Oskaloosa | Inducted 2013 | Category: Golf Professional

Jeff Smith has spent his entire life in Oskaloosa, playing or serving the game of golf. His family has been in the golf business in Oskaloosa for five generations. Jeff started as a champion junior golfer and is now a distinguished member and respected leader of the PGA of America.

Golf was never away from Jeff growing up. His dad, Ted, was the superintendent at the Edmundson course in Oskaloosa and also managed the pro shop. The living room and kitchen of the Smith home were on the same level as the pro shop.

Jeff, the oldest of four, would often play a few holes of golf before heading off to school.

“And as soon as I got home, we got one candy bar and a glass of pop out of the pro shop and I’d be playing golf again,” Jeff recalled. “I kept track of all my scores.”

He played 3,800 holes in 1972. He started to get recognized for his golfing exploits at a young age. A June 20, 1965 headline in the Des Moines Register read, “Tot, 6, shoots 48 at Oskaloosa.”

Jeff had 17 golf trophies by the time he was 14. He played for Oskaloosa High School’s state championship golf team as a sophomore in 1975. That summer, he was 16 when he upset hometown favorite Tom Chapman Jr. in a playoff to win the Fort Dodge Amateur. He also reached the quarterfinals of the USGA Junior that summer. Then he won state high school individual medalist honors in 1976 and 1977. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

Smith took his golf talents to Memphis State, where he played in the 1978 NCAA Championships as a freshman. He turned in another stunning victory that summer, winning the Waterloo Open as an amateur. He was the first to do it since Sid Richardson in 1940.

He also won the 1981 Iowa Masters in a playoff over Dave Rummells. After college, Jeff turned professional and became a PGA of America Apprentice in 1982. He was the head professional at Edmundson in Oskaloosa from 1984 to 1999.

In 1999 Jeff, along with wife Lori, brother Mike and father Ted, opened Harvest Point Golf Course in Oskaloosa. Jeff was the architect and builder of the 9-hole layout. At one time Jeff was operating both the Edmundson and Harvest Point courses.

Jeff served on the Iowa PGA Board of Directors for 14 years, including a term as President from 2003-05. He also served a three-year stint on the national PGA of America Board of Directors representing District 8 (Iowa, Minnesota & Nebraska). He has won multiple awards from the Iowa PGA Section including the 2006 Iowa PGA Professional of the Year. He has logged countless hours instructing junior golfers and was heavily involved in the development of “Play Golf America,” a national initiative of the PGA of America designed to introduce new players to the game.

“The game and industry of golf owes Jeff, as well as his wonderful family, a debt of gratitude for their stewardship and care for the game that extends over generations in our country’s heartland,” said former PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka.

Career Highlights

Amateur Career

  • 1976, 77 Iowa High School State Champion
  • 1975 Fort Dodge Amateur Champion
  • 1975 US Junior Amateur Quarterfinalist
  • 1977 & 1978 Waterloo Open Low Amateur
  • 1981 Iowa Masters Champion

Professional Career

  • Became PGA of America Apprentice in 1982
  • Built, owns and operates Harvest Pointe Golf Course in Oskaloosa
  • Served 14 years on Iowa Section PGA Board of Directors
  • 2003-2005 President of the Iowa Section PGA
  • PGA of America Board of Directors District 8 Representative for three years
  • 2006 Iowa PGA Professional of the Year
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