Brooklyn Kraakman made a little bit of history last week, and she did it by accident.
As the only golfer to enter the junior girls category at the Ledgeview club championships, the 17-year-old decided to play the course from the blue tees with the boys. She usually plays from the longest tees, anyway.
After topping the entire field with rounds of 74 and 78, Kraakman was surprised to learn she would be credited with winning both the boys and the girls titles.
She’s the first girl to win the junior boys championship at Ledgeview, which boasts a long, proud tradition of producing stellar male golfers. She’ll have her name engraved on the trophy alongside the likes of Nick Taylor, James Lepp, Andrew Smeeth and Glenn Bannister – all of whom won B.C. junior boys titles while playing out of the Abbotsford club.
“I didn’t actually know I was going to be put into the overall junior category,” Kraakman admitted during an interview this week. “But it’s pretty awesome to be on that trophy with such great names on it, like Nick Taylor and James Lepp.
“I hope to make a name for myself like they have for themselves.”
Golf runs in Kraakman’s family. Her father Walter is a one handicap who is a two-time champion of the Ledgeview Amateur. The Kraakmans are members at Mission Golf and Country Club, but Walter bought Brooklyn an additional membership to Ledgeview last year.
“It seems like there’s a lot of great golfers that come out of here, and you’ve got to wonder why,” he explained. “Well, if you can chip and putt on this course, you can chip and putt anywhere. And that’s all golf is. Everybody hits it a mile.”
This summer, Brooklyn Kraakman has been working on her game seven days a week, as much as eight hours a day. The objective is to earn a golf scholarship, and the high school senior-to-be has already received correspondence from universities south of the border. It doesn’t hurt her chances that she’s pulling down straight A’s at Hatzic Secondary.
Asked to analyze his daughter’s game, Walter holds his thumb and index finger a couple millimetres apart.
“It’s that far from being really good,” he said. “I’m not too worried about her not winning the B.C. Junior or the Canadians yet. Some girls just blossom later, and I think she’s a later bloomer. I expect her to be even better at 22, 23.”