04 Jul 2023 | Clubs and Facilities | Amateur golf | Participation |

Love of the game drives 55-time club champion

by Martin Blake

Joyce Smith image
Mt Alexander's 55-time club champion Joyce Smith. Photo: Mt Alexander GC

She’s already in the Guinness World Records but Joyce Smith’s entry needs updating with another entry.

Smith, the legendary 91-year-old from Mount Alexander Golf Club at the provincial city of Castlemaine in central Victoria, took her total of club championships to a monumental 55 last Thursday with a triumph over three rounds of strokeplay.

The run began in the 1960s soon after she joined the club with a bunch of friends, and is thought to be unprecedented around the country if not the world.

Once she started winning championships Smith was unbeatable. She missed out in only two years, in 2014 when her husband Max passed away, and in 2015 when she had back surgery.

Then the streak resumed.

“She’s an absolutely legend,” said club president Bob Pratt today. “And a great person to go with it. She’s been an amazing player, she’s represented Australia in veterans’ championships overseas and that kind of thing, but she always speaks highly of our club. She’s a trooper and she loves the club.”

Smith has taken ill with Covid-19 in recent days and has spent time in hospital before returning home.

But she told the Castlemaine Mail:

“I just love it. The people are the greatest you will find anywhere and the course is looking the best it has in years thanks to the hard work of our volunteers.”

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