Small town local golfer shooting for the big time

Originally aired by CBS Raleigh – December 22, 2020

The small town of Pikeville, North Carolina, population 600, is home to one of the nation’s top young female golfers.

Eleven-year-old Ella Hannant is racking up trophies at an early age, including winning the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition at the Masters.

“It was amazing seeing my name on the leaderboard,” gushed Ella. “Just being there was amazing but winning at the end was awesome.”

Ella began playing golf at a very young age. Her grandfather was a standout on the links and the family couldn’t wait to get a golf club in her hands.

“As soon as she could walk she started to swing a club,” explained Ella’s father, Steven Hannant.

With amazing results. Along with her Drive, Chip and Putt title, Ella also won the 20-19 US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst. And recently took home the 20-20 Tournament of Champions title.

That success has Ella thinking big.

“I’d like to try to be able to be one of the youngest people to get on the LPGA Tour,” Ella admitted.

“She has those big goals but she does what it takes to reach those goals,” explained her father. “She’s very focused especially at her young age and she’s very interested.”

Four practices a week, workouts, and tournaments on the weekend leave Ella with little time, and that includes school. A traditional 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. school day just wouldn’t work. Her school, North Carolina Virtual Academy, gives her some flexibility.

“It’s great because it’s not a specific time you have to be doing something,” said Ella. “So if I need to do a workout or hitting balls I can just do it at different times of the day so it’s really great.”

Great. Kind of like her golf career to date. Ella Hannant is about to put the small, down east town of Pikeville on the map.

To learn more about North Carolina Virtual Academy visit,

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