While the world’s leading ladies teed up at Kingsbarns last week in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, another talented international field are preparing to gather just next door at Crail Golfing Society.
The renowned Fife venue is looking forward to welcoming players from across the globe when the Loretto School Scottish Boys’ & Girls’ U14 Open Championship takes place over 13 – 14 August.
Players from countries such as South Africa, Hungary, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal as well as home hopefuls including Crail’s very own Anna McKay, the Fife Women’s County champion earlier this year aged only 13, will all compete.
Crail, the seventh oldest club in the world and the annual host of the popular Battle Trophy on the domestic Men’s Order Of Merit, is certainly relishing the opportunity to lay out the welcome mat to the young hopefuls for the competition over the Craighead Course.
This Championship is for leading under-14 boy and girl golfers, first contested in 2001, and is the youngest national age group event in Scotland, which also features an under-12 category.
The event has been greatly supported by the Loretto School Golf Academy, sponsor since 2004, and attracts talented young golfers from across the UK and beyond. Bradley Neil, the former Amateur champion and now impressing on the European Challenge Tour, won back-back titles in 2009-10.
Pam Smith, Captain of Crail Golfing Society, said: “The club is looking forward to hosting the championship for the first time and welcoming talented young players from across the world to Crail, which I’m sure will provide a great and very enjoyable challenge.
“Our Craighead course, designed by Gil Hanse – also of Castle Stuart and the Rio Olympic course fame – offers spectacular views from every hole and I’m sure parents will also enjoy their visit to Crail, the seventh oldest club in the world. There is sure to be a lot of local interest with our own Anna McKay competing in the girls’ event and our members will certainly be on hand to lend their support. It’s always exciting for the club to stage a Scottish Golf national championship and we’re very proud to support the development of young golfers through this event.”
Last year, England’s Dominic Clemons and Caitlin Whitehead (pictured top) took the honours at Craigielaw Golf Club.
Such is the size of the field, tee times are from 7am until 3.30pm each day. Having started its life as an 18-hole event, the championship was extended to 36 holes in 2012 with an expanded field size.
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Scottish Boys & Girls Under-14 Open Championship once more in 2017,” said Jonathan Hewat, Director of Communications at Loretto School. “We are proud to be associated with the event and look forward to a superb two days of golf at the fine venue of Crail Golfing Society.”
The Loretto Golf Academy, established in 2002, is unique amongst independent boarding and day schools in the United Kingdom. It offers pupils an exceptional opportunity to develop their sporting talent in tandem with a first-class, all-round education for boys and girls up to the age of 18. The golf school operates from the School’s state-of-the-art practice facilities and local golf courses in East Lothian.