Henry Brooks’ golf game didn’t just appear overnight. It came from long days of working on his swing at the Noyac and Bridge golf clubs and from playing rounds, starting at the age of 10, with his father, Scott, and his older brother, Tom.
Now the 17-year-old Pierson junior will reach the pinnacle of high school golf in New York as he heads to Cornell University this weekend for the New York State Golf Championships. Brooks will represent Suffolk County along with eight other golfers who finished at the top of the leaderboard last fall in the Suffolk County Championships at the Rock Hill Golf Club in Manorville.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Brooks, who is also busy preparing for a state regional final on June 8 as a member of the Pierson baseball team. “I have definitely been working throughout the years with the goal in mind. Finally achieving that goal is a great feeling.”
Brooks shot an 82 in the first round of the county tournament last November and came out slow on the front nine of his second round. But after a par on the 11thhole, Brooks scored three straight birdies and ended with a 36 on the back nine. His two-day score of 164 forced a playoff with Commack’s Brad Castaldy, who bogeyed the first playoff hole while Brooks recorded a par to earn a spot on the state tournament team.
“I am confident with my game right now. I have definitely gained lots of distance in the past few years and have grown into my aggressive golf swing,” said Brooks, whose best score ever was an even-par round at Noyac, where he caddies. “Of course, there is still room for improvement, and I could work on my putting.”
Brooks took the top spot on the Pierson golf team last fall after his brother, Tom, graduated. Now he has one more year with the Whalers program (he is also a standout basketball player) and thinks the future at Pierson is bright.
“I am very hopeful for the program at Pierson,” he said. “As a young golfer, I looked up to the seniors for advice and tips on how to play the game and they were very impactful on my game.
“The future is bright with Pierson’s program,” he added, “and I’m hoping there will be a county championship in the future.”
And possibly a state title even sooner for a Whaler whose game has come a very long way.