Junior diary: It’s not so bad to be busy
The last two weeks have been really busy! I played in two tournaments in Florida with the new IMG Leadbetter Junior Golf Tour – one in Boca Raton and one in Naples. At the first tournament, I shot 74-77 over two rounds and tied for second. In Naples, I shot 72-76 and I won! I played well the first day and was a little nervous on the last day, but managed to hold it together down the stretch. I have never been in that situation before, so it was great to get my first win with my coach, Kevin Collins (IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy), watching! My friend, Keagan Cummings, shot an amazing 65 the second day to win in the boys division, so it was fun to go out and cheer for him on the last hole. That is one of the cool things about IMG: Even though we compete as individuals, we are like a big team because we all support each other. The new tour is an extension of this, but it’s great that it is also open to all junior golfers so we can meet and compete with the most dedicated players around the world! Students come from everywhere to train here and compete. I have new and old friends from all over the United States, England, Iceland, Mexico, Thailand and Japan, just to name a few!
Hally Leadbetter, 17, will file a diary every other week this fall as she finishes her final year at IMG Academies and maintains a busy tournament schedule.
Leadbetter, who had five top-5 finishes in FCWT events in the past year and four top-10 finishes in AJGA events, is bound for Arkansas in the fall. She is the daughter of golf instructor David Leadbetter.
We have a lot of new kids this year at IMG Academies and being a senior, a lot of my friends were older than me and graduated, so it was really great to spend time with the new people on the new junior golf tour and make new friends doing stuff together at the tournaments. Friday night in Naples we got to know each other over a big dinner, and Saturday night we had a pizza party on the beach ... but it didn’t go until very late because we had to get to bed early for Sunday’s round!
I bet you are wondering what a day is like for an IMG student. Well, my day is slightly different because I live off campus and I am a senior. I only have one class on B days, which you probably don’t even understand, but you will by the end of this, so don’t worry!
The big plus of living off campus for me is being at home and seeing my family. Every day I wake up at 6 a.m. and have breakfast with my brother, James. My dad, as a lot of people don’t know, really likes to cook, and all of it is really healthy! So he makes us breakfast, and we are out the door by 7:05 a.m. I drop my brother off at 7:20 a.m. for school, get to the range by 7:30, then practice until noon. If it’s a B day, I don’t start school until 3:30 p.m., so I go eat lunch then come back, or I go play nine holes. The IMG Pendleton school, the academic part of IMG, is great! It’s set up with something similar to a college format. We have A days on Mondays and Wednesdays, B days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays it alternates every week. On A days I go to school from 1:15 p.m. to 6:20 p.m., and on B days I go from only 3:30 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., because I have only one class on that day. So when I am finished with school I usually go practice a little bit more or head straight to the gym with my brother. I’m a really big work-out person! I think it really helps to be fit for golf, so that you can hit the ball farther and have more stamina. Then I go back home, eat dinner, do homework, and go to sleep! But if I need extra help in school, I can go to Directed Learning, which is where the teacher in any specific subject will be there from 7-8:30 p.m. one day a week if you have any questions. As you can see, it is a pretty busy day, but it’s really fun because there is always something that I am doing, or about to do.
I don’t have a tournament for the next three weeks, so I plan on doing some swing work and a lot of short game practice. Talk to you soon!