After transferring to Rollins, ‘Hashtag Hallywood’ caps her collegiate golf career with a national title.
Hally Leadbetter ’16 (Photo by Jim Hogue Photography)
One day soon, we’ll probably turn on the TV and see communications studies major Hally Leadbetter ’16 at a major golf event. She might be playing, she might be reporting or broadcasting—but, chances are, she’ll be around the course in some fashion.
Photo by NCAA Photos/Jack Dempsey After wrapping up a stellar career at Rollins and helping the Tars win their sixth NCAA Division II national title in May, the daughter of leading golf instructor David Leadbetter plans to try her hand professionally. But first, she’s finishing an internship at New York-based Excelle Sports, where she’s a contributing editor for golf content.
“Hally has this giant personality that’s so funny,” says Rollins Women’s Golf Head Coach Julie Garner. “She’s just got a great gift of gab and is very inquisitive … a great teammate.”
Garner’s nickname for Leadbetter? “Hashtag Hollywood,” the coach explains, “because her life is one that a lot of people would envy, with the circles she runs in and the places she goes. Yet there’s no sense of entitlement due to her name or anything like that. She’s trying to achieve things on her own, and the sky’s the limit for this young lady.”
Bio: Born and raised in Orlando; attended high school at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando and IMG Academy in Bradenton; transferred to Rollins from the University of Arkansas as a redshirt sophomore
Photo by Jim Hogue Photography 2015-16 Highlights: 75.64 stroke average; shot 3-under 69 in second round of NCAA Division II Championships; won Ross Resorts Invitational and tied for second at Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational and UWF Argonaut Invitational
How would you sum up your golf career as a Tar? “I’m definitely satisfied with where it went, and I’m just so happy that coach let me transfer and I could help her win another championship. My golf really improved, too, because I became such a happier person.”
What about your academic experience at Rollins? “It was everything I wanted and more. Every single teacher took an interest in me and knew my name. They were so excited to hear my questions and encouraged me whenever I had questions. They were so passionate about what they were doing. In a class of 500 people, it’s a bit awkward to raise your hand, but that’s not the case when there’s only 17. I was encouraged to think outside the box, and I thought that was really cool.”
What’s it like having a world-famous dad? “It’s definitely more positive than negative. Generally, it’s been a good experience (being instantly recognized), and I’m so lucky to be able to have the advantages I have. I felt guilty about that at first, but someone once told me, ‘You have to take advantages of your advantages.’”
Your perfect job? “I want to combine golf with making people laugh.”
Photo by Rollins Athletics How would you describe your game? “I’m a feel player, but that can be tough because my dad is a golf instructor. I really enjoy the short game.”
Golf: Mid Pines in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
Academics: International Politics
Favorite professors: Hesham Mesbah, Greg Cavenaugh, and David Painter (communication studies) and Dan Chong (political science)
What’s life like away from the golf course? “I really enjoy making people laugh and writing witty things—I even just signed up for an improv course. I probably spend a lot of my time brainstorming ideas about articles I could write.”
Favorite music: ’70s and house
Where can we find you off campus? Panera Bread
Editor’s note: As part of our series on the women’s golf team, we’re spotlighting the five golfers—Leadbetter, Annie Dulman, Lexie Toth, Madison Lellyo, and Paige Lyle—who teamed up to win the national title. To learn more about the team’s path to the championship, read “Anatomy of a National Title”. A full-length profile on Garner will appear in the Fall 2016 issue of Rollins magazine.