She’s small. Not just small…petite.
But size doesn’t matter for Brooke Henderson on the golf course. There she packs a punch.
Brooke spent Thursday afternoon at Chimo Elementary School in Smiths Falls being remembered by teachers and staff and passing along a few putting tips to students.
The Upper Canada District School Board school, in a short ceremony, named the gym in her honour.
Some of the students, then, got to practice putting with Brooke on a small pseudo-grass strip with a golf club and ball; Brooke helped position hands for the proper grip, feet for the proper stance, and the kids got to hit the ball. One student took three shots with at least three misses.
When Brooke took her turn, she made the shot every time.
Brooke was remembered as a girl with a smile, who always greeted others with cheerfulness and one who “often lead her team to victory,” all the while travelling the world.
She graduated from Chimo in 2011 “with top academic honours, and as female athlete of the year.”
She reminisced herself, remembering how much she enjoyed growing up in a small town where her aunts, uncles and grandparents lived and why she started playing golf in the first place — to spend time with her older sister and Dad. That’s where she became passionate about it, she said. She also admitted, with a laugh, her mother still doesn’t golf.
She remembered particularly enjoying math and gym at school, and the after-school walks home, telling her grandmother about the day, before heading off to practice golf.
She spoke about her pre-game routine. She and her Dad, who’s her coach, “go through every single hole, and where to place the ball. We talk about wind and temperature, we talk about misses and strategy — a lot of strategy.”
She warms up for about an hour before each round, which could be “five hours in heat and wind,” and afterwords about mistakes.
“You can’t learn without making mistakes,” she grinned, then she and her team set out to fix them.
She added that “success isn’t defined by trophies. You have to put in the hours, then do your best. You learn from it so that when things get tough, you can reach deep.
She left the students with some advice: “Find something you like to do. If you’re passionate about it, then it’s easy.
“You never know where it can take you…but it’s important that you really like it.”