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Henry Brunton Leaves Golf Canada

Longtime Canadian national men’s team coach Henry Brunton announced yesterday that he is leaving the organization:

Brunton, who joined Golf Canada’s High Performance Program 1999, has led the Men’s National Amateur Team to success both nationally and internationally over the past 12 years. 
 
“My time with Golf Canada’s High Performance Program especially the past six years as the Men’s Head Coach of Team Canada has been extremely rewarding both professional and personally,” said Brunton.  “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of this country’s most gifted young athletes as well as a number of very committed coaches and administrators determined to build Canada into a leading golf nation.  It is a difficult decision to step away but I know with the growth of Henry Brunton Golf and the time that is required to perform all of my responsibilities (including my family), that I am making the right decision.  I’m leaving Team Canada in a stronger position then when I started and look forward to the continued success of Canada’s top athletes for many years to come.” 

 

As some of you will know, Brunton is one of Canada’s few master professionals, and the only teacher listed in the Golf Magazine’s Top 100 teachers.

His departure is interesting — though in a note to me this morning he said it has been in planning for several months.

This was all planned out for several months- it is a positive for me- it’s been a great run with the RCGA -time now for me to take advantage of other opportunities – looking forward to establishing a winter home in Florida etc -new book coming out at X Mas.

Brunton has always had a lot of critics, people who thought his profile was too high. I’ve always felt he did a good job of promoting himself — if he doesn’t do it, who will? — and that’s just part of the business of marketing. Perhaps other professionals and teachers were jealous — but Brunton worked hard, wrote articles and books and generally promoted himself well. Maybe he was more of an administrator to the men’s national team than a coach — a charge often leveled against him when people bring up his name — but what’s so wrong with that?

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see his next move.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have known Henry as a fellow professional and a good friend for close to 25 years. He has worked extremely hard to gather knowledge and has always promoted the game of golf and Golf Professionals in Canada. He has helped put Canada on the map as far as teaching goes around the world.

    I’m sure Henry will contniue to grow the game and will still be a leader in the industry. I look forward to what he will do next.

  • The true barometer of a National Team Coach is how many of his/her “captive students” continue to use him/her as they continue to pursue their playing career in golf…once leaving the “National Development Program”.

  • My philosphy of coaches in golf, and Canada, in particular, is very simple. Golf coaches make good players good and make great players great.

  • Zokol as the Director of Player Development.
    Leave it up to him to select the coach.

    Phil Jonas would be a good candidate for coach.

    Lord knows a BIG change is required.

  • Started playing golf in my mid 50’s. Knew it was important to get instruction and have had lessons with many pro’s, including the Peltz and Flick one day sessions. Have taken lessons with Henry over the course of many years and think he is an outstanding teacher. He is strong on common sense and working within the ability the student has. I wish him well in his future endeavours.

  • Neo, by your comments you are not a “fan’ of Henry, which is fine. Whether Henry was the best Men’s Head Coach of Team Canada can obviously be debated. was his heart in the right place and did he put everything he had into the position? This I don’t think can be debated.

    I don’t think the barometer of success of a national team coach is how many players stay with that coach after leaving the program. The younger ones are either in U.S. colleges and have coaches their or turn Pro and need to work with someone on a consistent and constant basis. As a matter of fact most players on the National Team have their own coaches.

    Is Henry the end all and be all as far as coaching goes in Canada? Of course not. Has he dedicated himself to improve coaching and teaching in Canada and helped put Canada on the map with his tireless work, research and passion? Yes he has.

  • I went to high school with Henry…and have followed his exploits and accomplishments in Canadian golf for a number of years with a healthy dose of hometown pride.

    How far his talents have taken him in this game are all the more remarkable when you consider the environment in which he grew up.

    He was not raised in a major (southern) city, blessed with a long season and populated with dozens of golf courses and a wealth of high-calibre golf talent to learn from.

    Instead, he grew up in a tiny town of fewer than 3,000 people nestled just outside of Ottawa (9 months of winter and 3 months of bad skidooing).

    The town had one golf course…a rough nine-hole track, squeezed onto a pretty puny piece of land. Lots of drivable par 4’s, a few 3’s and one very short par 5. Hardly the kind of place you’d expect to produce one of the nation’s top golfers or golf coaches.

    That he has risen so high, despite all of this, is a testament to Henry’s love of, and dedication to the game.

    Congratulations to Henry on all of his accomplishments to date…and good luck in whatever the future holds in store for him. I’m sure he’ll do great at whatever he sets his mind to!

    Cheers,

    Derek

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