Henderson Sisters Blazing Their Own Path Through Professional Golf Together
By Adam Stanley
Brittany and Brooke Henderson at the 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
From the blonde ponytail to the Skechers shoes, it’s hard to tell Brittany and Brooke Henderson apart.
The duo has spent most of the younger Henderson’s entire professional-golf career together – and what a stretch it’s been.
The Canadian sisters have been one of the most impressive and long-standing partnerships on the LPGA Tour, with Brittany caddying for 12 of Brooke’s 13 career Tour titles. Those 13 LPGA Tour victories are the most of any Canadian in history on either the LPGA or PGA Tour.
Included in that was their maiden major-championship title, a victory at the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The duo is on the hunt for another major at The Amundi Evian Championship this week, too, defending their 2022 victory in Évian, France.
And as Brooke often says, without Brittany deciding to pursue golf as a youngster, she may not have wanted to do it, either.
“I love having her on the bag and just being able to travel around the world together, it's been a super fun journey,” said Brooke.
Talented sister duo from early on
Brittany Henderson was a star golfer herself growing up in Canada. The sisters were both inspired to pick up the game by their father, Dave Henderson, who remains as Brooke’s coach to this day. Brittany took her first swings in their yard in Smiths Falls, Ontario (about an hour from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa), and entered her first serious tournament at 11. She quickly became part of Golf Canada’s national junior team – a squad Brooke would join as well – and ended up going to Coastal Carolina University on a golf scholarship, where she was in the school’s PGA Golf Management program.
While Brittany had plenty of success on the junior and amateur level, Brooke – who is six years younger than Brittany – was trying to follow in her footsteps. Originally Brooke thought that the person who got the ball in the hole the fastest was the objective of golf, but, Brittany said, her younger sibling caught on the real way of playing golf pretty quickly.
Brooke won her first professional tournament when she was still an amateur at just 14 years old. She would become the No.1-ranked amateur in the world in 2014 and turned professional not long after that big accomplishment.
Brooke originally verbally committed to playing at the University of Florida – she said when she was eight she saw Brittany receive “piles of letters” from schools in the U.S. and she thought that “was unbelievable” – but skipped school in favor of playing pro golf instead.
Brittany, meanwhile, was watching with keen eyes as her younger sister was becoming really good, really fast. There was a time when they played together in a tournament in Quebec and Brittany won, but Brooke was right there – and won the age division one lower than Brittany’s.
“I had to play really well just to beat her. That was when I was like, ‘all right, that’s enough,’” Brittany told the Toronto Star recently.
Finding major glory together
Brittany’s golf prowess continued to grow while Brooke was getting better and better as a junior in Canada. Brittany was a four-year player at Coastal Carolina and was recently inducted into that school’s Sasser Athletic Hall of Fame. She turned professional and played 19 times across both the then-Symetra Tour (now the Epson Tour) and the LPGA. Brooke caddied for Brittany six times when she teed it up on the Symetra Tour.
After Brooke’s first win on the LPGA Tour at the Portland Classic (her lone victory without Brittany on the bag), she earned a special invite to join the LPGA Tour – at just 17.
From there, Brittany decided to hang up the clubs as a pro and the sisters have been travelling the world together ever since.
“I depend on her a ton, especially down the stretch when things get a little bit tense. She's always there for me, giving me what I need, whether it's a kick in the butt or just not saying anything at all and letting me handle it,” said Brooke. “She's been integral to my success out here.”
It’s certainly a family affair for the Henderson clan, with Brittany and Brooke inside the ropes and Dave the main man outside the ropes – with mom Darlene usually the No.1 supporter – and the pair continue to make plenty of history on the course. Brooke won the CPKC Women’s Open in 2018, becoming the first Canadian to win her home country’s national open in 45 years. She also captured her second major championship last summer – The Amundi Evian – and burst out of the gate at the beginning of 2023 with a win at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
Brooke finished tied for 15th at this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA continuing a fabulous stretch of major-championship results – she hasn’t finished outside the top-25 on a leaderboard in a major in three years.
And while she continues to re-write the Canadian golf record books, her sister Brittany is right there in lockstep, helping her with decisions and having plenty of fun along the way, too.
“She's my best friend and works really hard for me on and off the course. So just to have all these unique experiences, it's been fun, and hopefully she stays on my bag for a long time.”