Smith targets improvements

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Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

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Kerry Smith is keen to make improvements to her game after playing a key part in Hampshire’s season of success.

The women’s county team lifted the England Golf Women’s County Championship in style at Belton Park in September.

It was the first time in 19 years that the county became national champions and the Waterlooville talent took on a senior role.

Smith said: ‘As a season, it’s not been too bad.

‘We didn’t really expect to win it. We hadn’t been there for a long time so that was nice to get it back.

‘We had a good team, we all got on well and the foursomes, in particular, we did really well.

‘I can adapt and I like playing in a team competition.

‘But there is a good mixture of youth and experience in the team.

‘It was nice to win that this year. But now my ambition is to keep improving and to see what happens.’

Smith, who plays off a handicap of plus one, already has a long list of impressive achievements behind her in the game, having represented Great Britain & Ireland in the 2002 Curtis Cup and played for England for 12 years.

But the three-times Hampshire Ladies champion and county team stalwart clearly still enjoys the heat of battle in elite amateur golf.

She said: ‘I enjoy playing with the county team and I will keep doing that.

‘Individually, I’ve been steady throughout the season but I haven’t won anything.

‘But my game is in good shape – it’s getting there.

‘I would like to work on my play from 100 yards and in but I’m sure every golfer would like to do that.

‘You’ve got to give yourself opportunities because you can’t expect to hole long putts all the time.

‘I’ve got my schedule ready for next year and it starts in March so I need to put in some good practice over the winter.

‘There isn’t a tournament or anything that is a priority for me. If you prioritise one thing, then you are disappointed if you don’t win it or achieve it.

‘So I just want to make improvements in my game and then I’ll see what happens with the results.’

Meanwhile, Waterlooville golfer Kevin Hickman was honoured at the club’s prize-giving night as he celebrated his record-equalling club championship title.

The 42-year-old club stalwart claimed the club’s top prize for the seventh time to match Eric Ansell’s haul and has been backed to make it eight in due course.

Waterlooville manager John Hay said: ‘He used to live by the 10th tee so he probably jumped the wall a few times when he was a youngster!

‘But he’s been a member since he was seven or eight and is a very well-respected golfer at our club.

‘It’s a great achievement and I’m sure he will be looking to beat the record next year.’