Sophia DiPaolo of Dublin, Ohio, was crowned champion in the Age 7-8 Division.
The judges have spoken.
For the fourth year, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, in partnership with The Littlest Golfer Inc., has crowned the winners in four age categories as having the best ''pee wee'' golf swings in the world. And we mean world. There were a record number of entries this year, from 14 nations around the globe.
In this event, the kids competing were in age groups not very typical in the world of junior golf – the divisions were 7-8 years, 5-6 years, 3-4 years and even an under-3 age group. Parents were encouraged to send in videos of their Little Linksters and have them evaluated by an elite panel of judges including Gary Player, LPGA Tour star Brittany Lincicome, Frank Nobilo and Holly Sonders of the Golf Channel, Top 100 PGA instructor Chuck Evans, 2013 LPGA & PGA Junior Golf Leader Nicole Weller and PGA of America Honorary President Allen Wronowski.
''In this, our fourth year, we were extremely happy with the outcome. It was extremely difficult for our judges as there were many, many kids that entered that had amazing swings,'' said Little Linksters founder and multiple award-winning PGA Professional Brendon Elliott. ''It is always so cool to see the entries as they come in.
''The point of this contest, however, is not solely about finding the best swings but rather letting a younger demographic have fun with golf and to prove to those that don't believe in starting golf at such young ages that this is something we as an industry should focus on.''
The winners in each age group are (clicking on the links will take you the videos of their swings):
The winners in each age group will receive a prize package including the following items:
--The Littlest Golfer gift pack
--U.S. Kids Golf full set of clubs and other accessories
--Exemption into and entry fee paid for 2014 FCG International (Formally San Diego Junior Masters)
--EyeLine Golf training aids package
--The Golfer’s Footprint swing trainer
--MoRodz alignment sticks
--Almost Golf play anywhere pack
--Swingfix online lessons
--Star Putter training aid
--Kwik Golf gift pack
--My Mini Golf gift pack
--Swinggait Swing Trainer
--Stick to Sports ''Let's Play Golf'' Book
--Little Linksters coloring book and prize pack
''It was a great deal of fun to judge these swings from the kids,'' said Nobilo, a judge for the first time. Weller added that it was "an incredible honor … to observe such amazing entries from youngsters having fun with golf from around the world [and to help] introduce the concept of golf at a very early age."
Since July of 2008, the Little Linksters Golf program has brought the game to a typically non-traditional segment of the golfing population: the "Pee-Wee" golfer (ages 3-8). The program is taught in a fun and interactive way using a combination of both traditional golf instruction methods and very non-traditional ways, and the bottom line is fun. For more about the program, click here.