The patriarch, Mike Connelly Sr., began his foray into the sport as a cashier at a golf course near Dobbins Air Force Base while an employee at Lockheed. Connelly proceeded to become a golf pro at the Marietta Country Club and currently works as a pro at the Cherokee Golf Center in Woodstock.
Connelly Sr. introduced the sport to his son, Michael Connelly Jr., who started with the Atlanta Junior Golf Association and became an All-Cobb County performer at Osborne High School in Smyrna. He then earned a golf scholarship to Brewton-Parker College which was near the Vidalia Country Club where his father was the club pro at the time.
The family’s relationship with golf has been extended into another generation as Michael’s daughter, Caroline Connelly, has become a star performer at North Paulding High School.
Despite playing competitive golf for less than three years, Caroline helped lead the Wolfpack to a region team championship and a 14th place finish in the team competition at the state tournament this past May.
“Caroline has picked up the game quickly,” her father said. “She’s getting better each time and doesn’t mind practicing.”
Caroline has achieved this success despite dealing with Type 1 diabetes.
“Golf requires a lot of walking, which makes your blood sugar go down quickly,” Caroline said.
“I have to keep it monitored and check periodically, but it doesn’t affect me much when I play.”
Caroline stays active off the course as a manager of the school’s football team, along with being a member of the Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and yearbook staff at the school.
This summer, she is serving as a lifeguard at the Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth.
All three Connellys meet together often to share their love of the sport.
“The biggest thing is that we get to spend more time together,” said Michael Connelly Jr.
“We hit balls together and it’s rewarding to see Caroline improve. It’s good to see three generations of our family playing.”