Rynfield resident Kevin Smith can hit a golf ball a long way.
So far, in fact, that the Benoni Country Club (BCC) member has booked himself an all-expense paid trip to China for the first International Golf Associates New Zealand (IGANZ) Global Infinity Series final in November.
IGANZ is a New Zealand company that promotes the growth of the long drivers’ sport.
The Benonian, who is a sales representative for Srixon Golf South Africa, showed calmness and composure to become the first IGANZ South African Long Drive champion after winning the final at the Serengeti Estates driving range on July 21.
Fighting his way through the several elimination rounds, Smith’s 350.8m drive into a headwind in the final ensured that he claimed the first ever ‘Golden Ticket’ to the Global Infinity Series to be hosted at Mission Hills in China.
His longest drive of the competition was 359m.
The Chinese championship will set the benchmark as the biggest event and the largest prize pool in international long drive history with the winner set to pocket a cool $150 000 (approximately R2 006 407-million).
“I am the first South African men’s open long drive champion which is quite lekker,” said Smith.
“I have played normal golf my whole life and this year I decided to try my hand at long driving.
“Whenever I play golf I’ve hit the ball quite long so I thought I’d give the long drive thing a go and it has worked out.
“The clubs I use are slightly longer than a normal driver.
“They are 48 inches long. That’s three inches longer than my standard driver I use on the course.
“The shaft is obviously a little bit stiffer than a normal driver.”
Smith added that winning the inaugural IGANZ South Africa Long Drive Championship is ‘an awesome feeling’.
“I wasn’t expecting it.
“I put the hard work in and it paid off.
“Now with the trip to China, I’m taking it a lot more seriously.
“China will be a big eye-opener, but it’s going to be fun.
“I don’t have any large expectations.
“I’m just going there to enjoy the experience.”
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