This past week I took nine kids from my academy to the Pepsi Little People’s golf event in Quincy, Illinois. For the last forty years, kids from all over the world have traveled to this small town for a couple days of friendly competition. It is one of the oldest running junior golf events in the nation and has seen some of the biggest names in golf pass through.
In the mid 1980’s as a young junior golfer, I also made the trip to Quincy in hopes of claiming one of junior golf’s top events. Even though my trip didn’t end up with my name being carved on a trophy, it was a great experience and exposed me to the level of golf being played by juniors from all over the globe. It was an eye opening yet encouraging experience knowing that kids from South Dakota could play the game against some of the best.
Over the years, South Dakota has fared well in the Pepsi Little People’s having multiple juniors take home the top prize. The performance of these South Dakota junior golfers speaks to the quality of golf in our area.
Here is a quick list of South Dakota natives who took home top honors over the years:
The game of golf is unique in that it provides so many wonderful memories and experiences no matter our age and reason for being at that course. My return visit to Quincy this time was as a golf instructor; however I had many of the same feelings and questions walking into the golf shop. Will we be able to compete against kids from all over the world? It didn’t take long before I knew the answer…. YES!