U.S. Kids at Pinehurst — In Pictures

Pinehurst US Kids FlagsIf you were not able to come out to Pinehurst Resort to take in the action of the U.S. Kids World Championship, fear not. Here’s a flavor of what you could’ve found just from walking around the area.

(For complete results from any of the 13 championships, go here.)

Pinehurst U.S. Kids RangeThere 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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids Karl Vilips

Australia champion golfer Karl Vilips, 10.

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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids SignU.S. Kids promotes sportsmanship and encourages families to play golf together. Most of the caddies for the 1,250 players are parents on the bag.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids Keys Pace of PlaySometimes, though, things can get too competitive. Pay attention here to suggestions 1, 8 and 11. Some don’t necessarily adhere to those rules though. Overheard in the men’s locker room this week:

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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids FamilyWith people coming into Pinehurst from all over the world and the country, there’s no dearth of cameras on site. And no dearth of photo ops, either.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids FamilyU.S. Kids likes families. And families are everywhere. The family that golfs together…

Pinehurst U.S. Kids WeatherWhat’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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids WeatherBut again, with no rain, this kind of delay is easier to handle. It’s much easier for announcements to be made about resuming play when everyone can congregate in one place outside.

Pinehurst Club Shop Rickie FowlerWhat’s the most popular hat at the U.S. Kids World Championship?

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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids Father Daughter

Pinehurst U.S. Kids Father SonWhile 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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids CartsWith 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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids News 14With 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.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids ShotWatch them play as a spectator, or just watch them practice on Maniac Hill. You’ll come away with one thought — these kids, no matter how young they are, have a better swing than you ever will.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids ScoreboardPinehurst U.S. Kids ScoreboardSuch good swings that they could top the leaderboard for all to see.

Pinehurst U.S. Kids ScoresYes, there are a lot of tournaments to keep tabs on. And a lot of scores. And a lot of volunteers needed.

Pinehurst Putter Boy U.S. KidsNo doubt, there’s no better place for U.S. Kids to be than at Pinehurst. And the Putter Boy just has to love seeing kids his size running around.