RISING stars on the greens got into the swing at Saline Golf Club as they attempted to tee up a place at a national competition final.

Youngsters from the host club, as well as Burntisland, Dunnikier, Anstruther and Braehead (Alloa), came together recently for a regional final of Scottish Golf's Junior Flag Challenge.

Last year, a team from Saline was successful in going all the way in the initiative, which featured more than 950 junior players from across the country, winning the final at Gleneagles.

In partnership with the Stephen Gallacher Foundation, Paul Lawrie Foundation and the Junior Flag Challenge, Scottish Golf launched the Scottish Junior Flag Challenge in a bid to create playing opportunities for players in the early stages of their development, while also supporting clubs to retain more junior members.

Introducing golfers under 12 and without a handicap to competitive play in a fun and friendly environment, the championship sees those taking part play on a shortened, nine-hole course, with a modified scoring format.

Each player is given a flag and, starting at the first hole, have 36 shots to play as many holes as possible, placing their flag where their 36th shot finished.

Having won last year's competition, Saline hosted this year's regional final, and had two teams competing, as did Dunnikier, Anstruther and Braehead.

It was, however, Dunnikier who will advance to the national final, as their second team came out on top, with their firsts in second, and Saline's teams taking third and fourth places.

Gordon Rankin, a parent volunteer and team leader at Saline Golf Club, praised the teams for playing some fine golf in very hot weather, and said: "The juniors really enjoy this format which we run on a regular basis at the club.

"This is designed to introduce friendly competition and helps with their development and assesses each player’s progress.

"The club has seen an increase in junior members this year and we appreciate the support that Scottish Golf provides smaller golf clubs in Scotland to make participating in these events possible."

In addition, Saline also hosted the local 'GolfSixes' competition, which junior convenor Steven Miller described as a "great event and experience for all juniors taking part".

Played in a league format, it is a fun, team-based competition designed to give young golfers an early experience of playing for their club, and giving them the buzz to want to play more.

A minimum of six players in each squad play over a shortened, six-hole course, and Saline went up against teams from Aberdour, Burntisland, Dunnikier and Kinghorn.

The winners of the league will play in the final, at Kinross, next month.