Leavitt’s Jade Haylock lines up her next shot during the Class B golf state championships in October at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Haylock is one of only three golfers to win at least three straight girls’ titles. David Leaming photo

It was over a decade ago, but Harry Haylock still remembers the scene. His daughter, Jade Haylock, then 7 years old, was playing in a junior golf event at Riverside Golf Course in Portland, and the competition came down to a putt-off with a boy nearly two years older.

She beat him. Even then, her father could see a competitiveness taking form.

“From right then, I was like ‘Man, this kid is going places,'” he said. “‘She’s intense.'”

That competitiveness has turned into a high school golf career that is becoming one of the best ever in Maine. Haylock, a junior at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, won her third straight Class B girls’ championship with a 1-over 73 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, a round that followed her stellar 5-under 67 that earned her first place in the KVAC state qualifier.

Only two other players, Waterville’s Abby Spector and Wiscasset’s Samantha Sommers, have won at least three consecutive girls’ titles, according to Maine Principals’ Association records going back to 1975. For her performance, Haylock is the Varsity Maine Girls’ Golfer of the Year for the second year in a row.

“For high school, I was right there and ready to go from the very beginning,” said Haylock, 16. “I’ve started going to the gym recently, I’m getting a lot stronger, I can hit it further. And just also, (I’m) practicing a lot more and having my attention set when I go out there to practice, instead of just hitting the ball around.”–


Haylock’s golf success goes beyond the high school season. She competes extensively throughout the state and region during the spring and summer, and has turned into one of Maine’s top amateur players. She was third at the Maine Women’s Amateur this summer, shooting 6 over for three rounds, and she finished second by a stroke in the Maine Junior Golf Championships.

The advantage Haylock enjoys comes partly from her distance. Haylock drives it long – she estimated 220 yards, Harry said 240 – and accurately, allowing her to attack pins and turn par 5s into scoring opportunities.

“Her consistency with her clubs dramatically improved,” said Harry Haylock, the Leavitt coach. “She’s not in the woods or in the bunkers, like I am. She’s almost always in the fairway.”

Jade Haylock, however, said her mental game has become her biggest strength.

“(I think it’s) feeling confidence in my shots and managing the course,” she said. “I think about my shots a lot smarter now, and just go with the safe shots sometimes when I have to.”

She had all components of her game for much of the high school season, as she averaged 37 for nine holes and was the medalist in nine of 11 matches. Her play reached a high note at the KVAC qualifier, when she made five birdies and an eagle en route to the 67. It’s the best score she’s posted in competition.

“I was just out there ready to lead my team. I knew that they were counting on me for a good score,” she said. “I started off with a bogey, and then just started cranking out birdies after that. … It just felt easy, everything clicked. It was a great day.”

Haylock was the only Leavitt golfer to advance to states, but she kept up her impressive play, birdieing three holes on her way to the 73 and the brink of a career sweep. Only Spector, who is coaching Jade’s sister, Ruby, at Bates College, has won four straight titles.

“Next year, I’ll be excited once again,” she said. “I don’t think I’m going to be putting pressure on myself. I’m just going to … try to shoot low once again and see what happens.”

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