The Walker Cup player tells us about his first memories of joining Bowood Golf Club in Wiltshire, where he learned the game before turning pro in 2014.
Smith, who won England Golf’s historic Brabazon Trophy in 2013, also discusses his favourite aspects of golf club membership, including the social benefits and the variety of golfers you can meet and play with.
“The first club I joined was Bowood and I’m still a member there,” said Smith. “We moved there into the area right next to the golf course.
“I was always a sporty person and I always played football and rugby. Me and Dad were watching it [The 2005 Masters] on the TV when Tiger had that famous chip in on the 16 and I just thought let’s go and give it a go.”
“You’d be surprised how many calories you burn and how fit you have to be to play.”
Social benefits of golf club membership
Testament to Smith’s enjoyment of golf club membership is that he remains a member at Bowood – his first club – to this day.
And he admits that the social benefits of club membership, alongside an increasingly relaxed approach to apparel and the introduction of newer short formats of the game, are making the sport accessible to more and more audiences.
“I’ve been there 14 years now and I think the best bit about being a member is just going up and socialising.
“Even when I was an amateur junior, going up on a Saturday morning and doing the roll up and meeting people of all ages, all different backgrounds and having fun.
“There are a lot of golf courses changing the dress code to be a lot more relaxed and casual. And some are holding little six-hole or nine-hole tournaments so it doesn’t have to be four or five hours out of people’s days. It can just be an hour or two.
“Golfers should consider joining a club because it’s a great form of exercise and socialising. On the weekend you can just go up and walk around the golf course. You’d be surprised how many calories you burn and how fit you have to be to play.”