An attempt to provide an improved quality of life for COPD patients led to the development of a prototype training program. The final outcome of an initial five-month program was a COPD golf tournament. The program included didactic education sessions, practice golf sessions to increase physical endurance, and the final competitive tournament. The expectations for this program were (1) that because these patients' self-confidence would improve through training, they could serve as role models for other COPD individuals in the community; and (2) that by learning breathing retraining techniques and coupling them with exercise, these patients would raise their tolerance levels, which could benefit other forms of activity in addition to golfing. We found that 7 of the 8 patients involved did increase their self-confidence, as evidenced by their being able to compete in a tournament that was covered by the news media. They also served as role models, as shown by an increase in physicians referrals to the overall program and by other persons with COPD calling the hospital to inquire about rehabilitation training. The second expectation proved to be correct as 7 of the 8 patients began by being able to comfortably play 4 to 6 holes in 2 hours, and 7 of the 8 showed improvement by being able to play 6 to 9 holes in the same time span. There appeared to be subjective improvement as well when the patients applied techniques learned to daily routine activities. We conclude that our innovative method of pulmonary rehabilitation was successful in achieving standard rehabilitation goals, was not costly, and was a safe, enjoyable means of outpatient rehabilitation.