The 2018 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Tournament teed off Sunday with the Applebee’s Parent-Child Tournament.
While kids ranging from age 3 all the way to age 18 come in the hopes of taking home hardware this week, Father’s Day provided the perfect backdrop to show why the event can mean so much more.
Commitment to their children is something many fathers are used to.
Clint Russell, a junior golfer father, said, "I drop him off just about everyday at 7-7:30 at the Country Club when I’m on my way to work.
He and a couple of his friends that play together, they’ll get out there and they’ll play all day and then go jump in the swimming pool once they’re done."
But that early morning dedication and burden becomes a little less heavy when the love is realized and returned.
Clint’s son Collin said, "Some kids don’t have their fathers and then you just sometimes take that for granted, just having both your parents around.
He’s the one you look up to and want to be like and mature like him. So when he’s around it’s special and you try to win and play good."
While Collin first picked up the clubs at age 10, some of this week’s competitors like six year old Adam Robinson have been learning to tee off when most kids are still just learning to walk.
"He always just wanted to go with his Dad. I would be gone every Saturday morning.
He said can I go with you? I said yeah absolutely. So he rode with me for about a year and didn’t really play.
He just kind of watched and observed and then one night he said Dad, ‘Can I hit a golf ball?’ and I said yeah," said junior golfer father Phil Robinson.
Adam has shown an extraordinary level of commitment.
From watching old Tiger Woods videos on his own to playing until dark four nights a week at the Robinson’s local country club.
At the end of the day the love of the game started with one thing for Adam."
Adam said the biggest reason he started golf was to be playing with his Dad.
While there will be winners and losers this week, these golfers and their dads will walk away with something much more valuable than a trophy.
"Every parent wants to see their child succeed in what they do. It makes me feel good to do that and give him some opportunities that I didn’t have as a kid.
It’s a good feeling and my wife and I are very proud of him and what he’s accomplished on the golf course," said Clint Russell.
Tournaments come and go, but Dad will always be there to play another round.
The rest of the tournaments we’ll be played this week through the 20th in Quincy.