NCAA Golf News

Swing King – Duke University

Dan Brooks Scorecard

This story originally appeared in the June 2024 edition of Duke Magazine.

DURHAM — To succeed in golf, you need great technique, a steady hand, and a calm mind.


Anyone who’s ever swung a club can tell you that combination is difficult to achieve, and nearly impossible to keep consistent. Now think about teaching five or six golfers to do that every year for four decades, and you get an idea of what Dan Brooks has accomplished at Duke.


Over 40 seasons, Brooks A.M.’96 has led the women’s golf team to seven national championships and guided four players to individual NCAA titles. He is the winningest coach in women’s Division I golf history: No one else is close to his championship total or his 143 team victories.


Brooks jokes that he had no choice but to play golf as a child growing up in eastern Oregon’s Baker City. His grandfather lived and worked on a nine-hole golf course a few hours away in Buhl, Idaho. Brooks spent summer vacations swinging a club with his grandfather and, later, helping him maintain the course.


Although he was one of the top golfers on his team at Oregon State University, Brooks self-deprecatingly describes his squads as “mediocre” and his three different head coaches in four years as “great guys, but they were just doing it on the side. I’m not sure they were paid anything.” He had loose plans for graduate school when he took a job as an assistant pro at Crane Creek Country Club in Boise, Idaho, teaching lessons and dreading his shift in the pro shop.


Soon he came to really enjoy teaching, so when a local golf coach walked in one day with a flyer for a coaching job at Duke, it got his attention if not his immediate interest.


“My response was, ‘I don’t think I want to move to Texas,'” Brooks laughs. “I swear that’s what I said. I don’t know what I had against Texas.” 

Great technique

Once he knew a bit more about Duke, it seemed like a great way for Brooks to hedge his bets. He figured he could coach at Duke and teach private lessons, using his earnings to pay for coaching seminars. He was hired as the head coach of the…


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