Junior Golfers’ Ace and Albatrosses Light Up East Lothian

by Stuart Milne

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

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GOLF fans everywhere are taking notice after a string of spectacular shots lit up Scotland’s Golf Coast at the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship.

The opening day of the event saw albatrosses at Luffness New and The Glen. The final round was graced by a hole-in-one and a third albatross at The Glen.

The competition, which welcomed over 600 players from 50 countries, saw unforgettable shots that most golfers spend their entire lives dreaming about.

Angus Klintworth (Boys 15-18) made the first albatross of the tournament at Luffness New. “Aberlady” – the par 5, 14th hole with a sharp dogleg right was tipped out at a whopping 547 yards. Klintworth took an aggressive line and set himself up nicely for a miraculous second shot into the rangy par 5.

Klintworth’s albatross was swiftly backed up by an interesting moment for a 12-year-old Frenchman at The Glen.

Augustine Valery, one of the stars of The Short Game – an independent documentary made during the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst – thought he hit his second shot into the tall grass over the green on the par 5, 15th. After searching for a few minutes, Valery declared the ball lost and returned to hit another shot from the fairway (which he stuck to 15 feet).

As one of the other caddies went to tend the pin for the group, he noticed a ball in the hole; it was Valery’s lost ball! After verifying the ruling (Decision 1-1/2) and snapping a quick photo, Valery penciled in his 2 on the par 5.

Hunter Thomson of Calgary, Canada completed every golfer’s dream in his final round when he aced the 4th hole at The Glen. Finally, Sean-Karl Dobson recorded the third albatross of the tournament on the 8th hole, securing a place at the awards ceremony.

With a number of notable alumni, including Scotland’s top amateur golfer, Grant Forrest, and Great Britain and Ireland professional, Annabel Dimmock, eagle-eyed spectators will be able to spot one of the games prominent surnames on the roster for this year.

Giovanni Manassero, younger brother of European Tour pro Matteo, is competing in the Boys 9 age group and takes his big brother as inspiration to succeed.

Matteo became the youngest-ever player to win a European Tour event at the age of 17, and now serves as an inspiration to all of the budding young Italian golfers.

Giovanni said: “I watch him play a lot and I really try to concentrate when he says something because he has had so much success when he was young and that really inspires me.”

“He is the reason I started playing. He said to my dad in 1997 that he wanted to try playing, and now he is on the European Tour. He is my inspiration.”

That inspiration may not be present if not for Giovanni Binaghi’s father, Alberto, Matteo’s coach. Giovanni Binaghi is another nine-year-old Italian competing in this week’s European Championship.European Van Horn Cup

The two Giovanni’s met at the Dubai Desert Classic, a stop on the European Tour where Matteo was playing and Alberto was coaching, and have since become close friends. Alberto Binaghi, a former European Tour player himself, also coaches the Italian National team.

As part of its burgeoning development in Europe, and goal to provide more qualifiers for International players to compete in the World and European
Championships, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation now run the British Kids Championship, Venice Open and two International Local Tours.

Since holding its first tournament in 2000, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation now runs more than 1,000 events each year including the prestigious World Championship at Pinehurst.

The Foundation is the charitable branch of U.S. Kids Golf – the world’s largest producer of junior golf equipment. The company 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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