Wednesday, July 24, 2024

More than 120 young golfers to tee in Gurgaon and Bengaluru as US Kid Golf spreads across Asia

A host of winners from the first two legs of the US Kids Golf North and the US Kids Golf South Tour are back in action for back-to-back events this week at the Classic Golf and Country Club and the KGA in Bengaluru.

With the current season spreading from North to South Zone, and West is to be added, the numbers have shot up. The next two days will see more than 120 children across different age groups in two cities.

Many of them are looking at carrying on their winning streak at iconic Jack Nicklaus and the KGA courses.

While the established names seek more wins, newcomers and others will try and snatch some glory for themselves. The staging of North and South Tours has meant the local players are getting more chances to play at home without needing to travel long distances across the country.

The introduction of the US Kids Golf Series in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia has helped enlarge the footprint of US Kids Golf Asia, which Is headquartered in India. As more countries join, the numbers will increase exponentially.

Each of the events in South-East Asia have been attracting more than 100 entries, while the events in India have been getting 60-80 entries each. More than 800-900 young golfers have already competed in the events held so far.

“The growing numbers in South-East Asia and India mean we will be getting over 2,500 entries across multiple age groups this season. That is a massive number. As we had envisaged, we will have three-day National Championships in each country and an Asian Championships on the lines of US Kids European and World Championships in a year or so,” said Rajesh Srivastava, President US Kids India and Asia.

With each country wishing to host more events in more regions, the numbers are expected to shoot up soon.

“Our idea is to give more golfers a chance across Asia and India will also benefit in the process. As we spread further and reach 8-10 nations by the end of 2024, we will have an US Kids Asian Tour,” added Srivastava. “This provides us a massive pool of talent in Asia, which can soon produce champions at Majors and on the PGA and LPGA Tours.”

Rahul Ganapathy, Tournament Director, Bengaluru, and a former winner on the PGTI Tour, said, “We were thrilled by the response in the first two events and that enthusiasm carries on for the next two days. I am sure many of these kids will do well here and then the Indian Championships.”

Tournament Director of North, Amit Dube, who played with Ganapathy on the Pro Tour, added, “I am amazed at the pool of talent. So young and full of excitement and bubbling with energy. Hats off to them and their parents for bringing to them this game.”

One of the highlights of US Kids Golf Series is that the junior most categories compete over nine holes on age-specific yardages tailored for them. The age specific yardages are used through the whole series for all age groups while US Kids also produces age-specific equipment to prevent injuries.

Many of the world’s top golfers, in and outside India, have emerged from the US Kids Golf series, which has more than 2600 events in over 60 countries. Young golfers qualify for European Championships in Scotland and the World Championships in Pinehurst on the basis of their performances and scores on local Tours, through which they gain Priority Status and also AJGA Stars, which in turn help them qualify for other events in the United States.

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