Lynn Smith

Dedicated his life to serving the golf community

Lynn Smith dedicated his life to serving the golf community. After growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and graduating from Yale in 1924, his move to California in 1955 kickstarted his leadership and involvement in the golf industry. An avid golfer, Smith was a member of Annandale Golf Club in Pasadena, where he became president from 1955-56. Concurrent to his membership at Annandale, Smith belonged to some of the world’s most prestigious and exclusive clubs, including Cypress Point, Augusta National Golf Club, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and Pine Valley Country Club.

Smith became a prominent figure in the SCGA, serving on almost every SCGA committee en route to becoming the organization's president in 1965. During this presidency, he played an instrumental role in the USGA Handicap System by negotiating changes to create national uniformity, such as taking the best 10 of a player’s last 20 scores and including decimals in course rating. The installation of the slope system for evaluating course difficulty and a player’s handicap was also pioneered by Smith and is a continuing practice to this day.

Smith’s leadership continued in 1966 when he became the president of the California Golf Association; that same year, he became a USGA Executive Committee member where he chaired on multiple committees, including: Handicap, Amateur Status, Senior Championship, Green Section, Finance, Rules of Golf, Championship and Implements and Balls.

He later went on to become Vice President of the USGA Executive Committee in 1974.

His vast experience and knowledge of the game brought him to renowned golf events the world over, where he assumed a role on the Masters Rules Committee and dedicated his time as a Rules Official for the U.S. Open and myriad PGA TOUR tournaments. In the late 70s, he was recognized as a California Golf Writers honoree and, a decade later, had the SCGA’s highest honor named for him – The Lynn Smith Award -- acknowledging the time and expertise he tirelessly and ceaselessly devoted to the game.