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Golf Unites This Yonkers Marine Veteran and His Son

PGA HOPE enabled JP Persaud to overcome a serious disability and reunite with his son.

PGA Hope at Ferry Point
PGA Hope at Ferry Point. Photos courtesy of GMG Public Relations, Inc.

JP Persaud was at a low point at the time golf came into his life. The Yonkers resident was undergoing treatment at Montrose VA hospital for severe PTSD that arose from his 10 years of service in the Marine Corps, when he learned about PGA HOPE, a national program available locally through the Met PGA Section.

“I saw these other veterans laughing and joking around playing golf. I signed up for it and it turned my life around,” Persaud says. “Two months after I finished the program, my son came to live with me. Golf totally changed my life for the better.”

Persaud’s son, Jaylen, 14 years old at the time, is today a 22-year-old mechanic who helps his mother care for his two siblings. “I’m very proud of him and the man he has become,” Persaud says. “He’s very responsible and doesn’t let his emotions get in the way in life or on the golf course. He’s just a very high caliber person.”

Jaylen and JP

With his father’s encouragement, Jaylen participated in the First Tee program at Mosholu GC and GameOn Golf Center in Greenburgh. “We play golf every year on my birthday,” Persaud says, “And it’s the highlight of my year.”

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PGA HOPE also gave Persaud entry into a career in golf. In 2016, he was in one of the first groups of veterans in the local PGA HOPE program, which was built around group lessons at the West Point GC with PGA pros from metro area clubs. There he connected with several pros including Pete Stefanchik, Nick Iacono, and Brian Crowell, who encouraged him to pursue the game. His first golf career position was in outside service at Brae Burn CC in Purchase. Today Persaud is a master club fitter at PXG Golf in New Rochelle.

In 2019, Persaud was named one of 20 nationwide PGA HOPE Ambassadors. That same year, the national PGA HOPE program was honored by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association with the Paul Dillon Distinguished Service Award. Today, PGA HOPE in the Met Section serves hundreds of veterans every year culminating with an annual celebratory tournament at Bally’s Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

PGA Hope at Ferry Point
PGA Hope at Ferry Point

The celebration is special for JP Persaud. “Golf made a whole lot of room for the peaceful side of me to come out,” he says. “I learned to appreciate life and to plan a future for myself and my son.”

Related: WMGA Celebrates 125 Years of Service in the Region

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