Hundreds of future golf stars aged 6-18 from more than 40 countries will be competing over five of Scotland’s most historic courses as the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship returns once more to East Lothian.
Taking place from May 28-30 this year’s event will feature a record number of girls, with numbers going up significantly over the last two years. Girls now account for a quarter of all competitors in the tournament.
Eloise Healey was 10 when she took part in the first ever U.S. Kids Golf European Championship in 2008 – she won her age category that year and then went on to win titles for the next two years.
Fifteen-year-old Eloise has continued to play national and international tournaments as well as picking up three junior England caps and now has her sights set on a professional career.
Eloise Healey, who won her age group title in the European Championships three years in a row, said: “The U.S. Kids Golf European Championship has always been one of my favourite competitions, as it was the best experience to be able to play against my peers from all over the world.
“Not only do you meet new people, who speak a new language and like different things, but you play against people who have learnt different skills in different environments, which makes for a more interesting and challenging game.
“The other benefit to the tournament is that the courses are designed for younger players, with shorter strokes, which means you feel your score is more representative of your ability than when you play on an adult course.
Dan Van Horn, President and founder of U.S. Kids Golf, is delighted that the number of female entrants to the European Championship is on the increase.
He said: “It is fantastic to see the number of female competitors grow to such a level that they now account for 25% of all players – it shows how inclusive the tournament truly is.
“I also look forward to seeing the extra buzz and reaction to this year’s tournament as East Lothian plays host to The Open at Muirfield – meaning that in the space of a month or so the best golfers, both now and of the future, will be on the same soil.”
The European Championships takes place 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 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 700 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.
Coverage on the event can be read on the East Lothian Courier website and was secured on behalf of the US Kids Golf European Championship as part of a public relations campaign carried out by Holyrood PR.