The U.S Kids Golf European Championship has underlined its growing reputation as Europe’s premier junior tournament by announcing the tournament has attracted a record number of competitors.
A total of 515 young golfers have already signed up for the competition – eight weeks before the four-day event gets under way.
Competitors from across the globe – including such unusual locations as Guam, Venezuela and Columbia and as far away as Australia – will be travelling to Scotland to play on 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, and challenge each other for the European Champion titles in various age groups.
Dan Van Horn, President and founder of U.S. Kids Golf, said: “The European Championship has been growing in strength from year to year and the sharp rise in participant interest in 2012 clearly demonstrates the growing reputation and quality of the tournament.
“The number of registrations is at record levels – that’s an amazing achievement especially when you consider that the figure is already higher than last year and we still have two months to go until the tournament in June.
“Thanks to the strength of the relationship we have formed with our East Lothian partner clubs we have been able to create a prestigious, quality tournament that continues to attract children from across the world making it a main highlight of the junior golf calendar.”
Tournament Co-ordinator Alasdair Good, Head Professional at Gullane Golf Club, said: “Sitting at more than 500 participants at this stage in the event is a huge milestone for us.
“We are continuing to see more and more young golfers coming to Scotland and it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase Scottish golf to the next wave of golfing talent from around the world and affords us the chance to put Scotland front of mind with the pros of tomorrow.
“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.”
The European Championships takes place from June 5-7 on Gullane No. 2, Gullane No. 3, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club and Longniddry Golf Club. 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.
It ultimately allows the players to reach the greens in the same number of strokes as the top pros on the PGA tour.
The top finishers in each category will compete in the Van Horn Cup over Gullane No 1 on June 8 – a showpiece event, modelled on the Ryder Cup, where the best 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 also automatically receive an invitation to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships at Pinehurst Golf Club, North Carolina, in August.
The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation was launched in 2001 to provide opportunities for kids to play and learn the game through local tours and tournaments such as the European Championships. Since holding its first tournament in 2000, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation now runs some 600 events each year including the prestigious World Championships at Pinehurst.
The Foundation is the charitable branch of U.S. Kids Golf - the world’s largest producer of junior golf equipment. The firm has pioneered the development of golf clubs for young people, eliminating the problem of kids using heavier, cut-down adult clubs which often hurts developing swings and discourages budding players.
For more information or to register for the U.S. Kids Golf European Championships, visit www.uskidsgolf.com.