ITHACA, N.Y. — At the Ithaca Country Club on Saturday, organizers, coaches, friends, and Special Olympics athletes came together for the 2016 Southern Tier Golf Invitational.

The tournament, led by event directors Mike Perehinec and Tim Herron, included competitions in skills, 9-hole individual, and 9-hole alternate shot events.

The skills competition included a range of events such as long putt, short putt, bunker shot, and chip shots. The 9-hole individual competition was played only by Special Olympics athletes, whereas the 9-hole alternate shot competition paired up athletes with “unified partners.” As explained on, “Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.”

Ken Smith, a volunteer photographer with Special Olympics NY, was kind enough to provide us with photos from the event. All photos are by Ken, except where otherwise noted.

The following photos were taken by Mike Blaney.

Disclosure: Mike Perehinec is a member of The Ithaca Voice board of Directors.