Stan Smith Q&A: When the tennis legend puts down his racket, turns out he’s a pretty good stick

At age 76, Stan Smith nonetheless maintains a single-digit handicap.

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This interview was first revealed within the January/February 2023 version of GOLF Journal.

GOLF: Being the highest tennis participant on this planet takes up lots of time. How did you handle to get into golf?

Stan Smith: I by no means performed till I moved to Hilton Head Island in ’71. I had a Wilson tennis racket named after me on the time, so I went to their manufacturing facility and picked out some golf equipment.

G: Have been you good at golf instantly?

SS: Most tennis gamers choose up the sport pretty shortly. There was a golf professional at Harbour Town named Stan Graff, who occurred to be a former Stanford quarterback. He associated golf motion to different sports activities, which helped me perceive the sport higher. Golf and tennis swings are very comparable of their kinetic hyperlink again and ahead.

G: How good had been you at your greatest?

SS: I would’ve gotten right down to a 3 at one level. My index is 7.8 now. I really feel like I’ve misplaced one thing like 20 yards over the past 12 months. I believe I may be lacking a hyperlink or two.

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G: Hey, not too shabby for a 76-year-old!

SS: Nicely, my brief recreation has all the time been fairly good. I putt pretty effectively. My iron play is erratic. I drive the ball constantly; it’s simply not goin’ very far.

G: Your energy on the brief pictures — do you relate that to your finesse recreation on courtroom?

SS: I served exhausting, and I may hit my floor strokes fairly exhausting, however the remainder of my recreation had a little bit extra selection. I’d try to combine it up and hold opponents off steadiness. However sure, in golf you hit the ball exhausting, however you’re additionally required to hit delicate pictures that require good palms and positively a high quality contact similar to tennis the place you’re hitting drop pictures and finessing brief pictures.

G: The Stan Smith tennis shoe from Adidas is iconic. However in addition they have a Stan Smith golf shoe?

SS: Sure! They first got here out with it about 15 years in the past, and it regarded similar to my tennis shoe however with nubs on the underside. Then, final 12 months, Adidas got here out with a green [Stan Smith] shoe for the Mastersand I did a little bit video with Dustin Johnson for that. Then that they had a white shoe for the U.S. Open, and Jessica Korda and I did a business for that. There have been a pair extra fashions for the Ryder Cup and the ZOZO Cup in Japan. In addition they have one with a little bit kiltie over the laces, like gamers from the ’60s and ’70s. We partnered with Vice Golf and made a shiny orange and a lime shoe. Boy, you discover somebody wearin’ these when you’re standing close by!

Stan Smith’s biography, Some Individuals Assume I’m a Shoehas been made right into a documentary by LeBron James’ manufacturing firm. It’s titled Who Is Stan Smith? and premiered final fall.

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Printed : 2023-06-24 12:35:01

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