2009 Archived News



Mizzou Golf Camp is designed to accommodate a wide range of golf ability. From the most decorated junior player with lots of tournament experience to the student who is just getting started. Our philosophy emphasizes teaching the fundamentals and mechanics of the golf swing and short game. Along the way students will be mentored in golf etiquette, the recruiting process and life skills.


Our skilled staff includes current University of Missouri Men’s and Women’s Golf Team Head Coaches, Mark Leroux and Stephanie Priesmeyer. Assistant coaches John Utley and Mindy Bullard Coyle will also give instruction and serve as counselors. The remaining members of our staff will be current and former MU golfers and a few visiting college golf coaches.


Our campers will receive the best campus accommodation and great golf facilities during their stay. Students will be housed in Center Hall, the newest dorms on MU’s campus. These dorms are air conditioned with private bathrooms and 24-hour security. Columbia’s newest private golf course the “Club at Old Hawthorne” will offer campers the opportunity to play a championship layout that is designed to test golfers of all ability levels. Old Hawthorne’s 22-acre practice facility gives students and instructors a fantastic environment for honing student’s golf skills.


CAMP 1 JUNE 7-11 CO-ED $995 Open
CAMP 2 JUNE 14-18 CO-ED $995 Open
Check-in / Registration: Monday, Noon-1 p.m. at Center Hall
Check-out / Award Ceremony: Friday, 2 p.m.


FOR MORE DETAILS, GO TO: http://www.mutigers.com/camps/golf-camps.html





Katherine Hepler of Lincoln, IL, was one of two young golfers in the State to be recognized for their extraordinary athletic accomplishments by the State of Illinois in 2009.


Katherine, 14, won the 14-15 Division of Pepsi Little People’s in June, shooting 73-74–147 to outdistance her nearest competitor by 22 shots.


In the Illinois Women’s Open, the premier event for women professional golfers and amateurs from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri,Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, Katherine tied for third, with no Illinois professional or amateur finishing ahead of her. A few days later, she became the youngest winner of the Illinois Girls State Championship, the season-ending event open to any Illinois girl under the age of 19, claiming the title the day after she turned 15.


Congratulations, Katherine!!







Bratton-Fred-FunkWe at Pepsi Little People’s are excited about a new website,http://tourresourcecenter.com, which is now available to all golfers, and will serve as a complete resource site for juniors and amateurs who want to advance their competitive game.  It has an unbelieveable amount of information for all golfers, including tips for players, tips for parents, a complete listing of all golf tournaments available and how to ideas for getting into and playing college golf.  In addition, there are videos on all aspects of the game from some of the best instructors in the world. Juniors can add their own tips to other juniors on special blog pages. The site identifies available tournaments and shows how to advance to the next level of competitive golf.  There is access to more than 1800 tournaments throughout the country.


Get The Edge — Join Tour Resource Center today!! From now through the end of November, 2009, use the promo code ‘eagle’ for a special $10 discount. I seriously recommend that parents who are in search of information on junior tournaments — where, when, how, etc — join this site today.  It’s A Whole New Look — A Whole New Game — A Whole New Way to Pursue Your Dream!





Pepsi Little People’s is proud to announce that the 2010 tournament, June 21-23, is included in the AJGA Performance Based Entry system for boys and girls aged 16-17, as well as the AJGA Junior All-Star exempt status criteria for 12-13 and 14-15 boys and girls as follows:


The Little People’s 16-17 division boys and girls champions are fully exempt for all AJGA competitions.


In the Little People’s 16-17 boys division the top 5 receive 3 exemptions, the top 10 receive 2 exemptions and the top 15 receive 1 exemption.


In the Little People’s 16-17 girls division, the top 3 receive 3 exemptions, the top 5 receive 2 exemptions and the top 10 receive 1 exemption.


Boys in the top 10 in the 14-15 age division at Little People’s receive full exemption for the Junior All-Star Series, while girls in the top 3 in the 14-15 age division receive full exemption for the Junior All-Star Series.


Boys in the top 5 of the 12-13 age division at Little People’s receive full exemption for the Junior All-Star Series, while the Champion girl in the 12-13 age divisions receives full exemption for the Junior All-Star Series.


Pepsi Little People’s is a qualifying event for the 2010 Callaway Golf Junior World, to be held in the San Diego, CA, area July 12-16.


Pepsi Little People’s is also a ranked tournament for the Junior Golf Scoreboard for boys and girls aged 10-17, and GolfWeek/Titleist Junior Rankings for boys 16-17 and girls 14-17.





Adam and Austin Bratton of Evansville, IN, had the pleasure of meeting and watching PGA Tour player Fred Funk at a recent clinic at TPC Sawgrass in early October. Adam tied for 7th in the 6-7 division of the 2009 Pepsi Little People’s. Austin had a hole-in-one while playing at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie.


Adam “loves the Quincy tournament” according to Dad Keith, and is wearing the Little People’s hat in this accompanying photo.





Back in 1997, Sarah, 5, and David Brown, 6, came to Pepsi Little People’s for the first time, from their home in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Sarah placed 3rd in the girls 3-5 division.


A year later, they returned with their younger brother Aaron, just 2 months after his 3rd birthday. Travelling with them was their baby sister, Rebekah. One of David’s duties was to babysit for his baby sister while his parents, Keith and Marla, caddied for the older players. When it was David’s time to play, he refused to leave his sister with a stranger – winning him the Sportsmanship Award for that year.


Through the years we’ve kept track of the Brown family – which now numbers nine children. The economy has not been good to the family – Marla home schools the group and Keith has struggled in his job as a mortgage broker.


It has been a struggle for Sarah and Aaron to continue playing golf – Sarah sometimes playing in golf shoes wrapped with duct tape. There has been little money for the golfers to play or practice…but they are a hardy group.


Despite all the family hardships, Sarah has attained an impressive resume, which includes five major victories in 2004 and was the youngest winner at age 12 in the New Jersey State Girls Amateur. She had 7 wins in 2005, was an AJGA Nike Junior All Star, was named IJGT Player of the year for girls 14 and under, and set a women’s competitive course record at Wild Quail CC with a final round 67.


Sarah won the New Jersey State Girls in 2006, her third consecutive victory in that event, and two AJGA Nike tournaments. She set a competitive course record at Langdon Farms GC on Aurora, OR, with a second round 64. She won one AJGA event in 2007 and was quarter finalist in the US Girls Junior Amateur, and in 2008, won the New Jersey Women’s Amateur, was second in the PGA National Junior Championship and played on the victorious Junior Ryder Cup team, winning 3 points plus one point in the friendship match.


This year, Sarah, now 17, has been medalist in the USGA Women’s Open Local, the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Sectional, and the USGA Women’s Amateur Sectional qualifiers. She now moves on to compete in her first ever USGA Women’s Amateur in St. Louis. She was also named to the 2009 US Junior Solheim Cup Team, a life-long dream come true.


In the meantime, as Sarah was trying to qualify for the USGA Women’s Open – little brother Aaron, 14, stepped into the headlines. In only his fifth time on any course in 2009, Aaron, who has no practice or playing privileges anywhere due to the lack of finances, set an Lehigh Valley Junior Tournament record for ages 15 and under, and tied the record for 18 and under, when he shot a 6-under-par 65 to win his second straight Lehigh Valley Major Tournament. He just missed tying the ‘Brown Family’ tournament scoring record by one shot, which was set by Sarah with a course record 64.


Aaron is rationed to about 50 balls three times a week on the range. His five tournament rounds this year have been 77-77-74-74-65, and he has won more than 25 LVJT events.


And back to Sarah’s summer schedule…she will be playing in the USGA Junior Girls at Trump National, followed by the PGA Junior National Championship in Cincinnati, OH. Following that, she will make a dash to St. Louis for her practice round and competition in the USGA Women’s Amateur. After a week off, she will head to Illinois to represent the United States against Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup. And that’s not all…when she returns home she will prepare for the Lehigh Valley Amateur – and then on to the LPGA and Future’s Qualifying School in September and October, IF she can raise the $5000 entry fee.


Our hats are off to the golfing Browns and their wonderful parents, Keith and Marla, who are doing so much to make dreams come true for their children. All of us at Pepsi Little People’s wish the family the very best, and will continue to watch the progress and careers of the golfing Browns.



Here’s a picture of the ‘Brown Team’ in 1998, – back row Keith, Rebekah and Marla; front row Aaron, Faith, Sarah and David.

And here’s a recent picture of Keith (Marla is taking the picture) with the nine young Browns, Caleb, Faith, Sarah, Aaron, David and Rebekah, with Joshua, Abigail and Hope in front.





Connor-ONeilConnor O’Neil, 11, has been awarded the Westview Men’s Club Sportsmanship Award for his acts of kindness and good sportsmanship during the 2009 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships.


Connor played his first Pepsi Little People’s tournament at River View Golf Club in Canton, MO, and was nominated by a fellow competitor, Reed Willman, who stated “He never slammed a club or showed any anger when he hit a bad shot”.


In addition, Tracy Brinkley, a member of the Little People’s Advisory Team and a Little People’s representative at River View, nominated Connor because “through the entire tournament, Connor had a positive and friendly attitude. With the stress of the tournament he always used his manners and offered to help us in any way. He teed off at 7:40 am and remained at River View Golf Club and cheered on the other golfers until all golfers finished, supporting their play”.


O’Neil also received a scholarship to participate in Pepsi Little People’s through the Pepsi Little People’s/The First Tee of Great River Scholarship Program. He was nominated for this scholarship by Katelyn Dorsey, Executive Director of The First Tee of Great River, and Derek Dicks of First Tee.


Connor resides in Liberty, IL, with his parents, Carla and Sean O’Neil.





(QUINCY, IL)….The 36th annual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships for boys and girls ages three through seventeen, will be played June 22-24 at five Quincy area golf courses, with the Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships for men and women 18-21 being played at the Harry Mussatto (WIU) Golf Course in Macomb.


Among the many entries for this year’s event are Sam Lidisky, who will be playing in his 13th consecutive Little People’s; Malachi Zeitner, whose uncle, dad and aunt all played in Little People’s, and five players from the Harris family.


Sam, 15, from Swansea, IL, started playing in Little People’s in 1997 when he was three, and has continued to be a strong competitor every year since.  Sam almost didn’t make it to the tournament this year, but a last-minute change in family plans made it possible for him to compete for the 13th time.  That’s only two times behind the four boys who played 15 consecutive years.


Mike Suhre of Edwardsville, IL, was the first to play 15 consecutive Little People’s tournaments in 1981-1995; Todd Rodemich and Jason Traeder of Quincy did it in 1983-1997, and Quincyans Tyler Dickens attained that goal in 1989-2003.


Should Sam continue playing each year, he would tie the 15-time record when he’s 17, and could break that record if he continues competing in the Collegiate divisions


Malachi Zeitner, 15, from Sioux City, IA, writes “I would like to be in the Little People’s tournament because I love to play golf and I think it would be a great experience.  Also, my uncle, dad and aunt all played in this tournament.  I’m excited to play, and hope to be accepted.”


Malachi’s aunt Billi played in 1975 and finished 4th in 4-G.  His uncle, Brad, now head professional at Brookside Country Club in Columbus, OH, played in 1974 through 1977, his best finish being a T-2 in 5-B in 1975.  Malachi’s father, Brandon, now deceased, was a golf professional at a golf club in Schaumburg, IL.  Brandon was 6th in 1-B in 1977.


For the second time in the history of Little People’s, five players from the same family will be competing. That’s the Harris family from Harvey, LA.


Malachi will be accompanied by his grandfather, George Zeitner.


T.J., 16, is the oldest of the Harris children, while Luke at 9 is the youngest.  In between are Pearlissa, 14, Zack at 13 and Angelica at 11.


All five will also be competing in the Parent-Child tournament on June 21 at River View Golf Club in Canton, MO, along with their Dad, Tim.  The five Harris players will also compete in the Pepsi International Team Scramble on June 25 and the International 3-2-1 Team event on June 26.


All divisions of the 2009 Pepsi Little People’s are still open, and many more entries are expected in the next few weeks.  For more information contact Nan Ryan at 217-257-5718 or jrgolfer@littlepeoplesgolf.com.





QUINCY, IL…The Tri-State Junior Golf Association has announced its tournament schedule for the 2009 season, and will include a golf clinic, five tournaments and a parent-child event.


“We are delighted to be able to offer this schedule to the young golfers in the Illinois-Iowa-Missouri area,” said John Moore, TSJGA Tournament Director. “The addition of a parent-child event is exciting, and will offer parents an opportunity to enjoy a fun and competitive round of golf with a child.”


The Tri-State program is co-sponsored by KHQA TV-7 and Landmarx Inc, screen printed and embroidered products Inc.


A free golf clinic will kick off the season at Westview Golf Course in Quincy on June 15. Ages 10 and under will participate from 9:00 to 10:00 am, while ages 11 through 17 will have their chance from 10:15 to 11:15 am. The clinic offers individual hands-on and group instruction for young golfers ages 5 through 17. Pre-registration is requested by June 8.


The first tournament will be Monday, June 29, at Keokuk Country Club, Keokuk, IA, followed by an event at Arrowhead Heights Golf Course in Camp Point, IL, on July 6.


Deer Run Golf Course in Hamilton, IL, will host a tournament on July 13, and the Parent-Child tournament will be at the Knights of Columbus Par-3 Course on July 20.


The final two tournaments of the year will be July 27 at Norwoods Golf Course, Hannibal, MO, and August 3 at Westview Golf Course in Quincy.


An Entry Form for all events can be downloaded at www.littlepeoplesgolf.com, click on TSJGA in the left column, or you can call John Moore at 217-740-4853. Entry forms are also available at all local golf courses.


Entry fees are $10 for 8 and Under, $15 for 9-11 and $20 for 12-14 and 15-17. Play is in four divisions for boys and four divisions for girls. Entry fee for the parent-child is $20 per team.


Points will be awarded for first, second, third and participation in each Division in each of the five events and the golf clinic. The top point winner in each Division will receive a prize at the end of the year.


Every player who competes in all six events will be given an attendance award and a logoed polo shirt, while those participating in any five events will receive a logoed t-shirt and golf towel.


“This is the 18th year for the Tri-State Junior Golf Association events,” said Moore. “We look forward to a large turnout of junior golfers who are seeking to work on their games and enjoy competition”.


For more information on the tournaments and clinic, call Moore at 217-740-4853, or to sign up for any TSJGA event online, go to www.competetoday.com.





Word has been received that Mia Browning Windham passed away April 17 in Colorado, having suffered a heart attack. She was 39.


Mia will always be remembered as a member of the Little People’s family, having competed in Pepsi Little People’s for several years, finishing T-2 in the 14-15 division in 1984, 1st in that division in 1985, and 2nd in the 16-17 division in 1986.


Mia’s father, Gerald Browning, was a member of the Little People’s Advisory Team for many years, and his wife, Vickie, will be remembered for her work with the merchandise during the tournament.


Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mia’s family at this sad time.





Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships
June 22-24, 2009
Harry Mussatto Golf Course
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and invite you to play in the Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships this summer.  My name is Mel Blasi and I am the Men’s Golf Coach and Director of Golf at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL.  The Harry Mussatto Golf Course on our campus is one of the premier university golf courses in the Midwest.


The Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships is a summer collegiate age tournament (age 18-21) associated with the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships in Quincy, IL.   As most of you are aware the, LPGC is one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world and currently the 3rd largest.   Many college players, if not most, have played in Little People’s at some point during their junior careers.  Tournament founder and director Nan Ryan does a spectacular job at coordinating this important event each year.  Three years ago, Nan felt that if there was enough interest, a collegiate division of Little People’s could be started.


2009 will be the first year for Western Illinois University and the Harry Mussatto Golf Course to host the Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships.  The Harry Mussatto Golf Course is an excellent venue for this event, offering a championship layout conducive to hosting and challenging the collegiate players.   You can check out the golf course at www.golf.wiu.edu.   In addition to the tournament name and venue, the collegiate division will be offering gift certificate prizes for the top 5 places in both the men’s and women’s divisions at this year’s tournament.


As a collegiate coach with over 20 years of experience, I know the demands placed upon players and their families during the summer months.  Undoubtedly, many  players  have younger siblings that are competing at Little People’s this summer.   The LPGC and the LP Collegiate Golf  Championships can provide families an opportunity to be together and compete in close proximity this summer.


I hope that you and your family will consider the Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships on your summer tournament schedule.  If you have any questions concerning the Pepsi LP Collegiate Golf Championships, please contact me at (309) 255-5575or (309) 298-3676.


Entry forms and all information can be found at www.littlepeoplesgolf.com.




Mel Blasi
Director of Golf
Men’s Golf Coach
Western Illinois University
(309) 298-3676





Quincy, IL …..The Pepsi International Mixed Team Events, held in conjunction with the annual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships, will be open this year to any junior golfer aged 5 through 17 who wishes to participate.


The announcement was made by Nan Ryan, Founder and Executive Director of the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships.


In the past, the two events, which were started in 2005, have been open only to participants in the current Little People’s tournament.


“We wanted to give every junior golfer in the area an opportunity for some friendly competition with boys and girls who come to Little People’s from all over the World,” said Ryan.


The 9-hole Pepsi International Mixed Scramble will be played on Thursday, June 25, and the 9-hole Pepsi International Mixed 3-2-1 Event will be played on Friday, June 26. Both events will be played at Westview Golf Course in Quincy. Entries must be received by Monday, June 22, at 6pm. Entry fee for each event is $30.


“One of the fun things about these events is that each player can have a caddie and can ride in a golf cart,” said Judy Wilper, Co-Chair of the Team Events.


“We’ve had galleries out there watching the team play that looked like a pro tournament,” added Lee Osborn, Co-Chair.


Play is in four age divisions (5-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17), and each team is made up of three or four players. Trophies will be given to the 1st and 2nd place teams in each division, with medals going to all other participants.


Entry forms for both events will be available on the Little People’s website, www.littlepeoplesgolf.com, on February 1, or will be available at local golf shops or from Little People’s Tournament Office at 1600 Wapiti Circle #8, Estes Park, CO 80517.


All non-Little People’s contestants also need to fill out a release form, which will be available with the entry forms.


For further information, contact Nan Ryan at 217-257-5718, Judy Wilper at 217-653-2537, Lee Osborn at 217-653-1934, or email jrgolfer@littlepeoplesgolf.com.





sidney_hoskinsPrior to coming to Pepsi Little People’s last June, where she won her 6-7 age division, Sydney Hoskins of Orlando, FL, won the 8 & under AAU Eagle Junior Tour and lost only 1 of 8 events.  After winning her division at Little People’s in June, she finished 10th in the US Kids World Championships at Pinehurst, NC, in the 7 & under girls group.


In October, Sydney finished 1st in the US Kids PGA Invitational in Port St. Lucie, FL, in the 7 & under girls.  She also played in the Prestige at PGA National over Thanksgiving and the Honda Classic in early December, and won the AAU Eagle Junior Championships and AAU Winter Nationals in Orlando.


To top off her year, and what she had worked for all year, was her last 7 & under event, the Doral Publix Junior Classic.  Sydney shot 33-36 to tie for first, then won the playoff on the 1st extra hole.  She can’t wait to play more in 2009!!


Her family is proud of her, and she feels she would never have been this successful at her age without her brother and sister to compete against.


Congratulations Sydney!!!   We hope to see you back at Pepsi Little People’s next June.