Game Changers

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Keegan Bradley Was Born into Golf

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and his father Mark Bradley, PGA.

Keegan Bradley has officially been named the 2025 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, a moment in the making, really, since he was born thanks to his golf-centric family — including father and PGA of America Golf Professional Mark Bradley, and his aunt, legendary LPGA Tour player Pat Bradley.
The Bradley family is known for having a very unique distinction within the world of golf: an LPGA Tour member, PGA of America Member and a PGA TOUR member all in the same bloodline.
More on the first two of that trio. Mark is a 27-year PGA Life Member, most recently the Director of Instruction and longtime Head Professional at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club in Jackson, Wyoming, after a long career in New England. His sister, Pat, was an LPGA Tour standout and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1991. Pat became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1974 and won 31 tour events, including six major championships.
“Our parents owned a ski shop when I was growing up," remembers Mark. "My dad caddied as a kid and loved golf. He said to my mother that he wanted to introduce his kids to 'the game of integrity.' My sister Pat, and I started playing at the ages of 9 and 11.”
Keegan Bradley as a child.
Keegan Bradley as a child.
When Mark’s son, Keegan, was 3 years of age, he picked up a golf club for the first time. Little did Mark know at that time, Keegan would go on to cement his own place in the golf world.
Keegan burst onto the golf scene in 2011, as a PGA Tour rookie. In winning the PGA Championship that year, he joined a very short list of first-time winners in their major championship debut.
Now, he's been part of the PGA TOUR landscape for over a decade. With six PGA TOUR wins, including that 2011 PGA Championship, two Ryder Cup appearances and one Presidents Cup appearance, he's one of golf's most well-known names.
And now, with an upcoming stint as the 2025 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Keegan has cemented his place in the history of the game. But it all started with trips alongside his dad to the golf course every day in the summertime.
“When Keegan was born, I coached skiing and was a PGA of America Golf Professional," Mark recalls. "We skied in the winter Keegan was an excellent skier) and we played golf in the summer. Keegan came to work with me every day at the golf course for years. He practiced and played, and played, and played some more.”
When Keegan was young, Mark looked to instill important life lessons on him through golf.
“Count all your strokes and stay patient," Mark remembers saying. "Keegan used to get mad if things weren’t going well while he was playing. I told him that kind of behavior never worked for me.”
Keegan and Mark Bradley.
Keegan and Mark Bradley.
For many dads that bring their children up in the game, getting out onto the course together is always a thrill and something that creates a long-lasting bond. For Mark, that was no different, as he spent a lot of time on the course with Keegan.
“We played Ryder Cup/Walker Cup. If he hit a good shot, he could ride in the cart. If his shot was not so good, I made him walk. We had so much fun with that," says Mark. "You can imagine how great it was when he played on the Ryder Cup Team representing the USA!”
Keegan Bradley and Pat Bradley
Keegan Bradley and Pat Bradley
Pat Bradley has also had a profound impact on Keegan in his development as a player.
“Aunt Pat has been an unbelievable mentor for me over the years," Keegan says. "She has had such a great influence on me, and I like to think that we are both very similar. She has taught me the importance of focus and intensity. Not only in competition, but in practice.”
The Bradleys are just one shining example of millions, that show how the game can play such an integral part in creating a lifetime of memories and experiences. Mark summed it up best.
“It’s one of the greatest family sports there is," he says. "We have had so much fun over the years teeing it up together.”
That sport has led to many incredible things, all culminating in this full circle moment for Keegan, heading to New York with one of golf's most coveted roles: U.S. Ryder Cup Captain.