Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Kiawah Island, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.
My name is Dan Crance - Kiawah Island's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.
Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Kiawah Island, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.
Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.
In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.
As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.
At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Kiawah Island, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.
With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Kiawah Island, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.
30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.
FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.
VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Choosing a home loan is an important step in the home buying process. At Classic Home Mortgage, we are here to make choosing a loan as easy as possible, so you can focus on the joys of being a homeowner. Contact our team of experts today and ask how you can get pre-qualified for your home loan in Kiawah Island, SC.
Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Kiawah Island, SC - Dan Crance.
Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.
FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.
Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.
Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.
Whether you're selling, buying, refinancing, or building the home of your dreams, you have a lot riding on your home loan specialist. When you need a mortgage broker who works tirelessly for you, answers your questions, provides guidance, and does so with a genuine smile, Dan Crance is your mortgage man. Contact Dan today at 843-478-5612 to get pre-approved and discover why Kiawah Island loves Classic Home Mortgage.After hours by appointment only. CONTACT DAN
Spring is approaching and for us golfers, our clubs are getting itchy. Fortunately, the South is awash in destinations for a much-needed fairway getaway, from traditional resorts hosting big tournaments to approachable up-and-comers. Here are seven resorts to note in the South—and a little farther afield in a Southwestern golf haven.Stay in Touch with G&GGet our weekly Talk of the South newsletter.This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google ...
Spring is approaching and for us golfers, our clubs are getting itchy. Fortunately, the South is awash in destinations for a much-needed fairway getaway, from traditional resorts hosting big tournaments to approachable up-and-comers. Here are seven resorts to note in the South—and a little farther afield in a Southwestern golf haven.
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The PGA has relocated its headquarters to Frisco, Texas. Why Frisco? Location, location, location. Located thirty miles from Dallas, the Omni PGA Resort will feature two new golf courses when it opens in May, including Gil Hanse’s Fields Ranch East, the future site of multiple PGA championships. Visitors will also find the Swing, a ten-hole lighted short course, and the Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment hub.
If you golf, surely your bucket list includes Pinehurst, home to famous #2, the 2024 U.S. Open site recently restored by Bill Moore and Ben Crenshaw, and the beautiful #4, redesigned by Gil Hanse. Golf House Pinehurst, the USGA’s new campus, will open later this year with the USGA Experience, an immersive golf exhibition. With or without a Golf House visit, playing a few of Pinehurst’s nine courses is as good as it gets in North America.
A visit to Sea Island, Georgia, adds a great twist on the family golf story. In 2019 brothers Davis Love III and Mark Love redesigned their home course, home to the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic. The Scottish links–style Seaside Course and the parkland-style Retreat Course are also worthy adds to your agenda.
Pete Dye’s Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina carries the reputation of one of America’s toughest tests, an exposed track with ten seaside holes, the most in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll play against the wind, as pros did at the historic “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship. Designers named Fazio, Nicklaus, and Player have also left their mark here, creating courses that will challenge your game and take your breath away for their beautiful Lowcountry vistas.
There is only one place in America to sample fairway fare from the Dean’s List of natural golf course designers: Streamsong Resort in the Sunshine State. Tom Doak, Coore & Crenshaw, and Gil Hanse have each etched a remarkable eighteen among the Central Florida lakes, dunes, and wetlands. These tracks were crafted from the bunkers outward, one of many facets that led Bill Coore to declare how “this landscape is different than anything we’ve ever worked with.” Coore and Ben Crenshaw will also debut a short course here in the coming year.
Golf getaways with buddies or girlfriends offer a chance to slip away from responsibilities and spend a few days playing, talking about, and playing more golf. Big Cedar has spent the last few years betting that you’ll do just that in the Missouri Ozark Mountains. This lodge features five courses, including one designed by Tiger Woods. Woods joins the ranks of player/designer teams including Nicklaus, Watson, Player, Fazio, and Coore and Crenshaw here. That’s fifty-two major wins by last count guiding these grounds.
South by Southwest
Southerners will agree that it’s just so cool to play golf in the desert, whether you’re chipping out from behind a four-armed saguaro or, in the case of Tucson National’s Catalina Golf Course at the recently renovated Omni Resort in Arizona, driving the same fairways the pros have faced in more than thirty PGA Tour events. The companion course, Tom Lehman’s Sonoran Golf Course, gives you different challenges. Located beside the clubhouse, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, a restaurant with roots in Texas, offers the perfect venue to settle those side bets.
Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower cl...
Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower class on the islands. The Kooks are the wealthy upper class from the Figure 8 part of the island, and they are also in search of the treasure, which causes the two groups to clash in a very modern day West Side Story fashion.
Season 3 of Outer Banks just released in early January of this year and there is a fourth season confirmed for this favorite teen mystery series. Although the series in set in North Carolina, most, if not all, of the series was filmed in South Carolina. If you can't get enough of Outer Banks and want to immerse yourself fully into the show, take a look at some of the real life filming locations below.
RELATED: 'Outer Banks' Season 3 Cast & Characters Guide: Who's Returning And Who's New To The Netflix Hit
Majority of the boating and water scenes for Kildare Harbor were filmed in Shem Creek. Shem Creek is a South Carolina local favorite spot for hanging out by the marina, watching the sunset and enjoying different dining locations. Heyward's Seafood, owned by Pope's dad, was filmed inside the real restaurant of Geechie Seafood that sits in Shem Creek. The Wreck, owned by Kiara's family, was also filmed inside a Shem Creek local restaurant known as The Wreck Of Richard and Charlene.
The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, which is just south of Charleston. The golf resort was used as the location for the Island Club, which is where the Kooks host the Midsummer Night Ball and tends to be the fanciest place to gather together and hang out. If you want to visit this location in real life, you can enjoy an oceanfront restaurant and many beachside activities.
Pitt Street, located in Mount Pleasant's Old Village District, is the location for many scenes in Outer Banks. Downtown Kildare uses Pitt Street as its backdrop. The Sheriff's Station is filmed in a local condominium building and the Kildare Island Surfboard Store was filmed inside The Green Shutter antique shop. Visiting Pitt Street means you can visit all the cute and quaint mom-and-pop shops and restaurants.
Sarah Cameron's family estate can actually be seen by visiting the low country of Charleston. The Lowndes Grove is used primarily for weddings and events. Its 18th century architecture and art makes it a place of wonderment for anyone who visits and gets to experience the ambiance there for their events.
If you've wanted to stay in the hotel room that John B and Pope break into at the Summer Winds Motel, you can! Book room 229 at the Creekside Lands Inn in Charleston to see where that episode from Season 1was filmed.
One of the islands just below Charleston, Morris Island, was used to film the marches and shipwreck scenes from Outer Banks. Specifically, the Lighthouse Creek in Morris Island is where those scenes were filmed and the red and white lighthouse can even be spotted in the background of some of those scenes.
After receiving some clues about the treasure, the Pogues visit the Redfield Lighthouse. The Redfield Lighthouse was filmed at both the Morris Island Lighthouse and the Hunting Island Lighthouse. The Hunting Island Lighthouse near Beaufort, South Carolina, is used as the interior for the Redfield Lighthouse, and the Morris Island Lighthouse is used as the exterior for the Outer Banks location.
When John B and Sarah visit UNC at Chapel Hill, they are actually visiting the Gaillard Center of Charleston. The Gaillard Center hosts many performers, artists, scholars, and even the Charleston Symphony. While visiting UNC, John B and Sarah also stroll through a picturesque park that can be seen if you visit Washington Square. Washington Square is just a short four-minute ride around the corner from the Gaillard Center.
The iconic and scenic rocky beach from Season 2 when the Pogues plan to rescue Sarah from her family was filmed in Barbados. The teens infiltrate the ship and all eventually jump ship and swim to the nearest island to be free of Sarah's family. Bathsheba Beach is known for its unique rock formations and eventually becomes known as Poguelandia in Season 3.
In Season 3 when the gang travels to El Dorado and through the South American jungle, the stumble upon the El Dorado cave. While looking like it's filmed in South America, this cave was actually filmed in Barbados. The Welchman Hall Gully is a tropical park that is open to the public and has scenic hiking trails and cave tours.
Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the ...
Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the most breathtaking harbor views. But just a few miles outside, there are several bucket-list-worthy spots to discover. Here are the best day trips from Charleston that you shouldn't miss.
Boasting an award-winning stunning 10-mile beach with plenty of fun activities, such as shelling, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, Kiawah Island is one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Biking is another popular activity on this side of South Carolina and is a perfect way of exploring parts of the island that tourists cannot reach by car. The island has more than 30 miles of paved biking trails to enjoy. Kiawah's golf courses are considered some of the most impressive in the world. The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Osprey Point, and Turtle Point are world-class golf courses that travelers can explore.
Myrtle Beach is one of the most beautiful destinations in South Carolina, famous for its spectacular boardwalk. Located along the South Atlantic coast of the state, Myrtle Beach has plenty of top-rated things to do, making it a great spot for families, from amusement parks to an aquarium to several water sports opportunities. Vacationers can spend time on the pristine beaches, play golf, and explore a wide range of restaurants and eateries serving delicious cuisines. This town has something for everyone and makes a perfect day trip for travelers staying in Charleston.
Beaufort may be one of the most underrated destinations in the US, but it's definitely full of unforgettable experiences. Situated on Port Royal Island, this is among the most culturally rich towns in the South, making it a perfect day trip from Charleston for vacationers interested in the local culture and history. The best of getting around this historic town is walking since almost all its most striking attractions are located in the downtown National Historic District. Tourists will also find numerous restaurants and hotels here.
Savannah is one of the most beautiful towns in Georgia to visit. The city is brimming with fun and unique activities, ranging from exploring the historic cemeteries to spending time in its incredible museums to taking its fascinating trolley tours. The city has some of the most exciting and unusual experiences that make it one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Savannah Historic District, Forsyth Park, and Bonaventure Cemetery are the top-rated attractions to visit.
Related: 10 Awesome Things That You Can Do In South Carolina
Located 78.5 miles from Charleston, Huntington Beach State Park is an incredible day trip for vacationers. It has plenty of activities, including swimming, hiking, camping, and spotting turtles, alligators, and more beautiful creatures. Preserving three miles of coastline, this park is suitable for beach lovers, fishermen, and history lovers looking to experience something unique. Vacationers can choose to spend some time on the sand, explore the remains of Atalaya Castle, or take advantage of the birdwatching opportunities along the trails.
While Wadmalaw Island is located pretty closer to Charleston (just above half an hour’s drive), it feels far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an incredible spot to relax. The island is home to Charleston Tea Plantation and Deep-Water Vineyard, which are among its top attractions. The Tea Plantation boasts the world's only American-grown tea. The vineyard, on the other hand, is special and unique because it's the only one in South Carolina.
Launched in 1976, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is dedicated to educating the public on the war's history. Visitors can see the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, used by the U.S. Navy during WWII and the Vietnam War. Other fun exhibits take us back in time, explaining the struggles and achievements the soldiers went through to make America a better place. Any travelers interested in the United States history will find Patriot's Point an incredible day trip from Charleston.
Sometimes referred to as the Edge of America, Folly Beach offers an incredible experience of the Atlantic; while it's among the most popular beach destinations in South Carolina, it retains its small-town charm. This makes it a wonderful day trip from Charleston for tourists looking for a spot to relax with a spectacular view of the Atlantic before them. It's only about 11 and a half miles from downtown Charleston so tourists shouldn’t miss an opportunity of exploring its natural beauty and enjoy plenty of amenities.
Hilton Head is a perfect spot for golf lovers because it's home to two dozen golf courses, Harbor Town Golf Links being one of the most notable. But there are plenty of other things to do, including beachside activities, such as boat tours and dolphin cruises, deep sea fishing, and volleyball. There are numerous beach bars where tourists can catch some fun live entertainment after spending a whole exploring the island. Rich in natural and cultural history, Hilton Head is one of the most impressive day trips from Charleston.
Related: Does Hilton Head Island Live Up To The Hype? Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know You Can Do There
Recognized among the Top 10 Gardens in the United States by TripAdvisor, Brookgreen Garden is home to a variety of plants and wildlife – a great adventure for families. There are plenty of events to catch, including the Brookgreen Gardens Art Festival, featuring some of the most talented artists and craftsmen showcasing their sculptures, paintings, glassware, pottery, and more. There is a lot to explore in the gardens, and every traveler is guaranteed to find something interesting.
THIS WEEK The University of Iowa women’s golf team hits the road for Spring Break to compete at the Briar’s Creek Invitational from March 13-14 in Johns Island, South Carolina. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the Golf Club at Briars Creek with a 36-hole shotgun start on Monday followed by the final 18 holes on Tuesday.FOLLOW LIVE Fans can follow the tournament via live scoring at www.Golfstat.com.THE LINEUP The Hawkeyes will send six golfers to South Caroli...
THIS WEEK The University of Iowa women’s golf team hits the road for Spring Break to compete at the Briar’s Creek Invitational from March 13-14 in Johns Island, South Carolina. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the Golf Club at Briars Creek with a 36-hole shotgun start on Monday followed by the final 18 holes on Tuesday.
FOLLOW LIVE Fans can follow the tournament via live scoring at www.Golfstat.com.
THE LINEUP The Hawkeyes will send six golfers to South Carolina for the tournament. Iowa’s lineup will include freshman Riley Lewis, freshman Shannyn Vogler, freshman Madison Dabagia, sophomore Paula Miranda and freshman Kaitlyn Hanna. Senior Jordan Amelon will be competing as an individual.
THE FIELD Iowa will compete against a field of 15 teams that includes: Boston College, Campbell, Central Florida, East Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, NC State, Nebraska, North Florida, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rutgers and Southern Methodist. • Four teams in the field — UCF (20), SMU (30), Maryland (35) and Nebraska (36) — are ranked in the top 36 nationally in the Golfstat rankings.
THE COURSE The Briar’s Creek Golf Club is located on Johns Island, south of Charleston. The course was rated the 25th best course in South Carolina and has received a five-star rating . The course sits along the Kiawah River and features wandering rivers, marshes and saltwater estuaries. The featured hole of the course is the 447-yard 16th hole that is covered in bunkers and towering oak trees. The course was designed by Rees Jones in 1989, Jones has left his mark on several PGA championship courses.
LAST TIME OUT The Hawkeyes tied for 10th at the UNF Collegiate in Florida. Iowa fired a 290 second round score — the team’s third-best round of the season — and totaled a 890 for the tournament. • Freshman Riley Lewis led the team, firing a 218 total (74-67-77) to tie for 13th-place. The second round 67 was the best of the Illinois native’s career and is tied for second for the lowest 18-hole score in school history.
LEWIS NAMED BIG TEN GOLFER OF THE WEEK Riley Lewis earned her first career Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Week honor after tying for 13th place at the UNF Collegiate on March 6-7. The Illinois native fired a second-round 67 — the second lowest round in school history — courtesy of four birdies and two eagles.
THEY’RE FRESHMAN • Freshman Riley Lewis has posted back-to-back two-over par 218’s in Iowa’s last two tournaments, tying for 29th at the Westbrook Invitational and a career-best 13th place showing at the UNF Collegiate. Lewis leads the team with a 74.44 scoring average over 18 rounds this season and has a team-high two top 20 finishes. • Freshman Madison Dabagia had Iowa’s top finish of the season when she tied for eighth place at the Tulane Classic. Dabagia has a 75.61 scoring average over 20.5 round, ranking third on the team. The Indiana native has led the team in two of three tournaments this spring. • Freshman Shannyn Vogler is second on the team with a 75.51 scoring average over 20.5 rounds. She has one top 20 finish and three rounds at or below par this season.
LOOKING AHEAD The Hawkeyes will have a week off before heading to the West Coast on March 26-27 for the Fresno State Classic in Fresno, California.
Dick Smith Sr., the 27th President of the PGA of America and one of the greatest players ever to hold the Association’s highest office, didn’t leave his competitiveness on the golf course.Smith transferred that tenacity into the boardroom and to his passion for programs that benefited aspiring PGA Professionals. As president, Smith created the modern approach to professional development and PGA Member education. During his time as an officer, PGA Membership nearly doubled.One of the most influential members of the P...
Dick Smith Sr., the 27th President of the PGA of America and one of the greatest players ever to hold the Association’s highest office, didn’t leave his competitiveness on the golf course.
Smith transferred that tenacity into the boardroom and to his passion for programs that benefited aspiring PGA Professionals. As president, Smith created the modern approach to professional development and PGA Member education. During his time as an officer, PGA Membership nearly doubled.
One of the most influential members of the Philadelphia PGA Section, Smith passed away March 8 in Voorhees, New Jersey, following complications from a stroke. He was 80.
“He was a grassroots golf professional,” said his son, Dick Smith Jr., the PGA Director of Golf at Kingwood (Texas) Country Club. “He truly cared about the PGA Member and the PGA of America. It wasn’t about him. It was about making the PGA and the PGA Member better for everyone that followed him.”
Smith competed in 13 major championships during his career, highlighted by a tie for 44th place at the 1970 U.S. Open and a 17th place showing at the 1992 Senior British Open.
“Dick had a great influence on our sport, both as a leader and a competitor,” said PGA President John Lindert, the PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Michigan. “One of the finest playing presidents in our Association’s history, his service as PGA President from 1991-92 was extremely impactful on our membership, the game and the golf industry.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smith family, including his wife Adrienne, daughter Stephanie, and son and Quarter Century PGA Member Dick Jr., along with his grandchildren Alexandria, Zakary and Marissa.”
From caddie to PGA President
Smith presided over a dynamic period in the PGA’s history, while realizing the need for ongoing planning to ensure the continued success of the Association.
“We need to have the ability to look forward and anticipate what our game and our business will be in five, 10, 20 years,” said Smith. “Once we identify that, we have to be ready to accept what’s necessary to achieve it.”
Born Richard Lie-Nielsen Smith, on June 16, 1942, in Akron, Ohio, he was 10 years old when he first started going to the golf course with his father, Robert. The youngster first picked up the game as a caddie, and soon learned to excel.
Smith captured the 1959 Maryland State Jaycee Championship at age 17. Three years later, he began working as an assistant professional at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania.
Smith subsequently would hone his skills at Laurel Oak Country Club in Gibbsboro, New Jersey; Indian Spring Golf Club in Marlton, New Jersey; High Point Golf Club in Ivyland, Pennsylvania; Wedgwood Country Club in Turnersville New Jersey; Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Galloway (New Jersey) National Golf Club; the Williamstown (New Jersey) Golf Center; Bethpage (New York) State Park; Riverwinds Golf Club in West Deptford, New Jersey; and White Oaks in Newfield, New Jersey. Smith also founded The Golf Group, a golf course consulting firm in 2004.
From 2008 until his death, Smith served Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey.
Smith attended Loyola College in Baltimore, turned professional in 1961, and was elected to PGA Membership in 1964. A dominant figure in the Philadelphia PGA Section, he competed in five PGA Championships, the 1970 U.S. Open, 1992 Senior British Open and 11 PGA Professional Championships. He was a five-time Philadelphia PGA Champion (matched only by Art Wall). Smith won over 25 championships during his playing career.
Smith caddied for his son in 2007, when Dick Jr. made his debut in the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Oregon. When Smith earned a berth in two U.S. Senior Opens, both at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, his brother Tom caddied for him in 1992, while Dick Jr. had the bag in 2000.
“My dad was a great player in the Section, at the national level, and he sacrificed a very successful PGA Tour Champions career by devoting his time to the PGA of America,” said Smith Jr.
Smith Sr. demonstrated that his abilities were not limited to playing. He was elected Vice President of the Philadelphia PGA in 1975, and was President from 1978-80. In 1984, Smith was elected to the national PGA Board of Directors, followed by a run for national PGA Secretary . . . which he won.
“I felt I represented a point of view that was important,” said Smith. “I represented the view of the rank and file.”
Celebrating 75 years with an eye toward the future
That passion for the PGA Member was inspirational for one of his closest friends, former PGA President Jack Connelly of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, who met Smith when competing in Section events. In fact, Smith, Dick Hendrickson and Connelly were the “Big Three” of Philadelphia PGA Section golf.
Smith won six Section Player of the Year awards, Hendrickson five, and Connelly four.
“He’s one of those guys you trust and a forward thinker,” said Connelly. “He thinks before he talks. It’s like E.F. Hutton (the famed commercial): 'When Dick Smith talks, everybody listens.' ”
Standing 6-foot-5, Smith towered over most of his colleagues, and was elected PGA President in November 1990 as the PGA prepared to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 1991. His primary focus was on education, employment and public awareness.
Using the 75th anniversary as a launching pad, three major events catapulted the PGA to the forefront. First, Jack Nicklaus captured the 1991 Senior PGA Championship on PGA National Golf Club’s Champion Course, which he had just redesigned near his home in South Florida. Smith presented the Alfred Bourne Trophy to Nicklaus for his wire-to-wire, six-stroke victory on national television.
A few months later in August, John Daly, a little-known 26-year-old from Arkansas, drove all night to enter the 1991 PGA Championship as the ninth alternate at Crooked Stick Golf Club, then stormed to victory in one of the greatest Walter Mitty tales in sports history.
“I just remember John walking up the 18th fairway as we were standing back by the hole, and he’s pumping up the crowd because he was a crowd pleaser,” said Smith years later. “He loved the crowd.” With extended television coverage on all four days of the event, the PGA Championship took on an exciting new identity with Daly’s victory.
The following month, the United States won the Ryder Cup on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The classic seesaw battle came down to the last putt on the last hole in the last match. Smith was alongside the 18th green with Captain Dave Stockton and the U.S. Team.
“The players were sitting in front of me, so I couldn’t see the final putt,” said Smith. “All I heard was the crowd. As the crowd roared, I stood up and saw the ball still sitting there, so I knew what had happened.” European stalwart Bernhard Langer missed a six-foot putt that would have won the Ryder Cup for Europe. As a result, the Langer vs. Hale Irwin match was halved, and the United States won for the first time since 1983.
By the end of the year, a revised PGA Grand Slam of Golf — featuring a $1 million purse for the winners of golf’s four major championships — was broadcast in primetime television from Hawaii and provided another promotional opportunity.
Those electrifying golf events of 1991, coupled with a new national promotional campaign, provided the PGA with the positive exposure it needed to communicate its message to the masses. Revised television contracts that included expanded broadcast distribution to more than 100 countries ensured a global reach for PGA messages.
Modernizing PGA Education
PGA “Business Schools” had been in place for almost 30 years when the PGA moved to modernize apprentice education.
“The PGA Education Program needs to be upgraded to reflect the needs of today’s industry,” wrote Smith, an advocate of PGA Professional certification.
Smith and the PGA Board engaged SRI International, a Stanford, California, educational firm, to review and assess how the PGA was educating prospective PGA Members. The result of this appraisal was the creation of the PGA Golf Professional Training Program (GPTP). This new program would introduce the golf industry to a new breed of PGA Professionals well-trained in all aspects of the game.
Smith believed that education was the key to employment. It was especially challenging as the PGA was experiencing an unprecedented growth phase to keep up with industry demand.
“When I became an officer, we had 12,000 to 13,000 Members and Apprentices,” recalled Smith. “When I went out as PGA President, we had 24,000.”
The PGA then embarked on creating a new program, PGA Career Services, which would enable PGA Professionals to help find meaningful employment, while providing to employers qualified candidates.
In 1991, the PGA reached another milestone with its 20,000th Member, which would test the consensus-building skills of PGA leaders.
“We need to listen to each other,” said Smith. “We need to have compassion for someone else’s point of view because that point of view is based on input from other members of our Association. The people in the east can’t forget that the Association also includes people in the west. And the people in the north have to understand the needs, problems and desires of the people in the south.”
Before the year was out, Smith would invite the first African-American and first woman to join the PGA Advisory Committee, which helped provide guidance to the rapidly growing organization.
When Smith was the PGA Director of Golf at Bethpage's famed Black Course, he became “graphic designer” when it was becoming crunch time and a logo was needed for the 2002 U.S. Open.
“My father told me he pulled up to his parking spot and looked at the shutters on the clubhouse,” said Smith Jr. “He said, ‘I’ve just figured it out.’ He pulled that caddie boy image off and got it in front of the art people. He said that they should add the five colors of the courses at Bethpage. It was approved and it became the U.S. Open logo.”
Smith Sr., who was a 1992 inductee of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame and a 2005 PGA Hall of Famer, shares a rare Association honor of service with his son in the Philadelphia PGA Section. Dick Sr. was Section President from 1978-80, and Dick Jr. from 2006-07.
“I will always remember him spending five days with me at the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Oregon,” said Smith Jr. “I missed the cut, but that was fine. I spent five days there with him on my bag, and I wouldn’t have traded that for anything in the world.”