Junior diary: Hello from a future Razorback
I’m Hally Leadbetter, and I go to IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. My father is David Leadbetter and my mother, Kelly Leadbetter, is also a professional golfer. My older brother Andy lives in China and teaches golf,and my little brother James is in 10th grade here at the Academies. My family and I moved here two years ago so that my brother and I could pursue our dreams to become professional golfers. I started playing golf when I was 12, which people may find surprising because of my parents, but they never forced me into it and I am so thankful for that because I came to love the game on my own terms. I have such a great opportunity here because everything I need to be successful is available to me. I have the great experience of training and going to school with people from all over the world that play not just golf but tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and football, too! I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to go to school here.
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.
This is my last year at IMG, and I hope to make it the best. In my blog, I’ll give you a taste of what a typical day is like here from a student’s perspective, including school, workouts and social life. I will keep you updated on all the events I will play around the country. I’ll also tell you about the cool experiences I have as a senior. Actually, this past weekend, I went on my official visit to the University of Arkansas! I will be a freshman there next year and I cannot wait. To be honest, before I went and visited I didn’t even know where Arkansas was, but the minute I set foot on campus I knew I had to go there. From the incredibly challenging Blessings Golf Course to the support the coaches give, it is everything I need to take my game to the next level.
Friday morning, Audrey Monssoh, the other 2011 recruit, and I landed at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and were picked up by head coach Shauna Estes and assistant coach Mike Adams. We went to the LPGA P&G Championship presented by Wal Mart and cheered on current Razoback Kelli Shean and former Razorback Stacy Lewis. Later, we met all the girls for a team dinner, and Juli Inkster sitting next to us! That night we went to the Smash Mouth concert and then went back to Emily Tubert’s room – she hosted me during my visit. Emily is the current U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champion and a freshman this year! The next morning, we woke up really early to head off to the LPGA tournament. We all wore Arkansas shirts and Razorback face tattoos and we got to call the Hogs with the gallery when Kelli and Stacy walked up on the par-3 No. 17. That night, we had a team dinner at coach’s house and a scavenger hunt around campus then watched a movie together. The next morning we had breakfast at the Blessings, and then had to say goodbye to head back home! I was so tired; I slept on the plane all the way back!
So that was my visit and I cannot wait to go next year! Anyway, next time I’ll tell you more about IMG, the tournaments I play in, and eventually you’ll know all about me and what it’s like to be a full-time student and golfer!