John Smoltz’s first foray into serious senior golf came at last year’s U.S. Senior Open, where he shot 85-77 at the Broadmoor to miss the cut. Not that the ultra-competitive retired pitcher was surprised.
“Look, I had a flight home Saturday,” Smoltz admitted to GolfDigest.com. “I wasn’t really thinking I was going to make the cut.”
But it was on that flight home where he also took copious notes about his performance to prepare for the next time a similar opportunity arose. And that time is now.
Smoltz, 51, will tee it up on the PGA Tour Champions this week at the Cologuard Classic. It’s the first of three sponsor exemptions the MLB Hall-of-Famer has accepted to play on the senior circuit this year.
“When the phone call came for this opportunity to play in three events,” said Smoltz, who is an analyst for Fox and MLB Network. “I was like a little kid who just got one of the best Christmas gifts.”
Smoltz joined me to discuss his latest opportunity to showcase his golf game on a big stage, his recent win at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, his impressive backyard golf setup, and how a big baseball trade changed both his career on the field and on the course. He also talked about his senior tour aspirations going forward and a special buddies trip he’s planning with some former teammates.
Plus, Sam Weinman and Keely Levins joined me to discuss Dustin Johnson’s latest win, the LPGA backstopping controversy, and punching out from the trees. Please have a listen: