Kristie Smith at the Next Level

Photo Credit: Scott Miller

Perth, Australia native Kristie Smith has been playing off some good memories this week at Royal Canberra Golf Club, a course she says suits her eye- both physically and mentally. Smith won the Actew AGL Royal Canberra Classic on the ALPG in 2010 at the course and says the set up keeps her concerns to a minimum.

“I guess I don’t have that fear of - it sounds stupid - but the fear of water, fear of out of bounds,” said Smith. “I feel like I can just get up there and just rip it down the middle. I’m strong enough if I hit it in the rough I can still get it up there on the green. I guess that’s a little bit - I guess a sort of anxiety I guess when I’m surrounded by water and out of bounds, which is what I’m working on with Sean constantly.”

Smith has been working with her mind coach Sean Lynch for about a year and says the mental training was something she needed to keep her in the profession. Within the past year, she faced sleepless nights on whether she wanted to continue to play professional golf. After much deliberation and a few months working behind the counter at a public golf range, she knew she belonged out on the course.

“I did the whole normal life for about four or five months and it made me realize a few things,” said Smith. “I’ve got the best job in the world and I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can.”

Smith was one of the top amateur talents out of Australia and won the Australian Amateur in 2008. She turned pro in 2009 and had sporadic success while bouncing around from the ALPG, LET and Symetra Tour.

She’s won two events on both the ALPG and Symetra Tour, most recently at the 2012 Tate & Lyle Players Championship on the LPGA’s developmental tour. Asked why she thinks she hasn’t garnered great success, the Aussie thinks the self-imposed pressure has held her back.

“I’d say putting too much pressure on myself,” said Smith. “I seem to have a win every year, which is always nice, but I just don’t seem to get to that next level. I’ve struggled at Q School every year, I think I put way too much pressure on myself. I haven’t really been able to pinpoint exactly why I don’t get through there. So I’ve been trying to take the long road each year and commit to the Symetra Tour and try and get there that way.”

Smith posted three top-10 finishes last season on the Symetra Tour last season, including her second-career win, and plans to play the Road to the LPGA in 2013 to ‘get to that next level.’

Topics: Kristie Smith