TWENTY teenage golfers are getting ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Youngsters aged between 15 and 18 from throughout the East Lothian Junior Golf League (ELJGL) will swap the fairways and greens of the county for a trip to North Carolina.

The trip to Pinehurst has been sidelined since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But now, the largest group ever taking part in the initiative are jetting out today (Thursday) for nine rounds of golf in nine days on some impressive and internationally renowned courses.

Dave Warren, secretary of ELJGL, explained the significance of the trip, which offers the chance to play in various competitions and on courses including Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, which hosted the US Women’s Open last year.

He said: “It is giving young kids a chance to see what is possible in the world of golf with careers, etc.

“Also, the chance to experience the American way of life and way of golf, which is totally different to ours.

“It is just to give them that experience.

“A lot of them have never been to the States before and parents are trusting us to take them over there.

“It is the trip of a lifetime and they only get to go once.

“Quite a lot of them who have been are in the golf industry now, are international players or professional golfers now.

“They see avenues opening up.”

Before flying out, 19 of the 20 golfers attended a special lunch at the Glen Golf Club in North Berwick, which was also attended by Catriona and Graeme Matthew.

READ MORE: PICTURES: Young golfing champions crowned on the greens

Making the trip are Andrew Irvine, Ben Churn, Jack Collingswood, Harry Dunkinson, Jackson Gray, Robbie Landles and Connor McCarthy, all of West Links Juniors; Molly Chapman, Evie McCallum, Ellie Bent, and Ava Simon, of East Lothian Girls; Ben Austin, Adam MacDonald and Adam Nichol, all of Haddington; Charlie Cuthbert, Sean Gallacher, Scott Porteous, Tobin Witt and Daniel Moos, of Longniddry; and Struan Murdoch, of Musselburgh Toun.

The leaders are junior convenors from county clubs – Stuart and Helen Findlay, of Royal Musselburgh Golf Club; Steve Austin, from Haddington; Shona Paton, of Gifford; and Gareth Jack, formerly of Longniddry and now the assistant tournament director in the Scottish Junior Team Championship, which is organised by ELJGL.

Anyone interested can keep up to date with the trip on Instagram.