Minjee Lee with coach Ritchie Smith
Long time PGA Professional Ritchie Smith has received the esteemed PGA Teacher of the Year award.
Presented at this year’s Srixon PGA Coaching Summit, the peer nominated award was announced on Thursday at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in front of more than 200 PGA Professionals and leading domestic and international sporting authorities.
Smith has played a significant role coaching and developing many of Australia's leading Professional golfers and is the Head Professional at Melville Glades Golf Club in Leeming Western Australia.
On accepting his award Smith said, “I feel very humbled by the support of the PGA Membership in winning the Teacher of the Year award and very honoured to be associated with previous winners.
“I want to also acknowledge my biggest coaching influences who include Ryan Lumsden and Ramsay McMaster, whose passion for the game was unrivaled.” he said.
Smith also thanked his wife and family for their support and allowing him to pursue his passion for coaching the sport of golf.
The founder and Head Coach of the Perth Golf Academy, Smith has coached numerous State and National representatives including Oliver Goss, Low Amateur champion at the US Masters, and Minjee Lee, the highest-ranked female amateur in the world and who just this week turned Professional.
Smith has been the State Women's Coach for Golf Western Australian since 2003 and a National Coach for Golf Australia since 2011.
In the past two years, Smith has had significant success with the Western Australian ladies winning successive Australian Interstate Series and coaching both male and female Western Australian Amateur Championships winners.
In 2012, Smith received the Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation High Performance Coach of the Year award, followed by Western Australian PGA Teaching Professional of the Year award in 2013.
The Perth Golf Academy has instructed over two thousand clients since opening in 2002 and has proudly produce golfers that have become National Champions, top ranked amateurs, numerous Tour and Teaching Professionals as well as National and State Representatives.
Much of his Smith’s time is spent coaching leading players and he gains a great deal of satisfaction seeing his Club level clients achieve their potential and developing juniors to elite level players.
The PGA Teacher of the Year award is the PGA’s highest teaching honour presented every two years and acknowledges the valuable contribution made by PGA Professionals to the golf industry.
Perth Golf Academy is based at Melville Glades Golf Club, 15 minutes from the Perth CBD.
Smith is an Australian Trainee Player of the Year and PGA Presidents Award winner.