA HOPE at your indoor range:

After several years of introducing the game of golf to our nation’s military heroes, the great successes of PGA HOPE have been storied and well-documented. After attending a seminar given by Judy Alvarez, the 2019 PGA National Patriot Award Recipient, where she declared, “This class may change somebody’s life,” I knew this program was something that I wanted to be part of. I started asking questions about the program and reached out to our local VA Hospital. Working at the PGA Tour Superstore, we have the facility to create stations – hitting bays, putting green, and simulators. We also have perfect climate year-round, a perk here in Minnetonka, Minnesota. We also established a partnership with Viverant, a local physical therapy office, to provide additional services to our veterans within the program. We also host themed days as part of the overall PGA HOPE program, covering specific topics like putting, irons, woods, etc. I recruit volunteers and am fortunate to have another PGA Professional dedicated to what we’re doing. We host two eight-week sessions – one from fall into winter – the other from winter to early spring, taking advantage of our indoor environment. One very special touch with which we punctuate our efforts is to take the first of the two program groups to TopGolf at the conclusion of their eight weeks, and the second group to a local course for some on-course play, celebrating the end of winter and the start of a new life of golf for our veterans. We’re working on driving this to all 41 PGA Tour Superstores. With PGA Reach grants available, it behooves professionals to get PGA HOPE-certified and map out your plan. With funds raised, we provide a pullover, hat, and shirt, to each participant, not to mention the life-changing experience of learning the game of golf.

Benny Menton on the business impact of hosting PGA HOPE at your indoor range:

It is highly gratifying to know you are doing something good for someone. Introducing golf to local veterans has changed my life as much as theirs, but in different ways of course. I get to know our participants’ stories and understand them as individuals – that is vital to the connections and long-lasting relationships that can develop. In addition, the veterans are making new friends and enjoying the social aspect of the game, as much as the physical challenge that golf provides. We now have 10 PGA HOPE chapters in Minnesota, a growing mission that enhances the lives of everyone involved, both teacher and student. We get other local businesses on board to provide funding, services, and volunteers as needed. It is an ideal way for them to give back to their community, just as we are at PGA Tour Superstore.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email bennymenton@hotmail.com