FRISCO - It wasn't long ago that Bruce Smith realized when he is caddying for his son at junior golf events, Brandon is the boss.
"I have to take all the blame; so, it was a bad read; I gave him bad club selection,” said the elder Smith. “I'm no longer trying to teach while he plays. I will teach him before or after the round."
Bruce is a PGA professional who works in Frisco and who has twice played in the PGA championship in 2004 and 2010, so it's not easy for him to hand control over to his son.
“It's just tough because he's trying to be the coach and the father at the same time,” said Brandon, who will be a junior at Frisco High School in the fall. "And he tries as hard as he can, I can tell, to try to be more of the coach more than the father whenever I'm on the golf course with him."
Father and son teamed up this week at the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship, an event open to golfers aged 19 and under. It's a 3-day event, and 15-year-old Brandon finished tied for second in a field of 78. He's exclusively a golfer now after playing hockey while growing up. While he loved the sport, Brandon had to quit after suffering his second concussion.
"I'm not going to say that hockey concussion hurt me because now I'm able to practice golf and get better at golf and now that's my new dream,” said Brandon, who was a defenseman. "But, I definitely miss hockey."
"I've taught some hockey players before as well,” Bruce said. "Their stick is very similar to the golf club, the object they're hitting is down on the ground. The core stability that that type of athlete has to play golf is incredible."
Brandon hopes to play golf for Texas A&M, and Aggies head coach J.T. Higgins was at Lakewood Country Club to watch him play. A coach from another college told Higgins -- after seeing Brandon's shoes emblazoned with the Texas A&M logo -- that recruiting here must be like shooting fish in a barrel.
"I'm not going to say I'm fully committed,” Brandon said. "But I'm pretty locked in on where I want to go."
Whether College Station or not, Brandon Smith has a bright future.