Winning a state championship in golf is nothing new for Parklane Academy. But winning one in girls golf is an accomplishment that hasn’t been achieved — until recently.
Sisters Hannah and Harper Hinckley helped secure this on May 14 by firing a 77 and 76, respectively, at Quail Hollow Golf Course to finish ahead of Jackson Prep and win the MAIS AAAA State Championship.
“It’s really exciting,” said 12-year-old Harper, echoing 14-year-old Hannah who said, “It’s pretty awesome.”
For Hannah, her score was a new record for her.
“This was my first round where I broke 80 in a high school tournament,” she said. “And I was like ‘I am going to win this one, we are going to win as a team, we are going to win as an individual.’ “I didn’t know where her round was at but I was just hoping that (Harper) was up. I came in with a 77 and I was pumped, I was super excited. My first round with a 77 in a high school tournament, and she rolls in with a 76.”
The sisters knew that they had a state title in the bag, but as far as individual scores, Hannah’s 77 was good enough for third place.
Harper’s place was yet to be determined because she went to a playoff against Jackson Prep junior Sara Hederman. Harper parred the first hole to win medalist honors.
Other than winning the state championship, another aspect that stood out to both Hannah and Harper that afternoon was the support that they received from current teammate Bailey Hughes and former Pioneer golfers Brendan Digiovanni and Miles Felder.
“It was really special,” said Hannah. “It was really good.”
The location for the tournament had to be changed due to Mother Nature.
“The week prior we were scheduled to play the state tournament at the County Club of Jackson, which would have been Prep’s home course, the tornado came and it got rained out,” said Shane Hinckley, Hannah’s and Harper’s father and the head coach of the Parklane golf team.
“They couldn’t host the next week there. So I called Ronny (Ross, the Quail Hollow golf pro) and he was gracious enough to host us on the spur of the moment, the following Tuesday.
Heading into the tournament, Shane knew of the challenge facing his girls.
“I told them that morning, ‘Prep has a good golf team, you are both going to have to shoot into the 70s for this to happen,’ ” he said.
“Fortunately they shot 76 and 77, and that was low enough because we only won by two strokes.”
But overall, being the ones to help Parklane Academy claim its first state title in girls golf is very humbling for the Hinckley sisters.
“It was my first year on the golf team, so it was pretty special,” said Harper.
Hannah added, “It was really, really cool because golf really isn’t a huge sport at Parklane. It was really cool because I have a whole bunch of coaches as teachers and they were like, ‘So how did you play in the tournament?’ “And I was like, ‘we just won state.’ It was really awesome.”