Leavitt’s Jade Haylock lines up putt during the Class B golf state championships on Oct. 8 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Haylock won the girls’ individual title for the second year in a row and helped the Hornets claim the Class B team state championship. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Jade Haylock wasn’t happy with her golf game in July.

By October, however, it couldn’t have looked much better.

Haylock, a sophomore at Leavitt Area High, won her second straight Class B title, led her Hornets to the team championship, and earned the nod as Varsity Maine Girls’ Golfer of the Year.

Haylock shot 83 in the KVAC Class B qualifier, then fired an 80 at the state championships. That was Leavitt’s best score, and the best number for all girls regardless of class. She followed it up with a 77 at the New England championships, good for a tie for ninth place among 48 scorers.

Haylock’s play allowed the Hornets to absorb the graduation of her older sister, Ruby, now a two-time Maine Women’s Amateur champion.

“I’m really happy that we could do it after this hard work that we could put into it,” Haylock said. “I didn’t (feel pressure). I just felt like I could go out there and play my best. The team isn’t going to be unhappy with me based on my performance.”


The ramp-up to the season was bumpy, however. Haylock’s game slipped during the Women’s Amateur, when she shot 56 over for three rounds. She used the disappointing performance as a wake-up call.

“I was like ‘OK, something needs to change. I can’t go the rest of the year playing this golf that I am now,'” Haylock said. “I was changing my routine, changing my swing, changing my mentality. Little by little, I saw improvements.”

That familiar form returned in August. Haylock won the women’s flight of the Maine Event, shooting back-to-back 77s for a three-shot victory. By the time the high school season started, Haylock was ready to lead a Hornets team that, with Billy Visconti, Alexis McCormick, Aidan Lind and A.J. Davis, had the depth to compete for a state title.

“The driver is where it’s at for her,” said Leavitt Coach Harry Haylock, Jade’s father. “She pounds the ball pretty well. Many of the ladies (in MSGA events) call her ‘Sweet Pea,’ nicknames associated with someone that’s rather small. … In the last year or two, she’s really grown up. She’s about 5-8 now and she’s pounding the ball past Ruby. That’s impressive. When she picks up that driver, not only is it long, but it’s quite accurate.”

Coach Haylock said Jade has a workmanlike approach.

“She’s one of the more determined players that I’ve coached,” he said. “She’s out there grinding almost on a daily basis. That’s the same way she approaches competitive golf. She’s meticulous with her preparation, she gets her stuff ready the night before. … She likes to get there at least an hour ahead, work her driver, work her irons, make sure she has time to chip and putt.”


The talent is there, and Haylock said her poise during tournaments, while always an area that can be better, improved a significant amount this season.

“I think this year was the first year I didn’t have as (many issues with) nerves as I did in the past,” she said. “I played enough tournaments and had enough experience to finally prepare for a tournament and not be nervous and shaky. All the experience that I have just calms me.”

Haylock, and her team, were ready for the big stage this fall.

“I still am in awe of how my team did,” she said. “They all really pulled it together for the final day.”

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