2020 News

2020 News

July 7

Camille Kuznik, Eleanor Hudepohl and Katherine Lemke are the winners of the 2020 Maureen J. Garrity Scholarship for Women, established to support the education of women who participate in the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships.

Camille, 17, is from Orono, MN, and is entering her Senior year at Orono High School.  She plans to play college golf on the Division 1 level, while continuing her studies in art and design.  She will receive $2000.

Eleanor, 17, from Cincinnati, OH, is a committed and dedicated golfer with interests in STEM fields, and will receive $500.

Katherine 17, from Geneva, IL, plans to play college golf while majoring in a STEM subject, preferably engineering, and will receive $500.

“Each of these recipients described life lessons learned on the golf course that support their academic achievements and their desire to be of service to their communities,” stated one of the Scholarship committee members.

Dr. Garrity spent 34 years at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and was particularly impactful in supporting student-led programs on leadership, community service, and social determinants of health.

She was a long-time supporter and volunteer with Pepsi Little People’s, winning the 2017 Little People’s Volunteer of the Year Award.  She passed away in December of 2018 after a long battle with cancer.

The MJG Scholarship is ongoing and will be available to young women who will be graduating in 2021 or 2022 and who will be participating in the 2021 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships.  To apply, each applicant must submit a current high school transcript and write a personal essay describing herself, her career aspirations, and her community service activities.


July 5

The 2020 winner of the Pepsi Little People’s “Spirit of Giving” Award is 12-year-old Sophia Macias from Denham, Springs, LA.

The “Spirit of Giving” award was established in 2011 to honor John Howerton, a Little People’s Board member who passed away unexpectedly. John was a great ambassador for Little People’s, establishing many friendships with players and families. The award is in memory of John’s giving spirit.

Sophia started playing golf six years ago, and noticed a lack of junior golfers in her area. Her parents suggested that she might try to inspire kids to play golf, and with the help of her parents, Laura and James, her charity “No Worries, Just Birdies” was born.

In two years, her charity raised enough to fully furnish a local school gym with air conditioning, and put handicap accessible playground equipment in a local school.

Her golf club, Greystone Golf and Country Club, has gone from a handful of junior golfers to more than 30. “Sometimes, people just need a little bit of help or boost,” Sophia says.

Sophia also enjoys teaching kids the game of golf, and hosted a free all girls golf clinic last May, with more than 25 girls participating, along with several former collegiate female

“I can not wait to start the charity events back up after Covid goes away because I

know that we can spread the game of golf in our community even more,” said Sophia.

Besides her parents, Sophia’s team includes her 11-year-old brother, Trace, also a golfer. Sophia calls Trace one of the “most amazing people” she knows. “He always making someone laugh, always making someone feel good,” she added.

Both parents describe Sophia as determined and driven. “When she makes up her mind that she is going to do something, it gets done “ said mom Laura.

Sophia was also the winner of the 2019 Peggy Kirk Bell Award, which honors Mrs. Bell, the true legend, local icon and golf pioneer who lived in Pinehurst. The winner is chosen based on their demonstration of outstanding philanthropy and inspiration through their efforts on and off the golf course.

Sophia is the 9th winner of the Little People’s “Spirit of Giving” Award. Congratulations, Sophia!

Spirit of Giving Release 2020:pdf

July 2

The winner of the 2020 Virtual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships Volunteer-of-the-Year Award is Ruth Moser.

Ruth lives in Estes Park, CO, but works online for a Massachusetts company. She is a dedicated and talented golfer, with an immense knowledge of the USGA Handicapping and World Handicapping Systems, and a love for mathematics.

It was this knowledge that made her indispensable to the success of the pioneer Virtual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships.

In order to have a Virtual tournament, it was necessary to develop a method of equalizing the playing field for the boys and girls 10-18 age divisions, who would be playing their two rounds at courses of their choice. Ruth devised a process to utilize the WHS formula, making it possible to hold this pioneer golf event.

As a result, the Virtual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships drew 113 golfers, registering from 22 states, Barbados, Bermuda, British Columbia, Ontario and Latvia, and was a huge success.

“Without Ruth’s efforts, the 2020 Virtual Pepsi Little People’s would not have been possible,” stated Nan Ryan, Little People’s Founder and Executive Director. “ We owe its success to Ruth’s knowledge and dedicated spirit.”

2020 Volunteer release pix pdf

June 30

The Little People’s Golf Championships is happy to announce that the winners of the 2020 Best Letter Awards are Chandler Davis and Zoe Gryniewicz.

Each year, the Quincy (IL) Herald Whig presents Best Letter Awards to the player or players who submit the best letter with their Little People’s entry.

Chandler is 17, from Lubbock, TX, and has played in Pepsi Little People’s since he was five.  “Little People’s was my first competitive golf tournament and began my 14-year playing career as a junior golfer,” says Chandler. 

Chandler, his brother Tyler who also played in Little People’s, and his parents, have spent many Father’s Days in Quincy.  “It is a second place for me to know by heart and to come to every June,” says Chandler.

Chandler plans to enter Texas Tech University this fall, and will be majoring in Information Technology – Business Analytics with a certification in data science and a minor in sport management.

“I would like to thank Nan Ryan and all of the Little People’s volunteers that help make this event so special,” said Chandler, “ and their dedication and contribution to growing junior golf not only in Quincy, but in the homes of the many participants that come across the country or across the globe,” adds Chandler.

Zoe Gryniewicz is 11 and hails from Wauwatosa, WI.  She started playing golf at age 4 and played her first tournament at age 5, in Ohio.   Since then she has played in more than 80 tournaments. 

“Lessons I’ve learned from golfing are always tell the truth, never give up, and to not put yourself down,” says Zoe.

When not golfing, she is most likely to be practicing with her dance team.

An only child, her parents love to see her golf, and she says her dad/caddy is her best friend.

“The reason why I wanted to play in the Little People’s tournament is because it offers great opportunities and I would be going against some of the best,” adds Zoe.

Both Chandler and Zoe competed in the 2020 Virtual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships, which was established when the regular event had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.

Congratulation to both Chandler and Zoe.  We wish Chandler the very best as he enters college, and hope that Zoe and her family will attend the 48th annual Pepsi Little People’s in Quincy, IL, next June 21-23.

March 27

College golfer’s father Mark Berman wants to give all college golfers in the Jacksonville, FL,  area something they lost this spring due to the shutdown of college sports because of coronavirus.  He wants to give them all one more chance to play golf not only with their teammates but with all of the men’s and women’s college programs in the area, from Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida and Flagler College,  He wants to invite all 48 of these players to compete in an 18-hole tournament with an undetermined format.

Berman’s daughter Hannah, a senior at Jacksonville University, played in Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships in 2014, and was named winner of the Spirit of Giving Award that year.  This Award is  presented to a Little People’s player  who has  displayed the spirit of unselfish giving in their area.
A handful of Jacksonville golf leaders are already on board to help Mark with the tournament.  
“It’s a tremendous idea,” said Jack Aschenbach, a member of the Northern Chapter PGA and director of the North Florida Junior Foundation.  “It’s a way to reward them for doing what they’ve done in trying to achieve their dreams.”
All of us at Pepsi Little People’s wish Mark and his crew the very best of success with this venture.

March 17

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: A note from Nan about the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s:

We have been closely monitoring the developments surrounding COVID-19, including the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and other major junior golf tournaments. Based on the information we have to date, we are still planning to hold the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships from June 22-24, 2020, and the Applebee’s Parent-Child on June 21.

In the 47 years of hosting the tournament, our focus has remained the same – the health and safety of our players, their families and our volunteers are top priority. While circumstances continue to rapidly evolve, we will follow the advice of the CDC and WHO regarding events such as ours.  Know that we will make changes as needed and share that information with you as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at jrgolfer@littlepeoplesgolf.com, or text or call me at 217-257-5718.



Nan Ryan
Founder and Executive Director
Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships

March 2

          Pepsi Little People’s is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Gells Apparel to provide the official Little People’s belt, which will be available for sale at the 47th annual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships June 21-24, 2020.         

           The Gells All American Ribbon Belt is the company’s take on the time tested classic ribbon belt – regardless of the occasion, it is the perfect way to ‘gel’ any look together.

            Pepsi Little People’s is an international golf tournament for boys and girls ages 3 through 18, and is played on two golf courses in Quincy, IL. Upwards of 250 players coming from all over the world annually compete in Little People’s, which offers the opportunity to qualify for various other major junior golf events.

The Little People’s belt is manufactured in the US and is made from heavyweight woven red cotton with navy ribbon trim, and features the familiar two-figure Little People’s logo, with leather tip, finished with Gells signature polished brass slide buckle. The belt is easily adjustable and durable, and will be available during the tournament in sizes from Youth Medium to Adult Extra Large.

Anyone wishing to order the belt ahead of time may do so by contacting Nan Ryan at jrgolfer@littlepeoplesgolf.com, or by texting or calling 217-257-5718.                            


Gells is a Connecticut based lifestyle brand for children and adults.  The belts are designed by the founders and manufactured in the US. Each belt is made from heavyweight woven cotton, featuring a leather tip and finished with their signature brass slide buckle for a subtle, yet polished look.  Through Gells charitable programs, 5% of each belt purchased is donated to our five named charities. For further information contact Ashley E. Perkin ataperkin@gells.org, visit www.gells.org or call 888-646-8899.

February 9

           Pepsi Little People’s is pleased to announce that Garb Inc., the leader in kid’s golf apparel and proud apparel provider for PGA Jr. League, will again partner with Little People’s in 2020.

            Garb is offering all players in the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships a special code for a 20% discount off everything from garbinc.com. In addition to discounted apparel for all participants, the winner of each division of the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s will be awarded a $50 gift card redeemable for anything at garbinc.com.

            “We are delighted that Garb Inc. is offering these gift certificates and discounts to our Little People’s players,” stated Nan Ryan, Executive Director of Pepsi Little People’s.  “We know that our players will be extremely pleased to be able to purchase Garb Inc. clothing using this discount”.           

            “After meeting Nan and learning all about the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships and what it means to young golfers and the community, I knew that their core values aligned with ours at Garb and it was something we wanted to be a part of.  We are happy to offer these talented junior golfers discounted apparel and gift card to the winners,” said Tyler Silva, Garb’s Director of New Business Development.


Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Garb is the original junior golf apparel brand. Founded in 1996 on the belief that kids needed a brand to call their own — a brand dedicated to golf’s next generation that offers great styling and unrivaled quality. In creating the junior golf apparel category, Garb has become a beloved brand, company and culture proudly embraced by some of the finest golf shops and most prestigious golf events throughout North America. 

            In 2006, Garb expanded its scope with entry into the collegiate licensed marketplace, launching its “Team” division. With over 130 Division I licenses Team Garb brings a fresh new offering to collegiate licensed merchandise for kids.

            To learn more about Garb visit www.garbinc.com , email Garb at shop@garbinc.com

 or call (303)-674-3139, ext.101.

February 3

Happy Gilmore, a regular at Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships, recently was victorious in the Hurricane Birmingham Junior Open at Timberline Golf Course.  Gilmore, 14, is from Bloomfield, IN.

Playing in cold, windy and wet conditions, and teeing off from the ‘tips’, he led by 3 strokes after the first round with 83, then finished with an impressive 78 to win by 9 strokes.  Given the course and conditions, it was one of the toughest courses he has played.
You can follow Happy on his website at http://teamhappygilmore.com.
February 2

           Pepsi Little People’s is pleased to announce that it has teamed with TGA of Southeastern Michigan to encourage young people 5 through 14 to become involved with the game of golf.

            TGA of Southeastern Michigan introduces golf at a young age through programs that provide a full and enriching experience for children while being a convenient and affordable option for parents.

            Pepsi Little People’s will welcome players who have been selected to participate in the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s by TGA of Southeastern Michigan.

            The tournament will celebrate its 47th year of offering competitive golf to boys and girls ages 3 through 18, coming from every state and many foreign countries, June 22-24, with play on two golf courses in Quincy, IL, USA.

            “We are extremely pleased to have formed this relationship between Pepsi Little People’s and TGA of Southeastern Michigan,” said Nan Ryan, Founder and Executive Director of Pepsi Little People’s.  “We look forward to hosting their players at the 2020 tournament in June.”

            “We are thrilled to partner with the Pepsi Little People’s event,” said Dave Robinson, owner/chapter director of TGA of Southeast Michigan.   “We will be encouraging families to schedule a fun and historic road trip to Illinois that will not only include golf, but also stops in Chicago and Lincoln’s birthplace in Springfield.”

            Players in the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s can try to qualify for the IMG Academy Junior World in San Diego, can earn Performance Stars for American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments, and can try to qualify for the Future Collegians World Tour, Future Champions Golf and PLAY Junior Golf Tour of Canada.

            Little People’s players are ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, GolfWeek/Sagarin Rankings and Global Junior Golf Rankings. 

            Monday, June 22, is practice round day for all divisions, seven for boys and seven for girls (3-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18). Competitive rounds are played Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24.

            The tournament proper is preceded on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 21, by the optional 9-hole Applebee’s Parent-Child event, which includes driving and putting contests and a best-dressed team event.


            TGA stands for Teach, Grow, Achieve – and these concepts are the foundation of every program offered by TGA of Southeastern Michigan.  TGA programs introduce golf to boys and girls at a young age through fun and enriching after-school programs that are convenient and affordable options for parents.   TGA also offers summer camps, leagues, tournaments and parent-child events.  For more information about TGA of Southeastern Michigan, go to www.playtga.com/semichigan or contact Dave Robinson at 248-252-0208 or drobinson@golftga.com.


January 13


We are pleased to announce that Golfdotz has been named “The Official Golf Ball iD of the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships” for 2020.

Golfdotz produces transferable golf ball markings which conform with USGA and R&A specifications and can be used in competition.

Each contestant in the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s will receive a packet of Golfdotz, as well as a 20% discount coupon to be used on the Golfdotz website. 

In addition, each of the 14 division winners in the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s will receive a $25 Gift certificate, to be used on the Golfdotz website.

“This new relationship with the 2020 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships is such a perfect fit for us,” stated David Poole, President and Founder of Golfdotz.  “We love to support junior golf and I think it is so cool that we also supply some former participants of the event who are now on the LPGA Tour with Golfdotz.  I can’t wait to see the kids in action at this year’s event.”

“We felt it was time to take our involvement in junior golf up a level in 2020, and the Pepsi Little People’ platform enables us to showcase Golfdotz product in a great environment,” added Poole.

Golfdotz is used by many men and women professional golfers, including former Little People’s players Annie Park, winner of the 2018 ShopRite LPGA Classic, and two-time LPGA Tour winner Thidapa “Jasmine” Suwannapura.

“We are delighted with this relationship between Golfdotz and Pepsi Little People’s,” said Nan Ryan, Founder and Executive Director of the tournament. “We know that our players will be delighted with this new and innovative way of marking their golf balls, and we thank David and Golfdotz for making this possible.” 


            Golfdotz was founded by David Poole, who had a firm belief that golfers wanted more flair than a boring ink dot to mark their ball.  Golfdotz was launched to great acclaim at the PGA Show in 2008, and was approved by both the USGA and R&A in 2009. In 2009, PGA Tour professional Rory Sabbatini became the first player to use the product on a professional golf tour.  The Golfdotz collection is proudly manufactured in the USA and now has well over 200 ways to mark a golf ball or golf club in style.  From USA Clovers and flags, to Hawaiian Sandals or alphabets, the choice is unparalleled.  The business is small and family owned, and heads into 2020 with exciting new designs and a continued passion for the game of golf.  For more information go to www.golfdotz.com or contact David@golfdotz.com.