Haines dominates course and stage



London Haines (10) is crowned Miss Chester County’s Outstanding Teen by the former Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen. Haines started competing in pageants after the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to break out of her shell.


London Haines (10) poses with her crown and sash. Earlier this year, Haines won the Miss Chester County’s Outstanding Teen title.
London Haines (10) swings her club at Audubon Park. Haines has only been playing golf on the school team for two years, but has quickly established herself as a key player.

Each day, London Haines (10) bears the weight of her clubs and her crown on top of her academic duties. Haines is often titled the most valuable player (MVP) of the White Station golf team, and was also recently crowned Miss Chester County Outstanding Teen. 

Haines’s journey with golf began in the fourth grade. Her interest sparked after a school visit from First Tee, a nonprofit organization that teaches children golf.

“I had no idea like what golf was about … I tried out [and] they said I was pretty good … so, I was like ‘Okay, I guess I can do this then’ so, that’s how it stuck with me,” Haines said.

Although Haines has only played on the White Station golf team for two years, she has quickly built up her profile. Her high skill level makes her an important player and a fierce competitor. 

“[She] was ranked my number one these last couple of times which means she’s the reason that we have won the [Shelby County Interscholastic Association] Championship as well as … the district,” Jeremy Bateman, golf coach and human geography teacher, said.

Despite coming in first for many of her matches , Haines remains driven to further improve her game and compete against higher skilled golfers.

“I like playing with others that are … better than me, because it helps me learn more, and it kind of puts me in more of a competition mode,” Haines said.

Haines says that her focus and positivity help motivate her to improve. She claims that to improve in golf, an athlete must compete against themselves first.

“When you start to play against other people, you suck … but when you play against yourself, and you really just pay attention to what you’re doing, I think that’s what improves me and how I play,” Haines said.

In addition to her golf achievements, Haines competed in a pageant for Miss Chester County Outstanding Teen earlier this year. While many people participate in pageants for the money and scholarship opportunities that come along with titles, Haines had a different motivation. 

“After quarantine … I really got social anxiety, and being in front of people [I was like] ‘Oh, I don’t know what I’m going to say,’ but I had to learn how to push myself out of that, because I really wanted to change … I was like ‘Mom, what can I do?’” Haines said.” “And she was like, ‘There’s this pageant thing.’ I was like ‘Sign me up!’”

One difficult part of participating in pageants is the constant performance. The layers of hair, makeup and clothes can make it hard for many contestants to keep track of the real person underneath; however, Haines has found a balance between the two.

“I think one thing about pageantry is that we try to become someone that’s not us, like what we think someone else wants us to be, and I felt myself becoming that,” Haines said. “So, I was like ‘Okay, how do I learn how to be myself in front of people?’”

While the pageant work finished after Haines won the crown, she soon adopted many new responsibilities that came with the title.

“[The title is] really cool, because I get to talk to people and just be a representation of not only the community, but the organization,” Haines said.

Through her pageant title and her work as Commissioner of Welfare on White Station’s Editorial Board, Haines strives to be of service to the broader Memphis community. Her work consists of programs like her Social Impact Initiative of teaching etiquette and soft skills and helping plan White Station’s annual blood drive. 

“I think [my work] represents the things that I want to try to achieve, because … I try to use it as like a stepping stone,” Haines said. “So, I think it represents like building blocks of all the things that I want to do.”

Despite the tough competition in golf tournaments, responsibilities of pageant life and duties as Commissioner of Welfare, Haines keeps her confidence and positivity high.

“If I had to give anyone some advice it would probably be like, ‘Be the eye of the hurricane,’ because … I … do a lot of stuff, and I feel like it can be overwhelming, but when you’re at peace with yourself, it can bring positive light to things,” Haines said.