Russell, a lifelong Dunwoody resident, grew up playing the game of golf. After a more than 10-year hiatus, Russell, 39, got back into the game he loves last year.
“I played all through high school and college and turned pro right out of college,” Russell said. “I played about four and a half years on the Hooters Tour before I gave it up to raise my kids.”
Russell helped his wife, Gabrielle Russell, raise the couple’s four children, 12-year-old Beatrice, Sarah, 10, 7-year-old Patrick and Thomas, 6.
“From 2001 to 2011 I was raising my children, but I got back into tournaments last year,” Russell said. “I only played three tournaments last year, but I did well.”
Russell’s best finish since he got back to competitive golf was in the GSGA Amateur Championship in July. Russell climbed as high as second on the leaderboard with a strong push on the third day.
He said the nerves of not being in that situation got to him on the final day, but he did not slip far and finished in a tie for third at three under par.
“I knew I couldn’t get caught up in the moment,” he said. “I should have been comfortable in that spot from my years as a pro, but the break I have had made me a little nervous. I have not played a lot of rounds where I kept score in recent years.”
Russell is not a member of any club in Georgia and said he plans to be a part of five or six tournaments per year.
Russell, a 1992 graduate of Marist, said he has enjoyed getting back into the game he grew up playing. Russell said he has seen pictures of himself in diapers on the putting green.
“I moved around a lot, but I still live about two miles from the house I grew up in,” he said. “My dad is an avid golfer, so we would be at the course until dark every weekend and some weekdays. My uncle was also a great golfer, so golf was just in my family. Golf is just what we do.”
Russell played his college golf at Berry before joining in the Hooter’s Tour in 1997.