A TEENAGE golf star from Leeds, says without learning to play at her local council run golf course, she would never have become a national award winner.
Jennifer Conlon, 14, from Middleton, began playing at Middleton Park Golf Course when she was just 10 years old.
But Leeds City Council bosses have announced the popular course, in south Leeds, which dates back to the 1930s, is to close on October 31.
Plans are under way to turn the land into a public country park. The first year of landscaping work at the new park would be paid for with the £76,000 saved from the council subsidy.
Jennifer, a pupil at Cockburn School, whose handicap is 18, but is aiming for under 10 next year, said: “I am devastated it is closing as it is only two minutes away from where I live.”
Dad Craig Conlon said: “Jennifer use to walk the dog and watch the golfers play. We then got her a golf coach who saw the potential in her and he took over from there.
“She started playing in local golf tournaments about two years ago and won some across Yorkshire.”
Jennifer is just back from the South African Junior Open Challenge, representing the UK earlier this month, at the Zebula Golf Course. She was the only junior to enter the competition from Britain and competed over three days, finally winning the competition by eight shots and became the Junior South African Champion for girls aged 14.
Jennifer, who hopes to turn professional, said: “Winning this competition has opened the door for me to play more competitions around the world including the world teen championships which are held at Pinehirst Golf Club in America in July 2015.”
Jennifer first played in the Yorkshire qualifier for the Wee Wonders British championships in 2013 and won. She played the finals at St Andrews in Scotland, where she finished in the top 20 girls.
She then qualified for the US Kids Golf European championships again held in Scotland at Gullane golf course where she got a top 30 finish, playing against some of the best juniors from around the world.
Gotts Park Golf Course in Armley has been given a second reprieve giving members time to come up with another business plan to save it.
Jennifer also has golf coaching at Oulton Hall in Rothwell by Phil Akers who is the head coach for the junior academy. She is a member of South Leeds Golf Club.
She is a member of South Leeds Golf Club. Her golfing heroes are Laura Davies and Charlie Hull.