When Mitchell Crook was a toddler, he carried around a miniature golf club. He even slept with his golf clubs because he loved the sport so much. Now, he’s taking his set of sticks to nationals in May.

Mitchell has spent the last two years competing on the Cyclone golf team. This past fall season, he was the lone qualifier from his team to place at the NJCAA Region IV tournament, which gave him a berth to the NJCAA Division II Golf Championship in Alabama in May 2018. All his hard work paid off, as it should for someone who grew up in a golf-oriented household.

“I grew up watching golf as long as I can remember. The only way I’d go to sleep was by watching the Golf Channel,” he said. “Sometimes the only way my mom could calm me down when I was younger was take me to the driving range.”

All of Mitchell’s uncles, grandfathers, brother, and father are golfers. His mom would bring him to the golf course, and his dad had him custom fit for a driver when he was a toddler.

“Once I hit 4 years old, my parents had to stop me from hitting golf balls in the front yard because I’d hit cars and get in trouble,” he said.

If Mitchell could play golf professionally, he would. He loves playing every day. But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are alternatives. “I’m not a fan of indoor golf facilities, but I’ll go to Cog Hill because they have heaters at the range,” he said. “I practice a lot of putting. You can do that a lot in the house.”