Going Long: Hinson at Home on Tour

Blythewood’s William Hinson working on distance, the only thing that matters on the Long Drive Tour.

BLYTHEWOOD – Some students graduated with honors last month, some graduated with scholarship offers. When William Hinson graduated from Blythewood High School, he did so with a long drive golf tournament championship under his belt, bringing home some hardware and an $8,000 check from Greenville, Tenn.

It was his second tournament title since turning pro back in 2012 and his first since signing a sponsorship deal with Callaway Golf Company last spring. The victory in the Tennessee Shootout came the day before he graduated and Hinson put it away with a 377-yard drive into the wind, giving him a 14-yard edge over his competition.

“The third day was into the wind,” Hinson, 19, said. “I had to change my game around a little bit. Usually, I hit mid to high.”

Long drive is just what it sounds like, setting the ball on the tee and hammering it as far as you can. Golf without the putting. And Hinson has excelled at it from the moment he picked up the clubs. After a year of swinging the sticks, Hinson won his first event at the Chance Charity Long Drive Championship in Marietta, Ga., in September 2012. He was only 17, and the youngest long drive champion in the history of the sport.

The Long Drive Tour has taken Hinson across the country with his clubs slung across his back, accompanied by his father, Edward, and his older brother, Josh. Next week, he heads out to Utah where he will compete for a spot in the world championships, which will be held in the fall in Nevada. Hinson said he also hopes to compete in tournaments in Spain and Mexico this year as well, but will have to make time for community college in the fall in West Jefferson, N.C.

“I’m loving it,” Hinson said. “I get to travel with my dad and older brother, which makes things a lot of fun.”