Kate Brody of Grand Blanc Wins 2019 GAM Junior Girls Player Of The Year
FARMINGTON HILLS – Kate Brody had a great golf season and she attributes most of it to hard work and a well-timed growth spurt.
“I grew probably five inches from the summer before and I was hitting the ball farther and getting some good scores because of my work on putting and my short game,” she said. “My putting is probably the best part of my game. I really shaved a lot of strokes off with my putter.”
Brody, 15 and the daughter of Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club golf professionals Doug and Jenn Brody, is the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) 15-and-under Junior Girl’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann, GAM senior director of rules and competitions, announced today.
GAM Players of the Year are determined by the Honor Roll points system and totals can be found on a pull down from the Championships tab at gam.org.
Previously, Dan Ellis of East Lansing and Yurika Tanida of East Lansing were named the Players of the Year, Steve Maddalena of Jackson and Julie Massa of Holt were named Senior Players of the Year, Ian Harris of Bloomfield was named the Super Senior Player of the Year, August Meekhof of Eastmanville and Lilia Henkel of Grand Rapids were named the Junior Players of the Year and Ryan O’Rourke of West Bloomfield was named the 15-and-under Junior Boy’s Player of the Year.
Brody, a GAM member through Warwick Hills, collected 1,180 points to top the Honor Roll ahead of Mekenna Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario, who is a member of the GAM through Miles of Golf and had 745 points.
Sophie Stevens of Highland and Prestwick Village Golf Club (730 points), Lauren Timpf of Macomb and a member through her high school team at Macomb Lutheran North (545), and Samantha Coleman of Northville and a member through her Northville High School team (450) rounded out the top five.
Kyle Wolfe, who directs the junior golf tournaments for the GAM, said Brody has an inner drive that few players possess.
“She is self-confident and goes out to compete and wants to win,” he said. “She’s also a great learner. She bounces back from setbacks and uses them to get better. I think having parents that are both professionals helps her, but with her talent and the way she works to improve the sky is really the limit.”
Brody started off the summer golf season by winning her age division in the GAM Junior Kickoff. She said the confidence gained in that tournament carried through the summer.
“I shot a 76 and it went from there and each time I played I was confident I could get a good score,” she said.
She won the 14-and-under Match Play Championship after topping qualifying for the No. 1 seed position and was medalist in the 15-and-under division for the qualifying of the Michigan Girl’s Junior State Amateur Championship where she was a semifinalist in match play.
“I really think I had a good summer and I got a lot better,” she said. “In all of the GAM tournaments I played pretty well. I’m excited I was player of the year. It makes me excited about playing in the older divisions next year. I don’t have really high expectations, but I want to compete at the longer yardages and maybe have some chances to win.”
Brody said she is self-driven and goes to her parents for advice on her game if she can’t figure it out on her own. Her father is the head PGA golf professional at Warwick, and her mother, who teaches and does merchandising at the club, is a former LPGA player.
“I can go to my mom or dad and they help me because they know my game,” she said. “My mom tells me I’m ahead of her when she was my age, and that gives me confidence. I want to keep getting better and see what happens. I don’t worry much about my swing. I hit the ball farther now, and I think my chipping is where I need the most work.”