East Lothian's fairways will again be inundated with golfing stars of tomorrow this summer, as a prestigious junior golf tournament returns to the county's courses.

Some 500 of the best junior golfers in the world will descend on the Garden County for the US Kids Golf European Championship in May and June, played over five East Lothian courses.

Competitors from six to 18 will vie for the title of European Champion for their age � while the county's economy and tourism industry are set to receive a much-needed shot in the arm.

The four-day competition will take place from May 31 to June 2 at Gullane No. 2 and No. 3 courses, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club and Longniddry Golf Club.

All the courses are modified for each age group. The reward for the top finishers in each category is a place in the tournament's finale, the Van Horn Cup, which takes place on Gullane No. 1. Modelled on the Ryder Cup, the best European players are pitted against the top youngsters from the rest of the world for the trophy. Last year the Europeans, inspired by local boy Duncan McLean, crushed their opponents 13-0.

Meanwhile, the top five finishers in each age and gender group also receive invitations to the US Kids Golf World Championships, at Pinehurst in North Carolina in August.

Alasdair Good, head professional at Gullane Golf Club and the tournament's co-ordinator, said: "I'm delighted the event is once again coming to East Lothian and we will be able to see some major winners of tomorrow.

"The championship provides not only an impressive showcase of golf in Scotland, but also the emerging talent from the rest of the world. I'll guarantee no one will be disappointed.

"However, just as importantly, the championship helps promote Scotland � and East Lothian in particular � to a global audience. I hope many of the families coming over will be inspired to return in the future and enjoy the best golf East Lothian has to offer." The event was first run in 2008 and has been based in East Lothian since its inception. County youngsters have enjoyed some notable successes in the tournament, including Gullane member McLean, who finished tied-fourth in the boys' 14-years age group competition last year.

The tournament has expanded, including a 15-18 age group for the first time last year.

The competition is run by the US Kids Golf Foundation, which aims to encourage children from around the world to take up golf and use it to make friends.

Dan Van Horn, the organisation's president and founder, said: "Since our inaugural event in 2008, the European Championship has continued to grow in strength and has now become one of the highlights of the junior golf calendar.

"Despite their age, the skill of these players is unbelievable and I'm sure many of them will not only go on to become competent golfers, but possibly even the Lee Westwoods and Rory McIlroys of tomorrow.

"East Lothian is also a very special location for US Kids Golf and the historic courses always provide a great challenge for all of our competitors. I'm sure the standard of play this year will, as ever, be superb and we will see some close matches between our young competitors." The tournament's organisers are looking for entries from anyone aged six to 18. To register or for more information, visit www.uskidsgolf.com