By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
TAKING the game seriously for only five months has been no hindrance to young golfer Jordan Smith making giant strides in the game.
Having played on and off since he was eight, it wasn't that long ago that the 15- year-old was playing off a handicap of 32.
But plenty of practice has meant that mark has been slashed down to 13 and now he's jetting off to Las Vegas next week as part of an Australian team to play in the World Golf Finals, a two-day event at the Rio Secco Golf Club.
"It's pretty exciting," the young golfer said.
"Rio Secco is Butch Harmon's course who was Tiger Woods' old coach.
"It's built into a canyon and it looks pretty hard to me from what I've seen on the internet, it's a tough course."
The Australian team is made up of four junior players who will be meeting in Sydney on Friday before leaving for the USA on Monday.
Smith's selection was virtually guaranteed when he finished second at the recent Indigenous titles held at Bonville.
As the youngest member of the team, a strong performance next week should see the ever improving youngster be able to book himself a spot on the team in the World Finals for the next couple of years.
Smith is hoping that this overseas venture is the first step in his goal to follow in the footsteps of other local golfers like Nick Mackay, Luke Grinham, Anna Booth and the Fisher twins and get a golfing scholarship in the United States.
"Hopefully I can go to school over there like I can get a scholarship in the States and go and play College golf or go to high school over there and play golf," he said.
"I talk to Nick a fair bit, he says it's pretty tough on the circuit."
Gaining that inside knowledge has given Smith a bit of a leg up on what to expect and he's feeling confident about his game before he heads off.
"I'm expecting to play pretty good," he admitted.
"It will be a great learning experience."
Smith's selection for the event is through the NASCAR organisation who are scouting to find the next Indigenous Tiger Woods and believe that the Year 11 student is a player of enormous potential.
If this is what he can achieve with only five-months experience under his belt, the future's certainly looking bright.