Category - Amateur Programs

A 'Thankful' Alyssa Sumulong Makes Her Debut in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

On April 7, Drive, Chip, and Putt will host its 10th National Finals at the renowned Augusta National Golf Club, inspiring golfers of all ages.
I'm excited to attend the National Finals again this year, however, this time will be different. Alyssa Sumulong, a 13-year-old from Orlando, Florida, who's participated in my Little Linksters programming since she was five, is competing in the Girls 12-13 Division. Watching her play at Augusta will be a highlight of my trip!
I had the opportunity to catch up with Alyssa and her dad, Paul, this past week to ask them a few questions about their preparations for the upcoming event.
Can you remember the first time you knew that you loved golf?
Alyssa Sumulong: "When I first started playing tournaments, I did well because I caught on really fast and learned how to play the game."
Alyssa with her mom and dad.
Alyssa with her mom and dad.
Can you remember that moment you knew Alyssa loved golf?
Paul Sumulong: "When she was just two years old, we had a blast as father and daughter, hitting balls on a mat and net in the garage and learning the game together. We also had a ton of fun playing mini-golf every week. I knew at a young age that she really enjoyed it."
What do you like most about golf?
AS: "I like traveling to new places, playing at different golf courses, and playing with my friends."
What do you feel are some of the best things that the game teaches kids?
PS: "I learned through one of my favorite books, "The Mulligan," that golf stands for "the Game of Life First." Golf teaches kids and parents so much about life: building relationships, character, integrity, sportsmanship and so much more."
Alyssa won the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional last fall at Sea Island to punch her ticket to Augusta.
Alyssa won the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional last fall at Sea Island to punch her ticket to Augusta.
When did you know that you were pretty good at the game?
AS: "When I qualified for the U.S. Kids World Championship. I was seven years old."
What are the strengths of your game?
AS: "Reading greens and putting."
What are you most looking forward to this Sunday at Augusta?
AS: "Just being at Augusta National because it's iconic, and I get to experience playing there."
Alyssa with her dog and National Finals ticket prior to traveling to Augusta.
Alyssa with her dog and National Finals ticket prior to traveling to Augusta.
What were your first thoughts when you qualified for the National Finals?
AS: "I was surprised and in disbelief that I made it to Augusta."
PS: "I was extremely emotional but also so happy for her and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she gets with being able to play at Augusta."
What are you most looking forward to at Augusta?
Alyssa: "I'm not worried about where I finish; I'm just thankful I made it to Augusta."
Brendon R. Elliott, PGA

Sorrento, FL

Brendon Elliott

Executive Director/Founder

Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.

Meet Brendon