Since turning professional three years ago, Golf Town Athlete Brooke Henderson has been breaking records and climbing leaderboards. But all the while – through the travel and the laughs and the wins – big sister Brittany has been there (quite literally) every step of the way.
An accomplished golfer in her own right, Brittany has been Brooke’s only caddie since she turned pro at 18, and Brooke’s quick rise to the top of the Canadian golfing world has resulted in Brittany becoming the most famous caddie today in Canadian golf.
Brittany went to Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina where she was a standout on the golf team, and was, in November 2018, inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame. Brittany is just one of six golfers inducted into the school’s hall of fame, which also includes former world No. 1 and major winner Dustin Johnson.
She attended Coastal Carolina from 2009-2013 and won on the Suncoast Tour before playing the Symetra Tour and a handful of times on the LPGA Tour before putting down her clubs in favour of picking up her sister’s.
At first, the player-caddie relationship just made sense.
The elder Henderson was able to guide Brooke through life’s challenges while starting out as a professional golfer, but they’re also the best of friends so travelling the world together was incredibly fun, says Brittany.
“It’s fun and challenging,” Brittany says about her experience on Brooke’s bag. “We love the traveling experience – being able to see new things, experience different parts of the world and different cultures. The best part about it is having a friend to experience it all with.”
She’ll carry that 35-pound bag (sometimes more, with rain gear, etc. but always with bananas, Brooke’s favourite on-course snack) with a smile. And although Brittany says they are very determined pair and often get ‘in the zone’ when they are playing – especially on the final day of a tournament when Brooke is in contention – there are no shortage of inside jokes that pop up when they’re going through a round, too.
They are sisters, after all.
Growing up with their father, Dave, as their coach has allowed them to both view the game through the same lens. And since Brittany was an accomplished player herself, it’s been helpful for her to grow as a caddie.
“I feel that Brooke has a lot of confidence in my opinions and perspective and that puts her mind at ease,” says Brittany. “Being sisters allows us to communicate really well and completely trust each other – we know that we have each other’s back no matter what.”
A senior media official with the LPGA says there are less than 15 full-time female caddies on the LPGA Tour, and Brooke is the only player with a female caddie in the top-15 of the Rolex Rankings.
Britt says her main role prior to a tournament is to scout the golf course. She’ll want to see the conditions and get a strategy for the week ahead – even when it’s a golf course they’ve played before. She says the conditions can change year over year, and the pair may have to change their strategy and plan of attack.
Although they are always enjoying themselves on the course and thrive in the ability to put on a good show for fans and the Brooke Brigade, one thing Brittany says that people don’t know she does is to help manage the psychological aspects of golf with Brooke.
“You have to be extremely mentally tough to be a golfer… there are so many ups and downs within one tournament, one round and even one hole. As a caddie you have to know what to say at the right time,” says Brittany. “Should you try to boost them up? Should you stay quiet? Being Brooke’s sister and having a history of playing, I think I’m able to say the right thing most of the time.”
Brittany has been able to manage Brooke’s emotions through nine LPGA Tour victories, and the coolest of them all was at the 2018 CP Women’s Open, when Brooke became the first Canadian in 45 years to win her national open.
That moment, Brittany says, was one of their favourite accomplishments to date.
“There is nothing like the feeling walking up the 72nd hole on Sunday knowing that you’ve won the Canadian Open!” she says.
The pair will now look to defend their CP Women’s Open title at Magna Golf Club, but Brooke’s career – with nine wins at just 21 years old – is just getting started.
And she has her best friend, sister, and biggest supporter right there beside her.
“Growing up together we always pushed each other to get better. We continue to do that out on tour, but also try to have fun while doing it,” says Brittany. “We find that if we are enjoying what we are doing it’s easier to have success!”