Golf to Assist Marines at Camp Lejeune

PGA professional Judy Alvarez of Palm City, Fla., will be a guest instructor November 28 and address her peers on how to be better golf instructors for 50 to 100 wounded Marines currently being treated at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Marines will learn how to use golf as part of their rehabilitation for the injuries they received in the line of duty.

Alvarez began her professional golf career in 1993 as an instructor for golfers with disabilities. Since then she has become the PGA of America's National Trainer for the disabled, traveling throughout the country and meeting the hundreds of veterans and wounded warriors.

"The look on their faces when they hit a ball or realize that maybe football isn't their sport anymore, but - wow - the game of golf is something that they can do and do well," said Alvarez. "I think it's neat when I have heard numerous military say that they thought golf was a dumb sport or something to that effect and now due to an injury they are giving it a try and realize that it's not easy, but they sure do like the challenge."

Bruce Oliver, a PGA master professional and PGA head professional at Paradise Point Golf Course in Camp Lejeune, will be among the golf professionals at Alvarez's seminar. "I am excited about the possibility of teaching our great Marines how to have fun on the golf course after their injury," said Oliver. "Our goal is to have anyone in rehabilitation at Camp Lejeune be exposed to golf as a part of their recovery."

Once Alvarez concludes the training session, the PGA professionals she guides will be providing instruction to wounded Marines from Camp Lejeune. The Marines will receive a curriculum that goes well beyond the basic Rules of Golf and golf's fundamental skills. The professionals will be able to employ techniques that would utilize adaptive equipment where necessary, demonstrate how golf may be used as part of rehabilitation, and teach safety concerns in swinging a golf club and the importance of stretching.

"They love that we are taking time out of our schedules to help them learn to hit a ball for the first time or to relearn a modified swing with gadgets and assistive devices," Alvarez said. "I look at their injuries and say, 'Thank you very much for going overseas to defend my country.' I want to give back to them and they appreciate that."

For more information about the PGA of America/Disabled Sports Military Golf Program, visit . To find a PGA professional who teaches those with disabilities, visit