Its New v Old As Golf Stars Head To Scotland’s Golf Coast
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
on behalf of U.S. Kids Golf European Championship
INTERNATIONAL GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP TEES OFF IN SCOTLAND
Golfing stars of the future – including the youngest at six and a boy who travelled the farthest from Australia – teed off in Scotland on Tuesday in Europe’s most prestigious junior competition.
A record field of 606 competitors from 46 nations – including countries not known for their golf heritage such as Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Thailand and Puerto Rico – are lined up to play in this year’s U.S. Kids Golf European Championships.
The competitors include seven-year-old Aarav Shah – who picked up his first club at age four – who flew in from Melbourne to play in the tournament.
His mother Farah, who caddies for Aarav, said: “It is a long way to come but Aarav was determined to come to Scotland.
“It is a big personal and financial commitment for me and my husband, but Aarav loves the game and he is starting to emerge as a talented player in his age group.
“He knows playing a traditional links course in typical windy Scottish weather will be a real test but he’s so delighted to be in Scotland.
“And I’ve already told my husband that if Aarav keeps progressing the way he has been, he can forget about retiring early as we’ll need plenty more years of him supporting our son’s golf career.”
The field’s youngest competitor is six-year-old Matilda Modesti from Rome, who is part of a 12-strong contingent from Italy.
She started playing after watching golf on TV as a five-year-old and begging her mum to allow her to try hitting a ball.
Matilda now plays every week at her local club outside Rome and hoping to card an underpar score – despite being less than the height of a putter.
Now in its 7th successful year, the tournament has become a staple event on the calendars of budding young players, who love the challenge of competing against their counterparts from across the globe over four East Lothian golf clubs on Scotland’s Golf Coast.
This year’s event will have extra appeal for the competitors, coming just a few weeks before the world’s sporting media will be focussing on Gullane Golf Club – one of the venue courses for the European Championships – as it hosts the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
ONE OF THE BEST EVENTS
Tournament co-ordinator and Gullane Golf Club Professional Alasdair Good, said: “There’s no doubt there will be added interest and excitement as the young players get a chance to say they will be playing in a tournament that hosts one of the best events on the European Tour.
“With world No 1 Rory McIIroy, and the likes of superstars Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar, as well as home favourite Stephen Gallacher, all confirmed for the Scottish Open, it can only significantly boost the profile of East Lothian in the minds of these young players.
Dan Van Horn, President and founder of U.S. Kids Golf, said it was a tribute to the reputation that the European Championships has forged, that the tournament continues to go from strength to strength.
“It is so thrilling to – once again – have a record field play in the U.S. Kids Golf European Championships. That is all the more pleasing as we are now in our 7th year in East Lothian, yet interest in the tournament from around the globe seems to grow and grow.
“The enthusiasm and skills on show at the championships is always second to none, evident in the incredible scores that have been recorded in past years.
“The championships provide a real opportunity for young girls and boys to meet new friends whilst perfecting their play and I have no doubt that some of the talent nurtured at these championships will one day be teeing up to play in a future Scottish Open.”
The 2015 U.S. Kids Golf European Championships takes places over May 26-28 over five famous East Lothian courses along Scotland’s Golf Coast: Gullane No.2, Gullane No.3, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club and Longniddry Golf Club.
The top finishers in each category will compete in the Van Horn Cup at Luffness New Golf Course on May 29 – 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 children across the world to learn and play golf and to forge new friendships. Since holding its first tournament in 2000, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation now runs some 800 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.
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