My husband attended the SMGA clinics in 2015. He was injured in Afghanistan in 2009. Prior to his injury he was very active in all sorts of sports, ranging from soccer to swimming and running. My husband is athletically gifted. After his injury he faced new challenges. He lost his right leg and also had other physical limitations. I could see that he was trying to find his place in the world after his injury. He wasnt sure what he could or couldn't do with new limitations. He started the clinics at SMGA and something changed. I saw that my husband had finally found a sport he could do, and it wasnt taxing on his leg or the rest of his body. He started loving golf and he got better at it, all thanks to the SMGA program. We both attended the clinics and they are top notch. The staff is so supportive and kind. He found a great family in the SMGA folks SMGA far exceeded my expectations and I can say the same thing for him. I am so happy that he found this program. It truly changed his life and gave him a physical activity that he now looks forward to. It gave him a new brotherhood as well. It also brought out his competitive side, which I know is also healthy to have. I would highly recommend this program to any injured veterans and their families.
The SMGA truly changed my life for the better. After being injured in Afghanistan I ended up in Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital to recovery from my wounds. There were countless doctors, nurses, therapists, and organizations that helped me rebuild myself into the person that I am today. By far one of the most important moments of my recovery was attending one of the SMGA clinics (Maryland Chapter) with a friend. It's hard to put into words the healing and growth that happens goes well beyond learning the game of golf.
For all the service members out there who are looking for a challenge, I cannot recommend the clinics (or American Golfer Program for those not near a local chapter) enough. Bring your family as it is truly an encompassing healing & fun experience.
More importantly, if you want to help those who have served, I cannot stress how much of an impact the individual volunteers have had on my life. This is one of the greatest organizations that I have been blessed enough to benefit from, and all the credit goes to the men and women who decided that they would take a step towards helping and volunteering for myself and my fellow service members.
SMGA helped me find a new purpose in life. They helped me get my life together through golf. Find my center. Helped me with my PTSD, anger, and anxiety by teaching me that life like golf is one swing at a time. Slow down and think before your next move. Absolutely great organization.
I can't say enough good things about this organization. My boyfriend was very grateful to have been given such personalized golf lessons, but he especially loved learning with other Veterans. PTSD is such an over-looked and misunderstood condition that so many soldiers must deal with and tackle on a daily basis. This set up allows veterans to redirect and focus on something healthy and is so very helpful in so many ways. The staff, the volunteers, the entire set up is beautifully done, very detailed and just truly amazing! Its humbling for me and well-deserved by those that have served and protected our country. A HUGE thank you!
This great group is doing wonderful things for veterans. I was able to get 6 lessons at Chambers Bay home of the 2015 US Open from there head golf professional and then was fitted for a set of Taylor made Golf clubs. It has changed my golf game 100%. They are now doing group clinics at Chambers Bay so we can get to know other veterans and golfers in our own areas. Please keep up the great work.
An incredible organization with an incredible mission! SMGA is comprised of dedicated volunteers who provide a much needed outlet for our wounded veterans.
Jim and team provide tailored golf instruction depending on each individuals personal challenges. My five year old son also enjoys volunteering.
I've been involved with the SMGA for over five years as a volunteer. Few nonprofits are as hands-on and receive immediate results as what SMGA accomplishes with our wounded veterans. The therapeutic work the organization carries out - led by Jim Estes and his team of highly skilled PGA instructors - is proven to create better lives for the heroic men and women who have sacrificed to protect our freedom.
SMGA helped open doors for me post injury. It allowed me to reconnect with many of the wounded veterans I had met throughout my time at Walter Reed, and allowed me to grow an extensive professional network through their golf opportunities. I am forever in their debt for helping me transition into civilian life.
I just started playing golf and I love it! I was diagnosed with TBI and had left and right shoulder surgeries. I go to a lot of different types of therapy for TBI, but golf is by far the best not just because I get to spend the day at a beautiful golf course and play a game that I fell in love with but because my brain is always working. I am always strategizing each shot, I'm trying to dig deep and remember what a perfect 200, 100, and 50 yard shot feels like to get me the best out come oN the golf course, and who knows maybe I'll get to use the divot fixer I bought hah. And trying to get the ball to go long and straight with 2 shoulders that are never going to be 100 percent again was nothing for the guys at SMGA . PGA Jim Estes and all the other PGA instructers that come out and help teach are so good with the basic fundamentals of golf that they can help anyone meet their goals with the game of golf it truly is amazing! And then to be afforded the chance to get a free set of custom fitted clubs I would have never thought I would have a set! I thought a used set of clubs off craigslist would have been the way to go. So again, thanks to SMGA once again they made dreams a reality! So with that being said if you have never played golf or already love the game of golf I highly recommend checking out SMGA! And seeing everything they do for wounded veterans I didn't even mention half of what they have to offer, it's truly an amazing non-profit.
After being injured in Afghanistan in 2011 I wasn't sure what physical activities I would still be able to do. The one thing I had always enjoyed during my military service was playing golf. The Salute to Military Golf Association got me out of the hospital and back on the golf course. Through the Saturday clinics and playing opportunities I was able meet men and women who were going through the same struggles I was going through.I enjoyed the camaraderie, the physical challenge, and the mental stimulation of being competitive in a sport again. After 4 years of being with the program, I can honestly say it was a key component of my recovery and instrumental in getting me back on my feet. The staff and volunteers make this program my favorite. I look forward to every Saturday that I can go back, but this time as a mentor to the injured veterans that are going through the same struggles that I did. I would recommend this program to any wounded veteran that is looking for a challenge, camaraderie, and healing. SMGA has given me something that I can take with me forever, I may never be able to run with my kids down the road, but I know that I will be able to play golf. The program showed me there is a place I can go when the days are tough that will put me in a calm place, a place I can be around my peers, and a place that I can heal.