THE world's best golfers are battling it out for honours in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale this weekend.

But a day after the champion lifts the Claret Jug following four rounds of intense competition, those hoping to be among the next generation of stars will be teeing up in Scotland.

The Scottish finals of the Faldo Series – an event won in the past by Ulverston and Furness's Natasha Slater – starts on Monday on the Dukes course in St Andrews.

While slightly older than the eligibility level for competition, there will be one South Cumbrian man with a key role to play.

Former Cumbria captain Terry Rhodes is heading across the border this weekend to take on a role as one of the referees as the prestigious junior event.

The 74-year-old Ulverston veteran will spend three days in his official capacity – one of four referees at the competition – making sure everything is done properly by the high-class field of around 110 junior players out on the course.

“I'm quite pleased to be chosen to go,” said Rhodes.

“I'll be patrolling the course, looking after so many holes, being there for any rules, keeping an eye on the pace of play – all the things that go with refereeing at any level, up to the PGA.

“I've been refereeing since 2004. I did the Faldo Series before when it was at the West Lancs course, as well as the major events in the county and in the Northern Counties competition (which this year will be hosted by Cumbria at Seascale). I've done quite a lot of it over the years.”

As well as refereeing, Rhodes is also still taking to the fairways as a player, now with the aid of a golf buggy to get him round the 18 holes, as well as helping out with course measuring and handicaps for the county.

He made some rare competitive appearances for Ulverston in the Scratch League last year. In his first game against Windermere he won 7&6, though he lost his next 2&1 against Kendal.

“I'm too old to be playing in things like that, but I'm still really enjoying my golf,” said Rhode.

The winners of next week's Scottish event will go through to the Faldo Series final to take on the victors from other events played around the world.