While Smiths Falls is becoming known for its cannabis production, its most famous product is someone who has performed on a different kind of green.
Brooke Henderson is the greatest golfer in Canadian history, and is poised to become the top golfer in the world as she prepares for the 2020 season.
While her success on the course has earned her a spot in Canadian sports history, it is her character and work ethic that has taken her there. Kind, hard-working, disciplined; things that did not go unnoticed by the LPGA. She was awarded the 2019 Founders Award this year, for which she was voted by her peers.
Since we last spoke to Brooke in 2017, she has won 4 more titles to bring her total to 9 – the most of any Canadian golfer in history.
She was also named the Best Female Golfer in the world at the 2019 Espy Awards this past July, the largest sports awards show in the world.
We chatted with Brooke about life off and on the course, the role and importance of her family and her plans for 2020 and beyond.
Take us behind the scenes of your offseason and training. What does your routine look like?
Our offseason is pretty short, so I really try to get away from golf for a few days. But I quickly get right back into the swing of things. I have a combination of fitness, practice, and on-course work that I focus on.
Do you miss Canadian winters?
It would be easy to say “no”, but I love the snow! While I spend a lot of time traveling to different sunny locations, it is always nice to come home around the holidays to a bit of snow. It can be really beautiful!
This issue will be published in January 2020. How do you feel when you reflect on the past decade?
It’s hard to believe how much has happened in the past 10 years. I am very grateful. Fortunately, I have had my family by my side to keep me grounded and focused on my short-term goals. While it is great to look back and reflect, I have always been somebody who focuses on the task at hand and what is next.
You recently were awarded the 2019 Founders Award by your fellow LPGA Golfers. The Award is given out to someone “whose behaviour and deeds best exemplify the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA”. How much does it mean to you to have your peers think so highly of you as a person?
I was truly honoured to receive the Founders Award, named after 13 remarkably driven and talented women that paved the way for all of us to now follow our dreams on the LPGA Tour. Their passion and perseverance is something I try to go forward with every day. Of course, given that the award was voted on by my peers, it made accepting the award even more special.
How do you feel you’ve been able to keep yourself grounded considering all your success? What role has your family played in this?
I am grateful to have my family with me on this journey. My dad is of course my coach, my sister is my caddy, and my mom is our biggest cheerleader. We are always there for each other and share in each other’s successes.
Speaking of Awards, you won Female Golfer of the Year at the 2019 Espy Awards. How important was that moment for you?
It was awesome to win this fan-voted award along with so many other talented athletes. I am always so appreciative of the fans that cheer me on!
Reflecting on your last season, what are you most proud of in your performance?
My highlight of the year would have to be breaking the Canadian Record and getting my 9th victory on Tour! To become the all-time winningest Canadian Golfer on both the LPGA and PGA Tour is amazing! It is an honour to be mentioned in the same category as some of the greats in our game—Sandra Post, Mike Weir, and George Knudson.
What areas of your game are you looking to improve on for your upcoming season?
This is one of the things I take a hard look at with my team in the offseason. We will set some process oriented goals that we feel will lead to long-term success.
How do you unwind when you’re travelling? Any favourite Netflix shows or books?
Being on the road with my sister so much, we both have our own ways to unwind and fight jetlag. I love Netflix and watch a lot of movies and TV shows, and Brit tends to read a bit more. Staying well rested and relaxed keeps us ready to compete at the highest levels.
What is your favourite movie of all-time and why?
I like the Jungle Book—the newer 2016 version. I love the animals. I could watch that movie over and over!
Everyone is a foodie for something—what is your favourite “cheat day” meal?
My go-to meals are pretty simple: Chipotle, Subway, or Chick-fil-A depending on where I am and what mood I am in!
When you come back home, what are some of the things you like to do? Any traditions or spots you have to visit?
Any time I get to go back home, my first priority is seeing my extended family and friends. It is always nice to see people that know you outside of the golfing world, and I find that really enjoyable. I have a few golf courses that I like to stop by when I get a chance, and in the wintertime we may even go for some curling!
What’s currently on your playlist?
I have always been a fan of country music and spend a lot of time listening to that while traveling. While I like the newer country music, I also enjoy some of the classics, like Reba McEntire!
How would you describe your dad as a coach and as someone you consider a best friend?
My Dad provides so much guidance and support on a daily basis on and off the course. It is important to him that while we are working hard we are also having fun and enjoying life!
As January/February are vacation months, do you have a favourite memory of a family vacation?
My fondest memories usually go back to our family time at the cottage. It is peaceful and a great getaway for us. We have made a lot of memories there, from apple picking to exploring the lake!
Looking ahead to the new decade and the next 10 years – what are your goals for the 2020s?
It is hard to believe that we will already be into the 2020s! While I certainly have some goals in mind, I prefer to keep those to myself and focus on the day-to-day process of getting better at all aspects of my game. I am really looking forward to the upcoming season with the LPGA Tour’s five majors, Lotte Championship where I attempt to three-peat, Meijer where I am defending Champion, CP Women’s Open, Olympics and CME Tour Championship.
Lastly, what is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Tee it high, and let it fly!