U.S. Kids Golf World Championships returns for 19th year

This year marks the grandest time for golf in Pinehurst since James Tuft first introduced the game in Pinehurst in 1898. The grand opening of Pinehurst’s 10th golf course, the return of the U.S. Open Championship, the highly-anticipated grand opening for the new World Golf Hall of Fame, and the annual return of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships will be on everyone’s calendars for the middle part of 2024.

This will be the 19th year the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships has been hosted in the “Home of American Golf,” scheduled for July 23 — Aug. 4, with the world’s best junior golfers, ages 5-18, competing in the world’s largest and most prestigious junior golf championship. The Championship field will again be close to 2,200 golfers from close to 60 different countries. They will play on 13 different courses in Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen, and Vass, including Pinehurst Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club, Talamore Golf Resort, Midland Country Club, Southern Pines Golf Club, Longleaf Golf & Family Club, Legacy Golf Links, and the newly-renovated Woodlake Country Club.

“U.S. Kids Golf is now the largest tournament organization in the world with over 2,200 tournaments,” states Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation. “The participation numbers for our World Championship and the level of competition gets greater every year for our tournaments. 

“We are seeing players from more countries than ever competing in our events, which is a testament to our global impact. Internationally, our competitions inspire players and provide families with memorable golf experiences while teaching sportsmanship, discipline, and goal setting.”

The Pinehurst and surrounding communities have benefited greatly from this celebrated event over the last several years. The annual economic impact of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in the Pinehurst area has increased to over $14 million per year, and the combined economic value for the community over the past 19 years exceeds $150 million. 

“It’s hard to believe that it has been 19 years since U.S. Kids Golf relocated their World Championships to the Home of American Golf,” said Phil Werz, President and CEO for the Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The positive economics associated with their competitions, along with what the U.S. Kids Golf Foundations has accomplished in growing the game of golf, has made U.S. Kids Golf an amazing partner for our community. No other single location in the world has the strength and influence for the business of golf that spans from the introduction of the game to the youngest players to hosting the great players from around the world.”

Volunteer recruiting for the World Championships has begun, and tournament officials are optimistic that the dedicated volunteers from the past World Championships will return in 2024, but they are encouraging friends and family who may not have been volunteers to join up this year, especially with the demand for golf volunteers required for all the major golf events this summer.

Committees for the 2024 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship include Player Registration, Player Shuttles, On-course Supply, Volunteer Control, Pace of Play, Starters, Spotters and Scoring. Volunteer shift times at the championship courses average from 4-5 hours, and each volunteer will receive a golf shirt, golf cap or visor and for each day they work, they will receive a complimentary box lunch. There are no fees for volunteering, which is unique to the golf Championships that are held in the area.

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation online registration system is now open and available for volunteers to register online. The volunteer registration system allows people willing to help to easily select their specific facility, activity, and time, and it processes the applications electronically. This system is accessible at https://tournaments.uskidsgolf.com/tournaments/world-teen/volunteer. A confirmation email will be sent to each volunteer based on the position they chose. Volunteer positions are filled on a first come, first served basis, so volunteers are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure their first choice of assignment.

“We are pleased at the overwhelming support we continue to receive from the community for our World Championships,” said Dan Van Horn, Founder and CEO for U.S. Kids Golf. “Developing youth golf and unique programs that bring and keep kids in the game of golf is a lifelong dream, and we are excited that millions of young players have been positively impacted through our efforts in training coaches, developing kid-friendly programs, and organizing tournaments each year. It will be fun to see many of the past U.S. Kids Golf World Championship players return for this year’s U.S. Open in Pinehurst.”

Feature photo: U.S. Kids Golf World Championships Parade of Nations in 2023 by Sandhills Sentinel photographer Melissa Schaub.


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