NJGF Newsletter June - July 2024

President's Message

Mike Attara, President, NJGF

On behalf of the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF) and our Board of Directors, thank you for your continued support as we continue to fulfill our mission of impacting lives and communities through the game of golf.

The positive impact of the PGA HOPE program continues to shine as an ABC Localish feature story centered on NJPGA HOPE Ambassador Garret Hrynko received a New York Emmy Award last year. It was incredibly meaningful as Garret and his family stopped by the Inspiration Golf Range to showcase the award.

Moreover, it was a privilege to watch current NJPGA HOPE Ambassador and U.S. Army Veteran Charlie Wilcox throw out the ceremonial first pitch during a Veterans Appreciation Day at a Somerset Patriots baseball game. I would be remiss if I did not give a special shout out to NJPGA Professional Brian Mackey, we salute you for your commitment to support America's Heroes and NJGF programming.

The LPGA was back in New Jersey this spring, and as rising star Rose Zhang captured the Cognizant Founders Cup, the NJGF was on-site at Upper Montclair CC hosting a youth clinic for the next generation

It was an honor to recognize Madelyn Beirne as our 2024 Famiano Scholarship recipient, she is an inspiration to so many. Please mark your calendars for the 2024 NJGF Golf Classic on August 19th at Baltusrol Golf Club, limited spots still available.

As always, we appreciate the commitment from our partners & donors, as your continued support allows us to make a more meaningful impact in communities across the state. If you are looking to get involved this year, please contact the NJGF’s Executive Director, Chris Hunt at chunt@pgahq.com or (732) 465-1212 and follow us on social media throughout the year.

Mike Attara, President, NJGF

South Bergen Jointure Commission (Lodi) Tees Off At Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club

The New Jersey Golf Foundation is committed to inclusion, while making the game of golf accessible for all, including individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thanks to a variety of programs, individuals in underserved populations have an opportunity to experience the game of golf. On June 4th, a group of students from the South Bergen Jointure Commission-Lodi, visited Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club for their annual “golf experience” field trip.

The kids had an opportunity to tour the golf course, practice putting, work on their short game, and they watched the NJPGA/NJGF’s Christina Paulsen play the 9th hole.

Canoe Brook Country Club Supports NJGF – Donates 30 Sets of Golf Clubs for Programming

The New Jersey Golf Foundations Salutes Canoe Brook Country Club for donating 30 sets of golf clubs to support PGA HOPE as well as Foundation programs for youth and special needs.

Matt Foley, a dedicated junior golfer with a passion for Veterans, played a pivotal role in this effort. He approached NJGF with a desire to get involved and teamed up with Reed Lansinger, the Director of Golf at Canoe Brook to spearhead the initiative. Together, their collaboration significantly contributed to the club drive's success, which ran throughout the spring, culminating on Memorial Day Weekend.

On June 13th, the New Jersey Golf Foundation staff arrived at Canoe Brook with a truck and some assistance - loading 30 full sets of clubs along with a variety of individual ones. This initiative showcased the community's generosity and commitment to supporting a meaningful cause.

Multi-Sport Student-Athlete Madelyn Beirne named Peter A. Famiano Memorial Scholarship Recipient

The New Jersey Golf Foundation announced Madelyn Beirne of Manahawkin as the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Peter A. Famiano Memorial Scholarship. Beirne was recognized at the Famiano Memorial Pro-Am on June 13th at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. This scholarship, named in honor of Peter Famiano, who served as Head Golf Professional at Crestmont Country Club for over 30 years, recognizes a New Jersey junior golfer for their professionalism, integrity, volunteerism, and willingness to help others. The $2,500 annual scholarship is open to college students of any class year, provided they meet the NJGF Scholarship Committee's standards.

Madelyn Beirne, a 2024 graduate from Southern Regional High School and a four-year varsity letter winner in women's soccer and women's golf, will attend Montclair State University in the fall. She plans to continue her soccer career and aspires to join the women's golf team. With a long history of volunteerism and a passion for mentoring, Beirne is also an advocate for David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation, inspired by her own battle with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 10.

Chris Hunt, Executive Director of NJGF, praised her academic excellence, community service, and resilience, affirming that Peter Famiano would be proud to support her educational journey. Beirne is also the secretary of the National Honor Society and a member of the French Honor Society.

PGA HOPE Ambassador Receives a New York Emmy Award

Photo (L to R) Chris Hunt, Executive Director, New Jersey Golf Foundation; Larry Viarengo, PGA Life Member & PGA HOPE Instructor; Garret Hrynko, New Jersey PGA HOPE Ambassador (2022-23); Bill Spicer, PGA Life Member & PGA HOPE Instructor; Charlie Wilcox, New Jersey PGA HOPE Ambassador (2023-24) at the Inspiration Golf Range, home of the flagship PGA HOPE program on the campus of the VA Medical Center in Lyons, NJ.

United States Army Veteran, Garret Hrynko, holds up his New York Emmy Award, which he received as a Field Producer for the feature “Golf Program for Veterans Spreads HOPE Among Heroes” by ABC Localish in the Military – Short or Long Form Content category. PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a rehabilitative golf program for Veterans that enhances their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. A participant of PGA HOPE, Hrynko credits the program with helping to save his life and assimilate back into society.

Led by PGA of America Golf Professionals who receive specialized training to ensure they are comfortable using adaptive equipment and instructing Military Veterans with PTSD, TBI, amputees and other physical/cognitive challenges, PGA HOPE positively impacts more than 17,000 Veterans across the USA each year. The New Jersey Golf Foundation currently hosts the instructional golf program in all 15 NJPGA serving counties and will positively impact nearly 500 Veterans this year.

Women Veterans Find HOPE Through Golf Program

As PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the flagship military program of the New Jersey Golf Foundation continues to grow across the state, a highlight of the 2024 season thus far is the “Women’s Veterans” program, hosted at Rutgers Golf Course and led by PGA Professionals, Lisa Jensen, Juliet Little and Christi Conroy.

The rehabilitative golf program for military Veterans is truly changing and saving the lives of America’s Heroes, and the opportunity to offer a women Veterans only program, in a welcoming environment, has proved incredibly successful. Through camaraderie on the golf course, PGA HOPE has helped thousands of Veterans build community through the social interaction the game of golf provides.

Led by more than 80 NJPGA Professionals specially trained to teach Veterans with PTSD, TBI, amputees and other physical/cognitive challenges, the instructional golf program is now available in all 15 NJPGA serving counties and will positively impact approximately 500 Veterans in 2024.

NJPGA HOPE Ambassador Charlie Wilcox Throws out Ceremonial 1st Pitch as Somerset Patriots (New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate) Honor Veterans

Charlie Wilcox, a United States Army Veteran (1987-2004) who served 4 tours in Iraq, and who currently serves as the NJPGA HOPE Ambassador, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Somerset Patriots, the New York Yankees Double-A affiliate, at TD Bank Ballpark on Sunday, May 22. Charlie was recognized for his service during the 19th Annual Veterans of America Day, in conjunction with MiLB’s Armed Forces Weekend - designed to thank the men and women that served in the United States Armed Forces.

Today, Charlie runs outside operations at the Inspiration Golf Range located on the Lyons Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, in Bernards Township, where they host weekly PGA HOPE sessions.

NJ Golf Foundation Supports the LPGA Tour

The LPGA was back in New Jersey this spring, and as rising star Rose Zhang captured the Cognizant Founders Cup, the NJGF was on-site at Upper Montclair CC hosting a youth clinic for the next generation.

Golf fans, families and all attendees received FREE admission to Pro Am Day at the 2024 LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup, courtesy of the New Jersey Golf Foundation.

Additionally, the NJGF hosted a complimentary golf skills clinic on the driving range, where New Jersey PGA and LPGA Professionals provided expert golf instruction to girls and boys in attendance. The kids in attendance received a special treat as the LPGA Tour’s Lauren Hartlage, who finished T-50th in the tournament, joined the clinic to offer expert tips.

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Philanthropy Drives Brian Mackey and North Jersey CC

It’s easy to understand why Brian Mackey, PGA Director of Golf Instruction at North Jersey CC was named the 2022 & 2023 NJPGA Patriot Award recipient...the honor goes to a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

The son of a military Veteran, Brian consistently demonstrates his passion and commitment to support Americas Heroes, through the game of golf.

This spring, Brian served as the lead PGA Professional hosting a weekly PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program @NorthJerseyCC, where Veterans battling physical and cognitive challenges learn and play golf as a form of therapy. More recently, over Memorial Day weekend, Mackey participated in a 100-hole Marathon (walking 100-holes in 1 day) and raised more than $60,000 for PGA HOPE and Folds of Honor.

Thank you, Brian! We admire your continued advocacy of NJGF programs and appreciate the support of the passionate members and leadership team at North Jersey CC.

How Working Out Can Help Your Golf Game

By: Dustin Baldwin, PT, DPT, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest

Have you ever met a golfer that does not want to hit the ball further and straighter? Me neither! Even the Players on Tour share that same goal. Achieving a better golf shot inherently comes down to making great contact between the clubface and the ball. Despite our best efforts, most of us struggle to do that consistently. Sometimes we blame it on the club, sometimes on our friend who snapped his glove off in the middle of our backswing, but the truth is that most of us lack a consistent swing.

How can we build a consistent swing? The most common method involves getting an instructor, spending a few hours at the driving range, and playing 2-3 rounds a week. While this strategy is undoubtedly effective, it can be time and cost-prohibitive. Is there a way to improve your swing consistency in only a few hours a week? The simple answer is yes!

Think of one other motion you do in your daily life that resembles a golf swing. I'll save you some time: almost nothing you do on a regular basis prepares your body to maximally rotate to end range followed by generating peak torque to move from one end range to another. On a basic level, most of us never maximally rotate our body unless we are on a golf course. Yet, we expect our body to product that motion on command from the moment we step up to the first tee.

The "Breakfast Ball" and Warmup: The main reason most of us take a “breakfast ball” on the first tee or consistently start our round with a few bad holes is because our bodies are not prepared to swing a golf club. A simple warmup is a great place to start. As little as 5-10 minutes before your round, you can prepare your body to swing with maximum efficiency. However, while this warmup is great and definitely advised, many of us have underlying strength and mobility restrictions even after a warmup that limit our ability to perform an effective golf swing.

As mentioned before, almost none of us rotate throughout the day, so our rotators become weak and limited. Eliminating this limitation allows you to unlock your body’s ability to produce a consistent golf swing. How can you train your body to rotate better? Rotate more! Adding rotation-based exercises into your regular exercise routine will strengthen your ability to perform this motion on command and give you the necessary tools to become a consistent golfer.

In pain when you golf? Looking for additional ways to improve your game? Consider a full golf fitness evaluation. Through 16 specific tests, we can determine the exact limitations that are affecting your game.

About TPI Certification: Through constant research and years spent working with amateur and professional golfers, the Titleist Performance Institute created a systematic way to evaluate a golfer’s body/wing connection. The body/swing connection establishes a link between a golfer’s physical attributes and the way they swing a golf club. Through physical screening and swing analysis a TPI clinician will compare a golfer’s handicap with their fitness handicap to determine an individualized plan to improve their golf game.

As a TPI team we believe that there is no one best way to swing a golf club, but there is one best way for each individual to swing a golf club based off their physical characteristics. We also believe in a collaborative approach. We have a large team including golf professionals, medical professionals and fitness experts to ensure that we can make every golfer the most efficient, effective, and as healthy as they can be.

Eighteen of the last 20 Majors were won by a player advised by a TPI Certified Expert, 25 of the top 30 players in the world according to Golf Word Rankings are advised by a TPI Certified Expert. If you are looking to improve your golf game, or get back to the game you love, you should have a TPI Certified Expert on your team.

The Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation centers are open and ready to help you achieve your goals. With four locations in West Orange, Millburn and Livingston, the experienced and compassionate staff at Cooperman Barnabas Rehabilitation offers adults and children the specialized care they need to resume an active life after surgery, injury or illness. They are committed to providing patients with the most advanced services in a safe, caring and soothing environment. For high-risk patients who are unable to visit in person, telehealth is an option. Patients do not need a prescription for physical therapy services.

To make an appointment with a TPI-Certified Expert at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest, call 973-325-9100.

Special Thank you to our Corporate Partners

Your support of the NJGF allows us to make a more meaningful impact throughtout the communities we serve.