0 World's Best Young Golfers Return for Championship in Scotland

Hundreds of the world's best junior golfers are returning to Scotland this summer for the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship - a four-day competition that will highlight the next Rory McIlroys of the game.

Around 500 of the best young players from around the world are expected to travel to Scotland to compete the tournament, which will be held across five historic East Lothian links courses.

Organised by the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation - which provides opportunities for children across the world to learn and play golf and to forge new friendships - the competition will see players as young as six years old challenging for the European Champion titles in various age group.

Dan Van Horn, President and founder of U.S. Kids Golf, said: "Since our inaugural event in 2008, the European Championship has continued to grow in strength and has now become one of the highlights of the junior golf calendar.

"Despite their age, the skill of these players is unbelievable and I am sure many of them will not only go on to become competent golfers, but possibly even the Lee Westwoods and Rory McIlroys of tomorrow.

"East Lothian is also a very special location for U.S. Kids Golf and the historic courses always provide a great challenge for all of our competitors.

"I'm sure the standard of play this year will, as ever, be superb and we will see some close matches between our young competitors."

Entries from young people aged six to 18 are currently being sought for this year's event, which takes place from May 31 to June 2 on five historic courses - 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 - 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.

Tournament Co-ordinator Alasdair Good, Head Professional at Gullane GC, said: "I'm delighted that the event is once again coming to East Lothian, and that we will be able to see some of the Major-winners of tomorrow competing on our links.

"The championship provides not only an impressive showcase of golf in Scotland, but also the emerging talent from the rest of the world. I'll guarantee no one will be disappointed at the golf they will see.

"However, just as importantly, the European Championship helps to promote Scotland - and East Lothian in particular - to a global audience. I hope many of the families who are coming over for this year's tournament will be inspired to return in the future and enjoy the best golf that East Lothian has to offer."

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 400 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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