By Brent Long
Imagine being a 12-year-old and landing your very first job washing golf carts at a nine-hole course in Kemptville, Ont. Well, that’s where it all began as Henry Brunton discovered a passion for golf at Rideau Glen Golf Club that drove him to become a world-leader in coaching, education and junior golf development.
Brunton took his thirst for learning to nearby Rideau View Country Club as a young assistant working for PGA of Canada Head Professional Paul Sherratt, then to the University of Ottawa where he earned a Bachelor degree in Physical Education and has never stopped reading, learning, teaching, coaching and mentoring others.
Over the years, Brunton has picked up many awards as he has been on the leading edge of golf development for more than 25-years. However, Brunton was deeply touched earlier this year when he picked up the PGA of Canada Tex Noble Award, for Professional Development at a presentation ceremony during Canada Night at the PGA 2014 Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL.
“I only knew Tex Noble as a pen pal of sorts. I never met him in person. As an apprentice at Rideau View, I had to fill out my progress reports at the end of each year and submit them to Tex, who was the Education Director for the PGA of Canada at the time,” Brunton says of the process that went on for five years. “From the comments that I got back from him, I could tell he was a gentleman who genuinely read the reports and provided positive feedback and encouragement. For me it was very stimulating to read his comments, so to receive an award with his name on it is very gratifying.” In 2009, Henry was named National Junior Leader of the Year by the Canadian PGA.
Fast forward to 2014 and Brunton is still turning pages and heads. Anyone who has followed Brunton’s career knows he published, “Journey to Excellence” in 2009 and “High Performance Golf” in 2012. What you probably don’t know is that booth books have been translated into Chinese and will be released next month in China – which is sure to increase his international exposure.
Also on the horizon is a trip to Australia is September to make presentations at the World Scientific Congress of Golf and the Australian PGA Coaching Summit.
Before that www.collegegolfplacement.com will be launched by Henry Brunton Golf as a consulting service for young golfers and their parents from around the world who are looking for guidance when it comes to pursuing and NCAA golf scholarship. The focus is to work with 12 to 17-year-olds as they move along the pathway and to highlight their accomplishments and videos on the site for NCAA coaches to review.
On the U.S. front, Brunton is expecting his VISA any day now, which would also allow him to set up shop in the United States. He’s also been contracted by several American PGA Sections to make professional development presentations later this year and into 2015. Brunton’s partnership with Dr. Rick Jensen from Boca Raton, FL., also continues to grow as they will announce up to 12 seminars for LPGA and PGA golf teachers and coaches across the US for 2014, including at least one in Canada for the very first time.
On the home front, Henry Brunton Golf continues to flourish with a wide selection of programs for both adults and junior golfers at Eagles Nest GC and Bathurst Glen GC, near Toronto, with winter programs conducted at The Metro Golf Dome & The Golf Lab and at the PGA Center for Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, FL. This spring, Brunton, a PGA of Canada Master Professional, will also assume duties as National Spokesman for the National Golf Course Owners’ Association Canada Kids Play Golf initiative to increase awareness around the sport and point children and parents to local PGA of Canada professionals for learning opportunities.
It all goes to show that you should never under estimate a youngster with passion who is working in the back shop cleaning golf carts or taking his first lesson with a PGA of Canada member – that passion could change the world as we know it!