Our two famous sporting Cameron Smiths teamed up at the Australian PGA Championship pro-am.
[Feature image: Getty images – Chris Hyde]
It wasn’t the first time rugby league icon Cameron Smith and his namesake the golfer have met. It was more a rekindling when, at the pro-am of the recent Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane, the Smiths were reunited for the first time since 2017.
Both were a little different this time, rugby league Smith had retired while golf Smith had become the Open Championship winner and world No.3. He’d also grown a mullet. We spoke to the rugby league Smith to see what he learned from 18 holes with the now more famous Cameron Smith:
▶▶▶ I like the fact – and he has spoken about this in pre-tournament and post-tournament press conferences – that he draws inspiration from those great Queensland Maroons sides.
▶▶▶ [During the pro-am] he spoke about how, when he was a young fella watching State of Origin [he loved] those teams I was lucky enough to be a part of. That’s pretty cool to think a guy who is regarded by many as the greatest golfer in the world at the moment, knows he had a good time watching us play footy. If we’ve done any small thing to help him win a Major in particular, that’s pretty special.
▶▶▶ When I gave him a Queensland Maroons jersey, he was pretty stoked, but then he spun around and saw it was a No.9 and said, “Oh, no mate. I am a halfback!”
▶▶▶ Very rarely do you get the opportunity to play golf with someone as good as Cam. Watching him do his thing is pretty cool. I love golf, but these pros are something else.
▶▶▶ Cam’s physique is a little different to when I saw him last in 2017 (Smith is leaner and more athletic). He has changed a little bit, but his demeanour hasn’t. He’s quite calm, laid-back and doesn’t over-think things. He also doesn’t over-complicate things; he doesn’t even look too much at the distances in the yardage book.
▶▶▶ I think mentally [is the side of golf I learned most from playing with Smith]. He did say there were a couple of basic [technique] things I could do to help bring my score down. Just my setup; when I’m taking driver there was some basic alignment stuff I could do to help hit it straighter. But I think watching the way he approaches each hole differently [was beneficial for my golf game]. Cam doesn’t try to muscle his way around the course; I don’t think he’s the longest hitter on the tour by any stretch, but watching him take irons off some of the tees I learned [from] and will probably put into my own game.
▶▶▶ He was actually impressed with my short game. He thought it was going to be the other way around; the driving was going to be the best part of my game. He said my touch around the greens was impressive.