This month we sit down with Geoff Smart, National Events Manager for the NZ PGA.
Did you ever aspire to being a top player on tour or did you always want to be a coach?
I have always loved playing and played two stints as a tour professional during the 1970's
You have done many things during your career as a professional golfer including BOP coach, Women’s Golf New Zealand Coach, President of the NZPGA and now National Events Manager. If you had to pick one thing you got the most satisfaction out of in all that time what would it be (event, result or achievement)?
I have been fortunate to gain satisfaction in all of these roles but two things that are dear to me are to have been a part of the BOP development into a dominant province and also to be part of a rare Womens Tasman Cup victory over Australia in 2005
How old were you when you started playing golf and who got you started?
We moved home when I was 10 years old right by a golf course. I started by caddying and selling golf balls.
How old were you when you turned professional and where were you first based?
I turned professional at 16 as a trainee at Cabramatta Golf Club in Sydney.
If you could pick any three people, alive or dead, to play in a fourball with, who would they be – and the reasons for your choices?
Ben Hogan, hard working and disciplined. John Daly in his prime, a rare individual talent. Peter Thomson, one of the greats and a true gentleman.
What is your longest hole out and where?
Three wood for albatross at the 12th Hole at The Grange.
Who would you get the most satisfaction out of beating on a golf course?
Dominic Barson, my old trainee from The Grange.
Who is your favourite player to watch and why?
I miss watching Tiger do the impossible.
And the three people you would least like to play with and why?
Donald Trump, I can't believe he would have any etiquette. I think I could play with everyone else!
What is the lowest score you have ever had in a round of golf, on what course and was there anything about the round that stood out?
63 at Wairakei. (Blue tees) I finished birdie, birdie, eagle and had nine 3's on the card
And your least favourite?
Anyone who doesn't look happy to be out there.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who by?
Picture in your mind what you want NOT what you don't want. Chuck Hogan.
What is the funniest thing you have seen or experienced on a golf course.
Aussie Professional (can't name) He was having a bad day and gave himself an uppercut to the jaw, knocking himself to the ground.
Of all the courses you have played which one is your favourite and why?
Kingston Heath, Melbourne. Near perfect design.
Is there a particular rule of golf that you would like to see changed?
No raking of bunkers allowed. They should be a hazard and I get annoyed when players complain about a minor blemish in the sand.
What is your favourite region of New Zealand for playing golf and why?
Queenstown - Millbrook, The Hills, Jacks Point, Wanaka, Arrowtown etc great climate, great wine and food, what more could you ask for?
If you had not been able to be a golf professional what profession would you have chosen?
Probably a School teacher, I sometimes feel close to it in my current role
What do you enjoy most about golf?
Golf is a unique game you can play for a lifetime. You can play by yourself or with players of any age and ability level and have a competitive round if the handicaps are set correctly, Four hours on a golf course also gives you a deeper insight into a persons' nature and character.