“Can you imagine if we taught soccer like we teach golf?” White continued. “Put them in the same spot and have them kick, like a kid standing in the same spot with the same club hitting 19,000 times? How many soccer players would we have? Forget it. Get them on the course.”
Still, setting the table for success only gets students so far. Brooks and the others worked hard, and White and Brown credit the self-discipline and work ethic of Koepka and the others with their current success.
“Brooks was a standout, along with his brother,” White said. “They had the self-discipline and desire. They were dropped off before 8 in the morning and both their mom and I can tell you… it was dark when they had to be picked up.”
“The balls [Brooks] would hit, he’d practice so much and put so much emphasis into one shot,” Brown added. “Morgan would be out there preparing for our one-day tournaments with her grandfather, Dr. [Herb] Krickstein; they were so diligent about how they went about their preparation. Lexi was so young, 9, and she was competing with my 15-year-old girls—because she wanted to, playing a course that was way too long for her, and she’d shoot 75 and the 15-year-olds made 78 or something, and Lexi would still say ‘I don’t like making bogeys.’ These kids, you notice that they have the talent, and definitely on the mental side.”
For his part, Brooks credits the program with his success, telling Golf Central magazine in 2018, “I can’t say enough about the Junior Golf Foundation of America’s junior golf programs at Okeeheelee. It was on these golf courses and through those tournaments that I fell in love with the game. I can honestly say that I would not be where I’m at today if those opportunities were not available to me when I was younger.”
“It’s a little community that I’m proud that we developed,” White said. “Bobby was excellent, the ‘Pied Piper’ of South Florida golf. The kids just loved him. My passion was to create one of the largest junior programs in the area, then it became one of the largest junior programs in the nation. That was always my passion, and we did it.”