THE U.S Kids Golf European Championship has underlined its reputation as Europe’s premier junior tournament after it attracted a record number of competitors.
More than 560 young golfers have signed up for the competition – an increase from last year of over 50.
Competitors from across the globe, including players from Myanmar and Nigeria, will be travelling to Scotland to play five historic East Lothian links courses.
The competition is organised by the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation to give children an opportunity to learn and play golf and forge new friendships while challenging each other for the titles in various age groups.
Dan Van Horn, President and founder of U.S. Kids Golf, said: “Our ambition has been to see the European Championship grow in strength from year to year, so to see registrations hit record numbers clearly demonstrates the growing reputation and quality of the tournament."
The 2014 U.S. Kids Golf European Championships takes place May 27-29 over five famous East Lothian courses: Gullane No.2, Gullane No.3, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club and Longniddry Golf Club.
Tournament Co-ordinator Alasdair Good, Head Professional at Gullane Golf Club, said: “Bursting through the 550 player number is a huge milestone for us.
“We are also pleased to see an increasing number of players come to Scotland for the first time. This provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Scottish golf to the world, particularly in such an important year for Scotland with the Ryder Cup being played in September.
“East Lothian’s historic courses always provide a stunning setting and a great challenge for all of the competitors – a big reason why this tournament has become so popular.
“Such is the strength of the platform provided by the competition that we are beginning see some of the winners from our first event go onto to bigger things on the world stage. That is a superb endorsement of the good work the tournament has achieved.”
During the competition, the courses are modified for each age group in order to provide the same level challenge; meaning holes are progressively shorter as the age groups get younger.
The top finishers in each category will compete in the Van Horn Cup over Luffness New on May 30 – a showpiece event, modelled on the Ryder Cup, where the best Western European players are matched up against the top golfers from the rest of the world.
The top five finishers in each age and gender group automatically receive an invitation to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst Golf Club, North Carolina, in August.