Ozzie Smith explains how he fell in love with golf
With a World Series title, 15 All-Star appearances and 13 Gold Glove awards, Ozzie Smith is the undisputed candidate for MLB’s defensive shortstop GOAT.
But these days? The 67-year-old is now fully focused on his golf game.
On this week’s episode of Subpar, Smith explained to hosts Colt Knesset and Drew Stoltz how he got into the game — and why it didn’t happen until he was an adult.
“I never picked up a golf club as a kid,” he said. I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. It was baseball, basketball and football. So golf was never for either of us.
Smith said it was in the late ’80s that Whitey Herzog invited Smith to tee off at his golf tournament. Despite never swinging a club before, Smith agreed and showed up for practice a few days early.
“As an athlete, I love the process,” Smith said. And the process continues today, knowing that I’ll never perfect it, but I’ve made it to a point of stability where I know what I’m trying to achieve.”
Smith says he was comfortable enough during practice to hit the opening shot of the tournament.
“I hit it, and it went down the middle,” he said. “That was all. You know, when you hit it right. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Smith says he loved the challenge of being able to make the club look squarer and enjoyed the thrill of the competition.
For anyone who’s played any sport for 15, 20 years, there’s a competitive void in your life when you’re done. Golf fills that competitive void because I compete with myself first, the course and the people you play with. “I like this process and I’m trying to figure it out.”
Smith has done well by any standard and says he is currently a 4 handicap.
For more from Smith, including what it’s like to play in the top pros, his favorite courses and his experiences with the pros, check out the full interview below.