ON ICE: PGA GOLFERS VS. RED WINGS
Michigan PGA, Detroit Red Wings Alumni to Faceoff for Veterans on Feb. 19
DETROIT – The golfers of the Michigan Section PGA, with the help of the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association (DRWAA), plan to demonstrate golfers can play hockey and help armed service veterans in the process when they present the Michigan PGA Red Wings Alumni Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Belfor Training Center at Little Caesars Arena.
The goal of the Michigan PGA and Red Wing Alumni partnership is to raise funds for a trio of veterans service organizations that help Michigan veterans – PGA HOPE (Helping our Patriots Everywhere), the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and Folds of Honor.
The 3 p.m. game with two 30-minute run-time periods will feature a team of Michigan PGA golfer/hockey players taking on the Red Wings Alumni. Scheduled to appear: Mickey Redmond, Dino Ciccarelli, Larry Murphy, Darren McCarty, Joe Kocur, Todd Bertuzzi, John Ogrodnick, Ed Mio and Derian Hatcher.
Vladimir “Vlady” Konstantinov, part of the famous Russian Five that helped the Red Wings win the 1997 Stanley Cup, will be dropping the puck in the ceremonial start to the game.
The PGA players and their coaches are raising a minimum of $500 each for the veteran’s groups with a goal of raising over $50,000. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are available to purchase. Spectator tickets are not being sold due to limited seating and parking. Learn more at michiganpga.com.
George Bowman, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club in Clarkston, is also the secretary for the DRWAA and is leading the partnership effort for the game.
“Hockey players want to be golfers and this game will show you that some golf professionals made a successful transition from hockey to golf while helping veterans all at the same time,” Bowman said. “I know I transitioned to golf because golf courses/equipment smell better.”
Bowman will play with the PGA professionals, which will have a team that also includes former NHL player Dean Kolstad, the current president of the Michigan PGA Section and Director of Golf at Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort near Kalamazoo.
John Lindert, the current President of the PGA of America and the PGA Director of Golf at Country Club of Lansing, will serve as a coach for the Michigan PGA team. Several members of the Michigan PGA squad have collegiate, club, and even professional hockey experience like Brandon Scero of Salem Hills Golf Club and Matt Morin of Orchard Lake Country Club.
“The Red Wings are the stars on ice and they do it for fun and to help groups raise money for charitable causes,” Bowman said. “The PGA players are the ones raising the money in this effort and getting to do something they still love – playing hockey.”
TO SPONSOR AND HELP VETERANS: Contact George Bowman, PGA Professional and Secretary of the DRWAA at 248-343-2589.
ABOUT PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere): The flagship military program of the PGA of America introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Golf Professionals across Michigan volunteer time to introduce veterans to the game of golf and the program is free for veterans. Visit pgavillage.com
ABOUT YELLOW RIBBON: The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) is a DoD-wide effort to promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. Visit yellowribbon.mil
ABOUT FOLDS OF HONOR: Folds of Honor provides life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military as well as America’s first responders. On our watch, those who protect our freedoms and our families know they are not forgotten. Visit foldsofhonor.org