Someone on Twitter recently accused PGA Tour player Brooks Koepka of not caring enough about his golf game. To be fair, the men’s world No.1 has said that he finds golf “kind of boring.” But then again, he is the “World No.1.” And that doesn’t come from not caring.

In fact, if the Twitter critic had visited South Florida in Brooks’ early days, when the future star was 7 or 8 years old, he would have seen that Brooks actually cared a lot. More than many of the other kids at Okeeheelee Golf Course in West Palm Beach, which is why LPGA Teaching Professional Donna White noticed him.

“Those players that have the stuff, yes, you can tell. You can tell when they’re 5 years old,” said White, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour who was inducted into the Teaching & Club Professional Hall of Fame in 2015. “You can tell if someone’s interested, if they have a passion for it, and [Brooks] and his brother were pros.”

White started the Junior Golf Foundation of America at Okeeheelee in 1995 with Head Golf Professional Bobby Brown and, later, Mary-Lee Cobick, teaching the game to the area’s youth and building one of the largest programs of its kind in the country.

Since it began, more than 65,000 kids from around the world have participated, including Brooks and his brother, Chase, who plays on the European Tour. The reasons for the Okeeheelee program’s success include White’s drive to create the best teaching environment possible and Brown’s ability to communicate the game’s many facets. For Brooks, Brown said, that began with taming the temper of a kid who really cared—perhaps too much.

“He was super competitive,” Brown remembered. “If he hit a bad shot he was very emotional about it, he wanted to win, and so we worked with him on controlling his temper.”

Mind you, Brown said he met Brooks when the golfer was 7, in a holiday camp at Okeeheelee, and worked with him until Brooks was 12 or 13.

“He had a very natural swing, he was a very athletic person, probably good at all sports. Loved baseball. With golf he had a natural move with it; he was a great iron player even back then, just a good solid ball striker.”

Koepka’s great uncle is baseball star Dick Groat, the league’s MVP in 1960, and Brooks, also good on the ballfield, said that if he had it to do over again he might go with baseball instead of golf. But there’s more to golf than athleticism, of course, and this is where White and Brown’s program was so important.

“The program went from instruction and etiquette to a four-hole league and a nine-hole league,” said Brown, “light competition to give the kids an opportunity to try a little competition in a scramble-type format. We had teams and it was a great environment.”

Bob Koepka, the boys’ father, has said that the Okeeheelee program was critical to Brooks’ success: “That was his first exposure to organized tournaments,” Koepka told The Palm Beach Post, “to learning how to handle himself as a professional at a young age.”