There's a chance for local youngsters to take their first steps to becoming golf's next Rory McIlroy next month as the Golf South Ayrshire Juniors pre-handicap Open is played at Fullarton Golf Course on Sunday 9 September 2012.
The Council-run event was introduced in 2006 after organisers noticed younger brothers and sisters of junior competitors in the Tom Lehman trophy taking to the course during the awards ceremony – keen to try the sport for themselves.
Spotting an opportunity to arrange a tournament for boys and girls aged between 8 and 15 who did not have an official golf handicap, the Golf South Ayrshire Junior pre-handicap was created as a gentle introduction to competitive golf, featuring shorter holes, relaxed rules and fewer regulations.
Initially seen as a fun event just before the Tom Lehman trophy the event has gone from strength to strength and is now seen as a contest in its own right – and is a fantastic way for new golfers to get a taste of tournament play.
Entrants receive a goody bag and, although there is no overall prize, small trophies are awarded in various age categories. Generous golf scoring rules mean that you can still fluff a few shots, or have a bad hole, then make up for it on the next one!
Councillor Bill Grant, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Economic Development and Leisure said: "The Golf South Ayrshire Junior pre-handicap is a great way for young golfers to sample tournament play and the rules are biased towards encouraging good scores to help boost their confidence.
"The contest is a natural add-on feature to the Council's successful Golf programme and helps give the young golfers some focus. I've no doubt many young players will have been inspired to get into sport by the Olympic Games and golf is a superb sport to try."
Councillor Grant concluded: "Who knows, with golf set to feature in Rio in 2016 and with the Council offering so many opportunities to get into the game at so many different levels, maybe South Ayrshire as the home of Open golf can produce an Olympic medallist?"
Entry to the Golf South Ayrshire Junior pre-handicap open costs £3 and, for more information and an entry form, or call 01292 616255.
Please note entry forms and fees must be received by 29 August 2012.