published Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Who Golfs? Haley Smith

Haley Smith delayed cooking dinner Sunday before last to watch the Masters playoff between Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera.

It was worth the wait. And the Masters inspired Smith to hit the driving range at Moccasin Bend that Monday so she could shake off the rust and get ready to play against friends Dana, Robin and Ashley.

"I've been here twice," she said. "It's early in the year, but I'll get to where I play two or three times a week."

Smith became involved in golf when she was a girl and followed her father around courses. She said her father won a car, when she was little, by hitting a hole-in-one. But her infatuation with the game came later in life, after she played various sports at LaFayette High School.

"It's been six or seven, maybe eight or nine years ago since I really started playing," said Smith, who played two years of softball at Chattanooga State. "Golf is the hardest sport I've ever played. I played softball, basketball and tennis.

"I wish I would have played golf in high school. Maybe I would have a different story."

Smith said she typically shoots in the low 80s and has broken the 80-stroke mark twice in her life, but she's accepting scoring around 90 these days.

"I'm not moving so fast, but Lord, I don't know, it's a relaxed sport and not so hard on the body," Smith said. "I play here, but we'll move out and play other courses around here and somewhere else, too."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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