02 Mar 2023 | Industry news |

Six years on Smith secures world record

by Dane Heverin

Raymond Smith at Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club.
Raymond Smith at Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club.

On 27 January 2017, then 67-year-old Raymond Smith shot a round of 67 on his home course of Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club in Queensland but his effort was only confirmed as a world record earlier this week.

Smith is officially the youngest amateur golfer to ever shoot their age with an email from Guinness World Records only days ago validating that he had bettered the previous record of 68 – which was set by a Japanese man in 1996.

“It was my fault for not finding out sooner. We only checked a couple of months ago,” Smith said with a laugh.

“We put the application in, and they had to track down my playing partners from that day so that they and the club could verify the score. Then I got an email from Guinness confirming that it is the world record. They’re shipping a plaque to me which is fantastic.”

After the record setting round, the now 74-year-old put golf on the back burner for a few years.

His focus was directed at sailing on his catamaran, but now he plays at least three times a week and spending enough time around Sanctuary Cove – where he has been a member since the turn of the century – was the encouragement needed to find out for sure if his effort was a world record.

“Life got in the way. Golf moved to the back of the cupboard because I spent a lot of time sailing,” Smith said.

“Back then I was at my peak. I was a three handicap at the start of that round, and I came down a 1.9 afterwards. It was nice to know that it’s true that the harder you work, the luckier you get. Nowadays I’m a seven handicap.”

Smith’s main golf goal at the moment is to get his wife out on course as much as possible.

The sport has always been in his blood. He originates from New Zealand – he relocated to the Gold Coast in 1995 – and his mother was women’s captain at Grange and Peninsula Golf Clubs in Auckland, while his aunt Shirley Macintyre was a national champion.

Despite occasionally having a hit in his youth, it was on neither side of the Tasman where Smith caught the golfing bug.

“I started playing golf in 1988 when it was the end of the ski season at Park City Mountain in Utah – I used to go skiing there every year - and a few of the other guys said, ‘the season’s finishing, do you want to go play golf in Salt Lake City tomorrow?’,” Smith recalled.

“We drove down there. I loved it and I bought a set of clubs not long after.”

In the six years since his world record round, Smith has broken his age on “seven or eight” occasions, but he remains understated about his achievements.

“I had a couple of 73s but nothing like that round,” he said.

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