Bream sisters

Mackenzie and Brooke Bream.

 

For athletic sisters Brooke and Mackenzie Bream, their source of entertainment during last year’s shutdown came from an unlikely place. They decided to try their hands at a sport they had never played before and were surprised by the outcome.

In 2020, Brooke was a senior at Xavier College Prep, and Mackenzie was a sophomore at Arcadia High School. With their sports games and practices canceled, the pair were at a loss for how to pass the time. One day, they headed over to the Arizona Country Club to play golf on a whim, and what started as a joke changed their athletic careers.

“Right about the time quarantine hit, I thought it would be fun to try and play golf with one of my friends. I told Brooke she had to come play,” Mackenzie said. “We started going every single day and started loving it.”

The duo had never really liked golf before, even though their father had begged them to play with him years before.

“It kind of started as a joke,” Brooke said. “We were just going to go out there and try to hit the ball and not miss it, but then we started going out there all the time, and we thought ‘oh, shoot, we’re actually getting better.’”

Brooke said that she thought about playing at the beginning of her senior year and was planning to play in college but considered that she wouldn’t be good enough at the sport.

“We kept working and getting closer and closer to the end of the year,” she said. 

As the girls worked on their skills at the course, their mother, Shelly, would often be approached by neighbors asking if she knew how often they were practicing.

“As parents, we were really strict during the pandemic,” Shelly said. “It was really scary. But we said ‘go outside and do stuff’ because that’s what you could do. Golf was something positive that came out of this, which is great.”

Mackenzie has participated in nine Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) events since she first picked up a golf club in March 2020. As a junior, she played on AHS’s girls’ golf team and the team won first in the district. Mackenzie herself won second overall in the district. 

Brooke is a freshman at the University of Nebraska and plays on the girls’ golf team, where she was a walk-on after playing in 12 JGAA competitions. She ended the season in the number three position for JGAA Player of the Year honors.

“They found something they really liked and worked hard to get where they are. It’s a testament to hard work paying off, and I’m so proud of them both,” Shelly said.