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10 Questions with Brooke Henderson

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What was it like growing up in Smiths Falls?

Growing up in a small town defined me. Travelling around the world after growing up in a town of 9,000 people is definitely a big change. I truly appreciate family and friends and the community that supports me.

As a child, did you have time for any other sports?

I loved to play hockey and was a goalie. This increased my physical strength and mental strength, which is great for kids to develop.

Who was your biggest influence?

I watched my older sister Brittany win tournaments every weekend, and walked along the fairways with my dad. He taught me the rules and how to play. I always followed in my sister’s footsteps. Brittany made Canada’s National Team at 14; I made Canada’s National Team at 14. She has been a huge inspiration for me, as have my mom and dad. They sacrificed so much for us on this journey, just so that we can live the lives we do. I will be forever grateful for that.

Brittany is now your caddie. What is it like having your sister on the road with you?

We spend 24 hours a day together, seven days a week. She’s my caddie and my best friend, keeps me organized and manages our bookings for flights and hotels. It’s great fun to be on this journey together.

Smiths Falls is a railroad town, what do you know about our railroad?

I have many family members who have been a part of CP: my grandpa, great-uncles, cousins and great-grandpa. They worked as engineers, conductors, brakemen and even a supervisor. We have a long history with CP and I’m proud to be an ambassador to carry on that tradition.

What do you enjoy about golf?

I started at the age of three. My grandma was 93 when she stopped playing. It’s great that you can play golf for your whole life and enjoy it with family and friends. I treasure the core values it teaches you: perseverance, honesty, integrity—I learned all of these on the golf course and they have served me off the golf course as well.

You’ve had many accomplishments already in your career. What are some of the highlights?

I won my first professional event at age 14, becoming the youngest person to do so. I beat Tiger Woods and Lydia Ko in that category, so holding that title is pretty special. I was able to play my first Canadian Women’s Open in Vancouver at age 14 and it was an amazing experience. Right then I realized that if I continued to work on my game, good things would happen. It’s been a real dream come true ever since.

What is it like having the CP Women’s Open so close to home this year?

It’s really special to come back to the Ottawa area. Since Smiths Falls is close to Ottawa, I’ve spent time there over the years. I’m excited to be so close to home, near family and friends, and to play at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. Our nation’s capital is full of history and it’s great to be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday at the tournament.

What’s it like playing on Canada’s National team?

I was proud to play on Canada’s National Team at 14. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and developing great friendships among the other Canadians was a bonus. Alena Sharp is one of my best friends on tour and she helps me out all the time. We Canadians stick together, always demonstrating true Canadian pride and spirit.

What’s does it mean to be able to represent Canada?

Every time I’m called out to the course, I feel proud when they announce that my hometown is Smiths Falls. I’m honoured and proud to represent Canada when I step onto the green. Going to the Olympics to play for Canada was a dream come true.