Lorne Smith

Lorne Smith has neither the golf prowess of Frank Pennink nor the agronomy knowledge of Jim Arthur but from a life’s hobby of playing fine golf courses he has the experience to understand the need for a “Campaign for fine golf” and has launched this independent website with the help of friends.

Lorne Smith(1949- ) was born and brought up in Sussex. His godmother was a Ravenscroft whose father was one of the founders of a favourite inland course, West Sussex Golf Club.

Lorne Smith, Finest Courses

Lorne Smith

He learnt his golf as a teenager on the Scottish links of Ayrshire and East Lothian while staying on holiday in The Borders with his uncle Ian Smith, “The Flying Scotsman”, who still holds the record for the most Rugby tries scored for Scotland (24) in 32 caps and captained Scotland to the Triple Crown in 1933. Nobody in the history of world rugby, who is not still playing, had a greater try scoring rate than 75% per game.

An early recollection was winning a £10 bet for Ian when he arranged for Lorne to play an ex-captain of HCEG at Muirfield. It was lucky he did not know of the bet until afterwards or the compounding of his nervousness would surely have undone him.

Though his greatest love was cricket, Lorne captained his school side off a handicap of 10 and as a teenager it was a week’s golf holiday with his father in Ireland, where they played five courses in Pennink’s book, that started what became a 40-year quest to play them all.

He organised many ‘boys’ weekends away with friends who were happy for him to choose the courses, as they were always the finest and gave a high ‘joy to be alive’ factor to the weekends.

Approaching his fifties and still off 10, Tim Rouse, a brilliant and renowned golf teacher based at Northamptonshire County GC, helped Lorne remodel his swing and over the next three years he dropped his handicap to 4. This allowed him to achieve another ambition – to be picked to play in the largest amateur golf competition in the world, the Halford Hewitt at Deal.

Lorne has lived in the Midlands since the early 1970s and is a member of Northamptonshire County as well as Royal Dornoch,  to which he has travelled every year since the mid 1980s.

He has played some 450 golf courses – in Australia, South Africa, S.E. Asia, America and Europe – and realised one has to adapt one’s game to the type of grasses used in different climates.

He believes that we in the British Isles are incredibly lucky that the finest grasses for golf grow naturally in our temperate climate and that those who love the fine running-game must not be complacent in the face of the enormous commercial pressure to distort our wonderful heritage but work to spread the word and support their local clubs to pursue appropriate policies.

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