ISU Golf: Family Matters

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith

When Idaho State golfer Courtney Smith was deciding where to go to college, Idaho must have seemed a long way from her home in Omaha, Neb. Smith, a state champion high school golfer, knew she wanted to continue in the sport.
What did ISU have that other colleges didn’t? Family.
Smith’s older sister, Kylie, came to ISU as a member of the women’s golf team two years prior. Their younger sister, Sydney, followed in their footsteps and is now a member of ISU’s golf team as well.
“It’s been amazing,” said Courtney Smith. “All of our family is back home in Omaha, so it’s really nice to have sisters that go here.”
The Smith siblings’ parents were thrilled to see their three daughters attend the same school.
“They love it,” Smith said. “Everybody always says, ‘How did you get your three girls to go to the same school?’”
Family support has been helpful to Smith as a student-athlete. She comes from a family that has been active in school and sports, including her father who also golfed in college.
Traveling to Arizona for the Red Rocks Invitation the weekend before midterms gave Smith plenty of opportunity to attempt to balance both school and golf.
Smith had the Bengals’ best score for the weekend with a 173 in both rounds. The team shot a 366 on day one and lowered their second round score by 25 points.
Time management has been an important skill to ensure success in both school and athletics for Smith, a General Studies major.
“I just study as much as I can and try to get kind of in a routine,” said Smith. She said she’s learned what works best for her since arriving at ISU while also traveling for sports.
“I study a lot better during the day or in the morning,” Smith said. “At night I’m just so tired. I’ve really learned that trying to study at night does not work. So I try to get up earlier to get my stuff done.”
Effective study skills will be useful for Smith next year as well while she finishes her degree at ISU. Although Smith is a senior, she still has one year left of athletic eligibility because she did not golf her freshman year.
The women’s golf team will compete in the Bucknell University Golf Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 14 and 15. Five members of the golf team travel at one time. The team has a qualifying process to determine which golfers will travel to each meet.
Smith has traveled to all of the team’s meets this season.
She described the friendships and support she gets outside of her family, from her teammates and coaches.
“It’s been great. I really like everybody on my team. We all get along,” Smith said. “I love my coaches. They’ve been really helpful to me in school and in golf.”
Speaking of ISU’s golf head coach Kellie Hooper, Smith said, “She been like a role model to me. She’s really helped me make a lot of decisions as far as school and just everything.”
Although Smith can laughingly highlight a few noticeable differences between life in Nebraska and Idaho (mountains, most notably), she has enjoyed golfing in both states. Her high school golf team won the state title all four of Smith’s years on the team, including an unprecedented tie in the championship round.
“It was the first time ever that there was a tie. So we went to a playoff and we all played the one hole. Then we ended up winning,” said Smith.
The Bengals will be hitting the links again for the Bucknell University Golf Invitational on March 14.

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