Rick Smith Biography


In addition to achieving great success in golf as a teacher, designer and communicator, Rick Smith is regarded as one of the PGA Tour’s best sounding boards for swing advice. In 2009, Rick was ranked as the number two golf instructor in the world by PGA Tour players and since 2000, Rick has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten golf instructors in the world; both polls were done by Golf Digest Magazine.

Rick currently operates Rick Smith Golf Academies at The Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan, Raptor Bay Golf Club and Coconut Point Hyatt Regency in Naples, Florida, The International Golf Club and Resort outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Legends on the Niagara in Ontario, Canada, Ballymeade Golf Club in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. 

Rick’s brand continues to expand globally, as he and Phil Mickelson have partnered and are currently designing nine golf courses and establishing Mickelson-Smith Learning Institutes in China. The MSLI are state of the art facilities for golf instruction, fitness and nutrition. Smith has worked with some of the most accomplished and recognizable professional golfers in the world. His notable clients have included major champions such as Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Lee Janzen, Vijay Singh, David Duval, Paul Azinger, John Daly and Greg Norman. Adding to that list, Rick has assisted PGA Tour winners Rory Sabbatini, Chris DiMarco, Rocco Mediate, Jerry Kelly, Billy Mayfair, Matt Kuchar, and Billy Andrade among others.

Rick Smith’s love for hosting golf instructional shows on television began in 1994. That year, he developed “The Rick Smith Signature Series.” The “Signature Series” golf instruction was seen by worldwide television audiences on ESPN International, TSN (Canada), and Fox Sports Net. The “Signature Series” ran for five years until Rick signed an exclusive golf content deal with the Golf Channel in 1999. At the Golf Channel, Rick became part of the “Dream Team of Instructors” which consistently offered viewers instructional tips to improve their golf game. Rick has also hosted “Inside the PGA Tour” and has been a commentator and analyst for both NBC and ESPN telecasts of golf tournaments.

Smith is also a respected and noted author. He is currently a teaching editor for Golf Digest Magazine. He previously served as instruction writer for Golf Magazine. He has also written Major Series publications. Smith is author of the 1998 book “How to Find Your Perfect Golf Swing,” published by Broadway Books, which is regarded as one of the top instruction books in the industry. Over his career, Smith’s many honors include being appointed Michigan’s “Golf Ambassador” by Governor John Engler, and Golf Magazine has repeatedly honored him as one of America’s “Top 100 Teachers.”

In 2012 Rick was inducted into the State of Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.  Additionally, Smith has been named National Teacher of the Year, National Golf Professional of the Year and National Merchandiser of the Year. Rick has also designed nine award-winning golf courses in the USA in addition to those he is currently building in China with Phil Mickelson.