The cream of the world’s best young golfers will be heading to Scotland in May to take part in the prestigious US Kids Golf European Championships.
More than 400 players from some 30 nations will be competing in the event which has emerged as Europe’s premier junior tournament to showcase the next generation of golfing stars.
The event – to be held across five of Scotland’s historic golf courses in East Lothian in May - sees boys and girls split into different gender and age categories in order to compete for the title of US Kids Golf European champion.
The top finishers in each category will then compete in the Van Horn Cup – a showpiece event, modelled on the Ryder Cup, where the best European players are pitted against the top non-Europe golfers.
The top five finishers in each age and gender group also automatically receive an invitation to the US Kids Golf World Championships at Pinehurst Golf Club, North Carolina, in August.
Entries are still being accepted to the tournament, which offers junior players the dream chance to play at the ‘home of golf’ in Scotland as well as on some of world’s oldest courses.
The tournament is jointly organised by Wee Wonders Limited and US Kids Golf Foundation who are committed to growing the game among children and families across the globe.
Tournament Director and former PGA Junior Leader of the year John Godwin said he believes the talent on display will surprise even the most seasoned golf pros.
He said: “The skill of the players really has to be seen to be believed. Despite their age, these players demonstrate great poise, balance and professionalism – for example you very rarely see a fluff or mishit shot.
“Anyone who has not watched the elite of today’s junior golfers in action is in for a treat. If we get good conditions, I’m confident we will see a host of superb sub-par rounds.”
John, who is Director of Player Development at US Kids Golf Foundation, added: “We are committed to providing opportunities for young players to play and develop golf. Many of the best young players from around the world – including many for the US – will be competing in May.
"I am sure that many of these will be go on to become at very least competent golfers, but possibly even the Tiger’s and Padraig’s of tomorrow.”
The courses are modified for each age group in order to provide the same level challenge – so holes are progressively shorter as the age groups get younger. It ultimately allows the players to reach the greens in the same number of strokes as the top pros on the PGA tour.
Tournament Co-ordinator Alasdair Good, Head Professional at Gullane GC, said he was delighted that Scotland was playing host to the event again. “We’ll be delighted to welcome visitors to this year’s tournament. I’ll guarantee no one will be disappointed at the golf they will see.”