Nobody has burst onto the scene faster and louder than Jack Smith in 2023. The 23-year-old rookie possesses one of the smoothest swings on the tour and has become a household name after just four events. After reaching the quarterfinals and finishing in the top 2 in two of his first three tour events, Jack was able to find success in his most recent tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee. The rookie strung together his best finish of the year, beating the World #1 and #2 in back-to-back sets to capture his first professional win on tour. Jack’s maiden victory came as he put his plans to attend medical school on hold for the time being, shifting his focus to World Long Drive and becoming one of the longest hitters in the world.
At the beginning of June, Jack Smith stepped onto a World Long Drive tee box in La Salle, Colorado, for the first time. His debut was delayed due to an injury, forcing him to miss the first three tournaments of 2023. His first taste of competition came in the regional qualifier, where Jack excelled from his first swing, easily securing a spot in the 2023 World Championships in Atlanta.
“The Colorado qualifier was really my ‘I belong’ moment,” Jack said about his first event in La Salle, Colorado. “I knew I had speed, I knew I had a pretty decent swing, but once I was able to perform well in each round and qualify, I carried that confidence with me into the open division.”
Despite his rocky start to 2023, dealing with the arm injury, Jack still managed to reach the Quarterfinals in his first open division event. “Once I did well in that tournament (La Salle Event), it solidified my decision to continue competing, especially given my arm’s condition.”
While Jack plans to attend medical school down the line, the opportunity to pursue a long drive career has taken the forefront for the time being. “I would regret not giving long-drive a shot. I know that many times, people on their deathbeds look back and remember the things they did not do in life, not necessarily what they did do, and I would hate to look back and have that regret.”
At just 23 years old, Jack has all the time in the world to see if he can maximize his potential in the sport of long drive. “I want to be the best I can be and give it a shot, and no matter how my career unfolds or the path changes, I will always have medical school as an option to pursue when I am ready,” said Smith, who prepared himself well for the world after college by graduating summa cum laude from LSU in 2022.
Jack Smith will enter the world championships with all the momentum on his side as the most recent winner in Kingsport, Tennessee. It won’t be an easy road for Jack, as the Open Division features winners of the last six World Championships, including Martin Borgmeier (’22), Kyle Berkshire (’21, ’20, ’19), Maurice Allen (’18), and Justin James (’17). Despite all the former champions in the field, Jack’s confidence should remain at an all-time high as the most recent winner on tour.
All the action will commence on October 18th, with Jack, Martin, Kyle, Maurice, and Justin among the 128 longest hitters in the world competing to become the 2023 World Long Drive Champion. For more information leading up to the event, head over to Worldlongdrive.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @Worldlongdrive.