Sierra Brooks started her professional golf career strong, making seven of 10 cuts in her rookie season (2020), 15 of 20 cuts in 2021 and all six cuts to start the 2022 season. But throughout the summer, Brooks missed seven cuts in eight events.
“It’s been a bit of a battle for me,” said Brooks. “Especially compared to last season. I started off making cuts but not playing the game that I know I’m capable of. It just kind of started to get away from me a little bit, and I put extra pressure on myself.”
Brooks recognizes that there’s always been ups and downs to the game. The 24-year-old has been playing for almost 16 years and recently found a new challenge to overcome.
“I’ve competed since the time I was eight, and I’ve had peaks and valleys,” said Brooks. “But it’s definitely tougher when you’re playing as your job. You want to perform and get your LPGA Tour card, so it’s easy to put extra pressure on yourself. I just had to take a step back and realize that extra pressure wasn’t helping me.”
When Brooks started her professional career, she flew solo and served as her own caddie. The South Carolina native said she was losing weight and struggling to do it all on her own. That’s when her mother stepped in. Although she had never been involved in the golf world, Mrs. Brooks wanted to help her daughter.
Most recently, for her 12th-place finish at the Guardian Championship, Brooks had her father on the bag. She credited his support to helping her find her game again.
“I loved my mom being out there with me,” said Brooks. “I asked her to do it again this season, and it was great. My dad is also my swing coach, so I wanted to get him out here to really see what was going on and help me get through playing my game.”
Another way Brooks keeps the pressure off is finding balance in her life. While she’s not on the course, she can be found with her head in her sketch book.
“Last year I picked up sketching on the road,” said Brooks. “I’m hooked. That’s my outlet outside of golf. I bring it with me every tournament, and it helps me escape into my own little world. I love it.”
Brooks has taken a particular interest in charcoal and portraits, with her favorite so far being a recent sketch of Tiger Woods. When she first picked up the hobby, she was worried stick figures would be the best she could do.
“It’s kind of like golf,” said Brooks. “The more you do it and the more you practice, the better you get.”
With just three weeks left in the season, Brooks has her foot on the gas. Between drawing and feeling like her game is heading back in the direction she wants it to be in, Brooks is feeling optimistic.
“I’m building off the confidence that I got from last week,” said Brooks. “It’s been a really long time since I’ve been in the leader group, so to get that and learn from it will help me for the weeks to come.”
Brooks aims for a long-lasting career on the LPGA Tour and is on the right path competing on the Epson Tour. Although her journey on the “Road to the LPGA” is not always easy, Brooks is ready to do whatever it takes to make her dreams a reality.
“My goal is to play on the LPGA Tour and have a successful career out there,” said Brooks. “Every chance I get playing in a tournament out here [on the Epson Tour] is a chance closer to playing on the LPGA.”