Wee Wonders – Who We Are:
Wee Wonders Open Golf Championships was founded in 1995 by Alasdair Good, currently Head PGA Professional at Gullane Golf Club. It rapidly grew to become the only tournament with fully national coverage for children in the age range 5 to 12. It provides an opportunity for entry into competitive golf both for children new to the game and for the most experienced young players.
The Early Years – 1995 – 1997 Foxhills
The inspiration for Wee Wonders came from a request to coach some very young juniors while at Foxhills in Surrey. Inspired by the imaginative approach of his tennis colleagues, a coaching program was evolved, a cross between crazy golf, hockey and an assault course, with obstacles to chip a ball over and targets to aim at.
1995 Wee Wonders founded
1996 First Wee Wonders Par 3 competition held at Foxhills, Surrey
1997 Multiple WW competitions held at Foxhills
PGA Wee Wonders 1998-2002
The PGA agreed to back the event with each of their 7 regions holding a regional final and providing full facilities of staff and giant scoreboard at the Grand Final at Foxhills. This was Europe’s largest junior golf competition for 5-12year olds with a formalised structure ensuring equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
8 categories were introduced for players aged: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 (Boys and Girls)
PGA & Golf Foundation 2001-2002
Golf Foundation agreed to support the event along with the introduction of Regional Qualifiers and a network of Grand Final Starter Centres hosted and promoted Regional Qualifiers, the event grew from 8 -120
HSBC 2003 – 2009
HSBC provided event ambassadors such as Nick Docherty and Colin Montgomery, and an opportunity to meet with and have a clinic from Tiger Woods.
Coaching days with brand ambassadors including juniors from China joined in the World Matchplay ProAm at Wentworth
Wee Wonders impressed and changed the mindset for all who saw them there, Wee Wonders event firmly established as a Junior Major
Baillie Gifford 2012-2013
Baillie Gifford – Edinburgh based investment management partnership announces it will be the lead partner in the Wee Wonders Grand Final at St Andrews
2012 Grand Final with 13 Regional Qualifiers
2013 Grand Final with 15 Regional Qualifiers
adidas golf in association with Taylormade 2014-2017
With an ideal growth partner the event expanded once again to a regional format to 16 events with a new online event management system from Golf Genius
Largest ever Grand Final at St Andrews with 150 competitors.
2015 the competition expanded again with over 1000 competitors from the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, USA, UAE
2016 With the continued support of adidas golf 2016, saw the event expand back to a three tier system of 46 Regional Qualifiers, 8 Regional Finals throughout GB & I culminating in the Grand Final at St Andrews. With1800 participants in the early rounds and also saw 193 players take part in the Grand Final
2017 With the continued support of adidas golf, 2017 saw the event in its extended 3 tier format with 56 Regional Qualifiers, throughout Great Britain and Ireland, 9 Regional Finals culminating in the Grand Final at St Andrews 26-27 August. This year’s adidas golf Wee Wonders Championships saw 2252 participants in the Regional Qualifiers, 616 participants in the Regional Finals and also saw the largest Grand Final yet with 209 players taking part.
The quality of golf was staggering with course records set throughout the weekend.
2018 adidas golf Wee Wonders
2018 will see Wee Wonders working in partnership with adidas golf.
Over 28,000-participants from inception and entrants from Chinese and Canadian Junior Golf Federations, France, Spain, Italy, USA and UAE, endorsed by R&A, PGA & Golf Foundation and Home Unions Wee wonders is the premier Junior Event in the UK.
Have a look at some of our Wee Wonders and see if you recognise them
Wee Wonders Ambassadors
Duncan Weir, Director of Golf Development at The R&A.
“Wee Wonders is now firmly established as one of the leading competitions of its type in the world. It offers talented young boys and girls the opportunity to compete and thrive in a series of well organised events. Players who participate in Wee Wonders will receive the grounding they need to go far in golf.”
Nick Dougherty, former Wee Wonders Ambassador.
“The standard of golf is absolutely phenomenal and the good thing is that the kids have got really great attitudes and they learn really great lessons from the tournament.”
“I am a firm believer in encouraging children to take up and enjoy the game at every opportunity. The Wee Wonders Tournament is a brilliant way to give very young golfers throughout the UK and Ireland something to work towards which is fun as well as being competitive”
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A and Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
“In addition to our sponsorship of the HSBC World Match Play, we have made a commitment to support golf at all levels from the grassroots up. The HSBC Wee Wonders Open Golf Championship is one of the few golf tournaments in the British Isles that gives children aged up to 12 years the chance to compete against each other. We are very proud to be associated with an event that is well known and well respected”.
Giles Morgan, Head of Sponsorship at HSBC
“Encouraging youngsters to take up golf is of paramount importance to the future of our sport. To do so through organising a competition of the scale of Wee Wonders is wonderful not just for the game but also for the youngsters themselves.”
Sandy Jones Chief Executive of the PGA
“The PGA have been delighted to be the title sponsor for the Wee Wonders Championship in recent years and now very much welcome the involvement of HSBC. With the HSBC investment this year and into the future the event can grow considerably bringing a wonderful playing and fun opportunity to all the young boys and girls throughout the U.K. who take part in this Championship. The PGA will of course remain associated and committed to the Championship in 2004.”
Mike Round, Former CEO of The Golf Foundation
“The Wee Wonders event provides an ideal competitive outlet for youngsters who have learnt the game through Tri-Golf.”