Four years ago, Andy Smith returned to the place where his professional golf career began — Sodus Bay Heights Golf Club.


“I had worked (at Sodus Bay) previously in the bag room staff and then I worked as an assistant professional from 2007-2012 under David Jones,” Smith said.


For Smith, building relationships is the best part about being a PGA of America Golf Head Professional.


“The thing I enjoy most is the relationships you create along the way with your members and staff,” the 37-year-old Smith said. “These are relationships that can last a lifetime and you get a chance to meet some unique people in this business. I owe a lot of my career to some of the mentors I have been lucky enough to have in my life over the past 15 or so years.”


Here’s what Smith had to say about his career in golf.


On his start in golf: I got my start in golf like many others, working in the bag room at a local club down in the Southern Tier of NY. I didn’t really get into golf until I was 16, which was when I worked my first summer in the bag room. My competitive nature in regards to athletics got me hooked on the game quickly. My dad had always played casually during my childhood, but it was actually my aunt who took me out for my first real round of golf.


Golf accomplishments he’s most proud of: I am most proud of earning Class A status with the PGA of America back in 2013. Also, I am fortunate enough to have made two holes-in-one, both on the same hole (No. 3) at Sodus, 13 years a part.


Golf pet peeves: I can’t really think of too many. One would be players who don’t focus on taking care of the golf course. Fixing pitch marks in greens, or following cart instructions. Our superintendents work really hard to provide the best product they can, oftentimes with limited staff. We always hear complaints of ball marks on greens not being fixed or fairway divots being replaced. Another one would be slow play. More times than not, my opinion would be that golfers are in too much of a rush and can become too focused on finishing their rounds quickly rather than enjoying the day, the course, or the company they are in. I also do acknowledge that slow play can be frustrating. I think we can do a better job educating people on the proper way to save a few seconds when they can.


Favorite non-golf activity: Spending time with my kids and family. As they grow older, I am excited

to see what types of activities they get involved in and hope that one of those activities includes golf,  but if not that’s fine as well.

(Note: Smith lives in Penfield with wife Stephanie and two children, Ethan and Lucy.)




Biggest challenge facing PGA of America Golf Professionals: I think one of our biggest challenges, especially in the seasonal climate we work in, is staff retention. It’s important to have continuity in staff. To have people you trust, and that know the golf operation at your facility is huge. I have experienced a lot of turnover over the years and that can sometimes be difficult.