Jennifer Allan is one of “The team behind the Team” - 28 Scottish Golf Development Centre players who have been chosen as official score board holders at The Ryder Cup 2014.
Sixteen year-old Jennifer Allan from Larbert in Stirlingshire has been playing golf since she was 10. It was her interest in the rules and regulations of golf that spurred her to submit her nomination.
She said: “Last August, I completed my Level 1 certificate through the R & A and this would give me first-hand experience of how the rules officials work together to make the Ryder Cup a success.”
Jennifer is in her final year at school, and is aiming to go to university to study PE. “Stirling University has a great golf team and if I manage to get there, I would love to pursue that with them, but one step at a time!”
In her two years in the Development Centre programme under professional David Patrick her handicap has reduced from 12 to 5. For Jennifer, the difference was the level of coaching, which she found was a step up from what she had previously experienced.
She said: You get a variety of things to work on, and it makes you think. David gives you lots of scenarios and competitive situations and drills. For instance, he had a cone on the pitching green and had us hitting that, so you had a something to aim at. You had to compete with yourself and what you expect of yourself. It felt more like you were playing on the course - it was tailored to what you need to do.”
“I like the competitive side of golf. I’ve met loads of people in the counties – the social side is an added bonus.”
Jennifer nominated her father Brian, who works in the banking sector, to accompany her to Gleneagles. A keen golfer since he was 12, he has been behind her all the way since she took up the sport. When asked to describe how he plays golf himself, Brian jokingly said “badly” but he added, “I beat Jennifer the other day so I must be getting better”!
He was delighted when she suggested nominating them for carry boarding at The Ryder Cup. He said: “I was fully in favour though I didn’t think she’d have the slightest chance of doing it to be honest. I think it’s going to be a tremendous opportunity. I‘ll just be the donkey doing the bit at the back behind her!”
For Jennifer, it’s not just the enormity of The Ryder Cup, the location is special too.
“It’s not something that comes to Scotland often, maybe only a couple of times in my lifetime. It’s where I’ve been, it’s a course I can play – it’s quite spectacular.”