Tuesday, July 29, 2014





Aberdeen's newest golf professional, Matt Smith, took up golf seriously only when a knee ligament injury ended his football-playing days five years ago.
"I was a keen footballer, playing left midfield, for Blackburn Amateurs FC until a serious right knee injury put me out of the game and, though I had played golf before, it was only then that I started playing regularly, practising and trying to improve my game," says Matt who was on the greenkeeping staff at Newmachar Golf Club and a member at Craibstone Golf Club.
"I got my handicap down from five to one in one season and felt I had the potential to make a living as golf golf tour professional. 

"By now I was working for SDV LOGISTICS, an Aberdeen-based sea and air freight company. The SDV management offered to pay my expenses if I wanted to have a go at becoming a pro golfer while continuing to work for them.
"So that's where I am now - a part-time pro golfer and I am really grateful to SDV LOGISTICS for their sponsorship and support. I am desperately short of tournament experience.

"I made my pro debut in the recent PGA EuroPro Tour event at Royal Burgess in Edinburgh and I have to say I was a bundle of nerves.
" I didn't make the cut but I felt I only really began to settle over my last nine holes which I covered in one-under 34 with two birdies in my last four holes.
"I need to get more pro competition experience so that I don't suffer from tournament nerves. But it is not easy to find tournaments to play in. 

"I managed to get an invitation to the EuroPro Tour event through a friend and I am hoping to play in another of their tournaments, at Mar Hall near Glasgow in a couple of months' time.
"I am also hoping to play a competition or two on an Eagle Tour in the Midlands of England."
Matt Smith is still a member at Craibstone Golf Club, near Bucksburn although, obviously he cannot play in their club competitions but, through the goodwill of the club's general manager, Billy Sim, Matt is able to use the practice facilities and play the course when he likes.
"Amateur golf does not prepare you for the pressures of playing the pro game. I have found that out very quickly. But I am determined to get over my nerves. Once I do that I am fairly confident I will be able to make my way up the pro ladder."

                  Craibstone Golf Club general manager Billy Sim with Matt Smith



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