Moffat County golfer Aron Jennings shooting for international summer program
Walking the grounds of one of the world’s most premier sporting locations might be enough of a thrill for some people, but one Bulldog athlete is more than ready to compete.
Moffat County golfer Aron Jennings is working to compete at the 2023 Scotland Junior Golf Invitational, an international event aimed at fostering a love for the sport for young duffers.
The United States-based program arranges travel, lodging and course appointments for teenage players who show promise in golf by sending them to St Andrews Golf Club and adjacent golf courses in Scotland.
Running from June 28 to July 7, the trip features six rounds on the links in the nation where the modern sport of golf began centuries ago. The Old Course at St Andrews has been in action since the mid-1500s.
Jennings is a two-time state golfer for Moffat County and continually led the team in scoring, including shooting a 73 at Devil’s Thumb in Delta in August. When the SJGI reached out to him, it was a pleasant surprise, and one that also got him motivated.
“It was really exciting, but it really made want to go to the golf course and get to practicing more,” he said.
Jennings, who is homeschooled, is currently working on his game in Louisiana.
“Since I’m down in a warm environment, it’s a lot easier now,” he said. “My irons have been improving a lot; it’s just about practicing. I’m not really looking for a score necessarily just yet, but I’m working on being able to hit it low and keep it out of the wind, stuff like that. I’d definitely like to go out there and impress everyone, but I don’t want to put a whole lot of pressure on myself like that. You put too much pressure on, you usually don’t play too well.”
Moffat County coach Tim Adams said he anticipates that his top player won’t need much help getting in gear for the big event that’s six months from now.
“Aron works really hard. … He’s very dedicated to it for sure,” Adams said. “I’m excited for him because what a great experience to get to go to Scotland and experience a different culture and play on a course like that. That’s something that’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists. I think it’s pretty special.”
Jennings said tournament organizers explained to him that golfers will be representing nine states, including a couple others from Colorado.
With his senior season starting next August, he expects playing overseas to bolster his reputation, though the greatest benefit might be how much he expects it to strengthen his confidence as a player.
“Once I come back in the fall and hit that first tee, it’ll just feel like normal again,” he said.
Part of the program is raising the funds to participate — with a “Road to St Andrews” GoFundMe page started by family members — and Jennings foresees that it will be an investment in his plans to play the sport professionally after high school.
“Honestly, this is just the first step for me. My goal since I started golfing was to be a pro,” he said. “I want to be near the best. I’m not going to be Tiger Woods, I know that. I’m humble enough to say that, but I want to be up there. I just gotta keep working, and playing at St Andrews will be a big part of that.”
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