Photos provided by Cave Creek Unified School District

Cave Creek Unified School District student Aveeva Mirchandani placed fifth in the 2022 US Kids Golf European Championship in the Girls 15 to 18 division. Held at Royal Musselburgh Golf Course in Scotland, Mirchandani played in the three-day tournament series held from May 31 to June 2, where she earned the Top Five trophy.

Over 500 junior golfers from 46 countries, ages five to 18, competed in the prestigious tournament.

“It truly was a fantastic experience to play in Scotland under such different conditions, grass cuts, greens, and with some great players. It was raining for most of the days, so the ball stuck wherever it landed. It was the first time I had played in the rain,” explains the 15-year-old Mirchandani, who’d previously never played golf beyond Arizona. “The courses were beautiful, and it wasn’t easy, but I had an awesome time playing and got some international experience under my belt.”

Mirchandani learned quickly how to handle the steep hills on course and how to dodge five sand pits at a time. According to the young golfer, she worked on modifying her technique to get the distance with or against the wind and rain. “I worked on being resilient and staying focused on my game. And I didn’t let the challenging weather conditions get in my head. This was the hardest part of the tournament,” she says.

Additionally, Mirchandani qualified to play the European Van Horn Cup at The Glen Golf Course in North Berwick, Scotland, which is a links golf course. To experience playing two courses in Scotland was an accomplishment, especially in light of the cold, windy, rainy conditions.

“This was a fantastic experience, as the day started at 40 degrees with 40 mile-per-hour winds. When the bagpipes played at 7 a.m., it felt like a dream come true to play on a links course in Scotland,” says Mirchandani, who credits her coaches at Dan Campbell Golf Academy and Cactus Shadows High School for helping her reach this goal.

“My coach Darren Hince at times gave me a lesson on how to play on the links course over the phone while I was in Scotland. I also couldn’t have done it without my dad, my caddie. Also, thank you to my mom and brother for standing by my side throughout the trip. I walked away learning so much golf this summer and I got to play with some of the best players in the world.”