Harley Smith has revealed how pep talks with Sir Nick Faldo and Justin Rose have fuelled his desire to strive for more success in 2022.
The 16-year-old England boys’ squad player has just brought the curtain down on an incredible season and talks about his phenomenal year in the October edition of the England Golf podcast.
Smith won a Clutch Pro Tour event at Princes’ Golf Club in April before joining Rose as the only player to win the McGregor (English under 16 boys) and Carris (English under 18 boys) trophies in the same year.
He followed that up by helping England’s juniors win the Home Internationals, romped to a 13-shot victory at the Telegraph Justin Rose Junior Golf Championship and last weekend finished top five at the Irish Men’s Amateur.
During the season Smith enjoyed rounds with Faldo – arguably the greatest English golfer of all time – and former US Open champion and Ryder Cup legend Rose.
And that’s whetted his appetite for more silverware in 2022.
On playing with six-time major winner Faldo around Royal Cinque Ports GC, Smith told the podcast: “It was unreal – I gained so much experience from the things he said.
“I’ve definitely taken them on board into events I’ve played this year.
“When you play with someone who has done as well as he’s done in his career then you have to take it on board if you want to be the best.
“It wasn’t many holes, but it kept your brain in gear.”
“I must have talked his ears off the whole way round!” – Smith on Rose
His round with Rose happened in the pro-am event at the BMW PGA at Wentworth in September.
“I must have talked his ears off the whole way round,” he joked.
“I did gain a lot out of that.
“I could see the notes he was writing for the week and how he practised after we played. He was great to meet.
“I was asking ‘how did you feel when you were winning the Olympics?’ And ‘what did you do in practice when you were younger, did you go through the college system?’
“I took it all on board and my coach was on the bag and he was talking to him as well. He was like a headless chicken!”
The October edition of the podcast also features an interview with former Amateur champion Warren Bladon and a chat with Pleasington Golf Club’s Mark Bleasdale on running a club during the pandemic.
Smith admitted that he has a huge pride in playing for England.
As the biggest home nation, England is there to be shot at – but that appeals to the competitor in Smith.
He added: “When you play, everyone wants to beat England. It’s a good atmosphere because you know they are against you and you’re like ‘right then, let’s go.’
Smith is building towards the ultimate goal of turning pro and over the winter, the focus is on power.
“I’d like to get bit bigger and stronger,” confirmed the golfer from Rayleigh, Essex.
“My stock drive is carried about 285-290 as a normal hit.
“I can’t live with 280 carry as I won’t be able to win an event. I need that up to at least 320 to give myself a chance in the future.”
- To hear the full interview with Harley, a conversation with top amateur Warren Bladon and to catch up on all the news in and around England Golf, check out the England Golf podcast.