Veterans from New Jersey participate in PGA Hope Secretary’s Cup

A group of military veterans in Bergen County is helping to virtually tee off PGA Championship week.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2021, 1:59 AM

Updated 1,102 days ago


A group of military veterans in Bergen County is helping to virtually tee off PGA Championship week.
The annual PGA Hope Secretary’s Cup is a nine-hole golf competition for military veterans. It runs in conjunction with PGA Championship week.
“We use golf and the instruction of PGA professionals to work on the mental, physical and social wellbeing of our veterans,” says New Jersey Golf Foundation executive director Christopher Hunt.
Retired Marine and Lawrenceville native James Csogi describes the program as therapy through golf.
“The veteran suicide rate is up to 22 per day. But through golf and through the golfers that I know…the golf program through the PGA Hope and other programs have really helped them,” Csogi says.
While the event would usually take place near the host site for the PGA Championship, organizers found a pandemic-friendly way to do it this year. The 12 teams are playing at seven different sites across the country. Team New Jersey will be playing at the prestigious Ridgewood Country Club.
“We’re honored to be here at the famed Ridgewood Country Club. They have a wonderful facility and the camaraderie on the golf course will be tremendous and really what the program is all about,” says Hunt.
And while team New Jersey has won the event twice before, the competitors say that it is not all about the trophy. They say that the most important part is the brotherhood.
“You talk to like-minded people that know your experiences. They know what you've been through and it's a good way for self-medication that's not a narcotic form or alters your state of mind,” says Joshua Sears, of the U.S. Army. “Many good things and positive things come out of this.
Team New Jersey finished in 10th place on Monday, but the golfers said they still had a great time.
The PGA Championship tees off later this week at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

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