(For complete results from any of the 13 championships, go here.)
There are 13 different tournaments going on at once all around the Pinehurst area – six for the girls and seven for the boys. But much of the practice time is spent at Pinehurst Country Club, which offers by far the best practice facilities. But on those practice round days, make sure you get your work in early, or you may not be able to find a spot on the range at Maniac Hill. At one point Wednesday, kids were two to a mat, alternating one shot at a time. Sounds like a good way to make new friends.
There are players in Pinehurst from 40 different countries and every state in the United States. Besides London during this opening week of the Olympics, there may be no other place in the world offering an international athletic competition this diverse than in Pinehurst. Aussie Karl Vilips has won twice at U.S. Kids and is one of the best 10-year-old players in the world. And he’s back at Pinehurst looking for, as he puts it, a third major championship.
Dad: “So, how was he?” (referring to son’s playing partner during a practice round.)
Son: “Fine. He was a nice guy. I liked…”
Dad: (interrupting) “I didn’t ask if he was nice. I don’t care whether he was nice or not. Can he play? How good was he?”
But that’s by far the aberration.
What’s the hardest part of the day for U.S. Kids tournament officials? Any weather delay. Even though the grounds at Pinehurst stayed dry during Thursday’s first round, there was lightning within 10 miles. And that means everybody is shuttled off the course.
Honestly, do you really even need to ask. Two interesting notes here: 1) You see a lot of girls wearing Rickie Fowler’s brand as well, and 2) The younger the golfer, the more the hat’s bill is bent. The older, the less.
While many parents caddie for their kids during this tournament, they also serve as coaches. Fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons and mothers and daughters share the legacy of the game.
With so many parents serving as caddies, it’s hardly a regular thing for them to carry a golf bag for five days. So they get a little help. But the pullcarts aren’t what they used to be.
With so many young golfers in one area for a series of prestigious tournaments, it’s no surprise to see media covering the event. On Thursday, Raleigh-area News 14’s Amanda Weber came out to gather footage for a story on the event.