Montcalm GC hosts veterans through PGA HOPE program

Montcalm Golf Club PGA professional Kim O’Neil teaches veterans and veterans with disabilities the proper grip of golf clubs as part of the PGA HOPE program.

ENFIELD, New Hampshire – Montcalm Golf Club a premier, semi-private golf course in New Hampshire is teaming up with PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), to introduce golf to veterans with disabilities. PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America.

Montcalm’s PGA HOPE events run for eight weeks with free instruction from 11:30-1:00 p.m. A number of local veterans from the Vermont Veterans Administration visit the club as a way to introduce golf to veterans with disabilities.

Kim O’Neil, a PGA professional (head golf professional at Wentworth Golf Club, Jackson, NH and member of the New England Section PGA started the PGA HOPE New England chapter in 2017, in memory of his father, a disabled veteran from World War 2. O’Neil who lives in North Conway NH, is trained in adaptive golf instruction and military cultural competency and has instructed more than 100 veterans with disabilities the past five years.

Rich Leeman, an Army veteran, is set to take a swing at golf, under the watchful eye of PGA instructor Kim O’Neil. Leeman and other veterans participate in the PGA HOPE Program held at Montcalm Golf Club.

“This is a great way to introduce golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being,” said Steve Rogers, Director of Golf at Montcalm Golf Club.

The nearby White River Junction, Vermont Veterans Administration brings golfers to the course and enrolls veterans in the program through a developmental 6 – 8-week curriculum, taught by PGA Professionals who are trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. All programs are funded by PGA REACH and supplemented by PGA Section Foundations, so the cost of programming is free to all Veterans.

PGA HOPE has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which enables Recreational Therapists to refer Veterans to the PGA HOPE program as a form of therapy. Through a robust program strategy, PGA HOPE aspires to create a physically and emotionally healthier Veteran community by shaping lives, changing lives, and possibly saving lives through the game of golf.

Montcalm Golf Club is a par 72, 6,829-yards semi-private course opened in 2003 designed by Wogan & Sargent GCA, Inc.

“Montcalm is a place of serenity and calm and a great escape for our veterans to enjoy a day of golf. The PGA HOPE program offers great instruction, and the bonus is to be in a natural surrounding with outstanding panoramic mountain views of Killington, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and Mt. Ascutney, as well as rolling hills of velvet fairways and greens,” added Rogers.

Golf Digest recognized Montcalm Golf Club among the top-10 best new private courses in the U.S. in 2005, and the magazine acknowledged Montcalm again in 2007 as one of the best in New Hampshire.

Jim got his start in golf writing with a gig at a Connecticut-based golf magazine, where he interviewed Ernie Els, among others. Since then, he’s covered tournaments for the LPGA, PGA Tour, Champions Tour and many amateur events. His work has been published in a number of magazines including GolfBoston Travel & Leisure, Southern New England Golf, New England Golf Monthly and Rhode Island Monthly. Jim ‘s favorite golf courses are Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor, Maine, Pebble Beach and Furry Creek in Vancouver B.C. and almost any Donald Ross course. Jim can be reached by email at

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