Local teen golfer wins gold
A great swing earned Brendan Smith, seen here, gold and bronze medals at Les Jeux de Quebec.
Itmight have been the golf course that he grew up playing on, the beautiful course at Dufferin Heights, or that he started playing golf on that course when he was a mere four years old, but whatever it was, Brendan Smith has proven that he plays a
good game of golf. At the Quebec Summer Games, held in the City of Longueuil earlier in the summer, Brendan came home with both a gold medal and a bronze.
“When I was three, I had plastic golf clubs all over the house; I liked golf right off. I started playing at Dufferin Heights with my father when I was four, he worked as the director there, and I used special little clubs,” said Brendan in an interview with the Stanstead Journal from his home in Ayer’s Cliff. The interview had to take place early in the day; the Milby Golf Course awaited him that morning.
“I played golf every year since then, learning from my Dad who was a good golfer, and now I go to golf school at La Ruche. It’s a sports concentration program and I’m coached by Pierre Lallier,” he continued. “I’m heading into my last year of high school. We play golf five days a week, going to the University of Sherbrooke in the winter. We also go to North Carolina for a special week in March. All the golf schools in Quebec go at the same time, and we take a luxurious bus and stay in a nice hotel.”
Brendan went to the Quebec Summer Games as part of the Estrie team along with three players from the La Ruche golf program and one student of Bishop’s College School. “I knew all the guys on the team and the course, Le Parcours de Cerf, was beautiful, just perfect,” said the young golfer. He won his bronze medal on his first day in the ‘Two man best ball’ game along with his partner, Jeffrey Lebeau. “We shot a sixty-six.” On day two it was the ‘Two man Scramble’ which he played with Tristan Gendreau. “There were thirtyfour teams and it was a shotgun start. The course was packed!” he said enthusiastically.
Brendan won his gold medal on the third day in the individual category, finishing the really close game with a sixty-nine, one point ahead of his two closest rivals. His parents, Liane Courtemanche and Terry Smith, were in Longueuil for that match. “It was nerve-wracking to watch that game and we were just exhausted after following him around the course!” commented Mr. Smith. “It was a really good feeling to win the gold medal. I had gone to the Quebec Games two years before, in Shawinigan, where I got a silver medal in the ‘individual game’ and a bronze in the ‘Two man best ball’,” explained Brendan.
As serious about golf as he is good at it, Brendan hopes to pursue a career in his favourite sport. “I’d like to go to school in the United States on a golf scholarship. They have lots of golfing programs in universities down there – that’s how the golf system works in the States.”
Brendan was quite clear about where his strength lay in the game of golf, answering quickly: “My mental ability. The game of golf is eighty-five percent mental. If you have a bad hole, you have to know that you can come back. Many players have a bad hole and then they just go down, but I keep striving to get her back. I’ve had a fairly good year so far!”
When asked what he likes most about the game, Brendan, who would be playing his sixteenth golf tournament of the summer at Chateau Bromont over the weekend, answered: “The beauty of playing on the courses, under the sun. And the challenge of playing your best game all the time.”
Brendan Smith on the podium after the ‘individual’ contest at the Quebec Games.
Brendan Smith poses proudly with his medals from the Quebec Games.