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By Zach Cavanagh

Charlotte Smith. Photo: Courtesy of Evie Coss

What better way to close out the Summer of Golf than by highlighting a youth golfer who’s making some waves this summer.

Charlotte Smith of San Clemente took a step toward competing at Augusta National Golf Club last month with a first-place finish in a Drive, Chip & Putt event in Riverside. Smith finished first in the Girls 12-13 division in a local qualifier at Victoria Club in Riverside.

At these events, participants attempt three shots per skill—total distance driving and distance to the hole for chipping and putting—with points accumulated for each skill (with a maximum of 75 points per skill). Smith was the second-highest scorer in each of the three skills, with a 34 in driving, 40 in chipping and 45 in putting for a first-place total of 119.

Smith now moves on to the Sub-Regional Qualifier at Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club on Monday, Aug. 8, and if she finishes in the top two of her age bracket, she’ll advance to the Regional Qualifier in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Sept. 25. The overall champion in each age group at regionals advances to the National Finals, which take place the Sunday before next year’s Masters Tournament.

Smith is a San Clemente golfer, born and trained. She’s had instruction at the Municipal Course, was part of the junior golf league at Talega Golf Club and nailed her first hole-in-one at age 11 last year. Smith has the mantra of “go big or go home,” and she’ll certainly be swinging big at Coto de Caza on Monday.

Zach Cavanagh

Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at

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