Skip to main content


Numbers show Henderson having a great season

Brooke Henderson Brooke Henderson - The Canadian Press

Very quietly, Brooke Henderson is having herself a pretty solid season. That might be news to the experts infiltrating social media who have already proclaimed the 26-year-old LPGA star past her prime.

While she hasn’t won yet this year, Henderson’s third-place finish at last week’s Chevron Championship was the third time she’s finished in the top three this season. She has two other top-10s finishes so far, which is already more than last year.

Apparently, that’s not enough for some. Winning is the only thing that matters, and if you aren’t winning then all you have are problems.

It’s her putting. It’s her wedge play. She’s not hitting enough greens. She needs a new coach or a new caddie. Those high handicappers lounging on the couch seem to have all the answers.

“My game is right there,” said Henderson after the Chevron. “Just need a couple breaks and fine-tune a few things, and hopefully I'll be able to lift a trophy soon.”

A deeper look at some numbers reveals just how well Henderson is playing this season – especially when compared to last year’s campaign, which she has admitted was a flat one.

So far, the Smiths Falls, Ont., product has the second-best scoring average on the LPGA Tour at 69.87. It’s not hard to guess who is ahead of her. That would be Nelly Korda, the five-win sensation. She and Henderson are the only two golfers whose scoring averages are under 70.

Want more evidence? How about that Henderson has recorded 127 birdies so far this season. That’s also second best on tour. And she’s second in rounds under par at 23.

She is third in a few key categories as well, such as Greens in Regulation where her average is a scintillating 73.48 per cent. How about money? Her earnings of $771,064 ranks her third and that’s also where she is on the CME Globe standings.

Henderson is fourth in Strokes Gained: Total at 2.04. That’s a good indication of her overall game. It also shows improvement over last season when she ended up at 1.22 in the same category.

If there’s one area where the critics like to focus on Henderson’s weaknesses, it’s putting.

While she does have off days with the flatstick, she’s a solid 53rd in Strokes Gained: Putting at 0.46, up compared to her 0.25 in 2023. Her putting is less of a consistent issue and more of a hot-and-cold situation. When she’s rolling it well, as she did last week at the Chevron, she makes it look easy. At other times, it seems to be the most frustrating of her 14 clubs.

There is one part of her game that lets her down more frequently, and that’s her wedge play. Last year, she had 10 tournaments where she finished in negative Strokes Gained: Around the Green. Her bunker play especially has been a culprit in keeping her scores high.

Outside of those with a last name of Korda or Scheffler, every professional golfer has a weak part to their game. They are also fully aware of it. Sometimes they can improve on it, as Scheffler did with his putting. Most times, however, it’s something a player lives with.

Some critics like to say Henderson should get a new coach, replacing her father, who is the only guide she’s known. Let’s all remember that her father has coached her to the most successful career in Canadian golf, with 13 wins including two majors.

Could a different coach help? Sure. But he or she could also hurt. More than one player has slipped backward after changing instructors. As the old saying does, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If there was one area where outside help might improve things, it could be with those wedges. That could mean just a tune up or a full engine overhaul – the choice would be Henderson’s. There are plenty of available coaches, including several Canadian ones who have already helped plenty of tour pros, both male and female.

The bottom line is that Henderson is playing very well right now, rebounding from an off-season last year. She is doing all this while being the key focus of a nation that is just as quick to praise her skills as critique them.

She still has the drive and commitment, and a lot ahead of her this year, including four more majors and her third Olympic Games. Instead of criticizing the small number of poor shots or finishes, why not look a little beyond and see just what a solid season Henderson is having?