The one thing Brooke Henderson has had to get used to in her brief career on the LPGA Tour, either as a part-time and full-time player, is quick adjustment to the situation at hand.
Henderson is in Calgary for the CP Women’s Open, which gets underway at Priddis Greens, a stark contrast to the treeless course with different grasses that she played in representing Canada at the just-concluded Olympics.
“It was a long flight. I think it was 15 hours on a plane. It’s only a three-hour time change, so it isn’t too difficult,” she said of her journey between Rio and Calgary.
“On the LPGA Tour, our schedule is so diverse and we go to so many different countries and we travel so much that it’s really just like a regular event. You have travel day either Sunday night or Monday and that’s exactly what we did,” said Henderson.
“I got here Monday morning, I guess mid-morning around 11, and then, by the time I got to the golf course, my clubs were actually lost for a few hours, but I got them Monday night,” she said.
“Everything was kind of similar to a regular tour event. It was just maybe a little bit longer journey coming from Rio,” added Henderson.
So, travel doesn’t appear to be an issue, but Priddis Greens means different challenges than the ones she faced in Rio. On the other hand, Henderson has made no secret of the fact that she loves tree-lined courses and the fact that her three victories, including her first major, came in the Pacific Northwest backs up that claim.
If that’s the case, Priddis Greens will fit her eye and she was here only a month ago to play the golf course.
“You’ve got to play good shots around here,” said Henderson.
“I think like any golf course, you need to hit fairways, you need to hit greens. You need to pay attention to slopes. The greens are quite a bit faster than we’ve played recently and a little bit firmer,” she added.
“Just knowing bounces, playing smart, good calculations, which comes into caddies a lot too, so (caddie/sister) Brit has been working really hard over the last few days to try and take really good notes and make sure that she’s ready to give me good numbers so that I can perform well,” she said.
“I think it’s going to be won around the greens, but hopefully, I’ll hit good shots and make it a little easier on myself,” she said.
“This golf course I think, off the tee, it’s not a huge deal. There’s definitely some holes where you can lay up. I probably will, but for the most part it’s pretty generous off the tee,” she said.
“I think the par fives are ones that you really need to get, but other than that, it’s just make sure you’re hitting fairways,” she added.
One thing that is certain, Henderson will have a lot of eyes on her. When she teed off for a pro-am at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, there were already people following her and that grew as the round progressed.
“As I finished my round, that was probably the longest autograph session that I’ve ever had, just with pictures and people supporting me” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to this week here in Calgary and then, going back a little bit closer to home in Toronto next week,” said Henderson, who is also scheduled to play the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ont.