Kate Smith is not your average Epson Tour athlete, and this week is not just another week for her. When she looks around at the signage this week at Champions Fore Change Invitational, Smith will see a familiar logo all around Taberna Country Club because she designed it. Smith is a Graphic Design major from the University of Nebraska and is in her second year on the Epson Tour. During Covid, Kate and her partner Shane Bacon started a graphic design company for golf called Ground Under Repair Design.
“I graduated as a Graphic Design Major from Nebraska, but I honestly didn’t think I would ever use it. I always wanted to be a professional golfer; that was the dream,” said Smith. “Then an opportunity came about to start a business with Shane. We thought it would be pretty small, but it has grown way more than we thought. We now have me and two other designers on staff designing artwork and illustrations from the viewpoint of a golfer. It was something a lot of people found interesting we are super thankful for all of our clients.”
Playing golf professionally and competing is still the dream for Smith, but this week in New Bern, she will see both worlds collide.
“We have a Ground Under Repair sign out there on the nine, and I saw that today during my practice round, which was super special,” said Smith. “When Shane and I first started this business, we hadn’t even met each other, so to see the logo out here now is awesome. It is going to be a great week.”
Heading into the 2023 season on the Epson Tour, the schedule saw three new events enter the fold. Of those three events, the Epson Tour hosts two, one being this week at the Champions Fore Change Invitational. When the year began, the Champions Fore Change Invitational was a blank canvas. However, an email from Jody Brothers, the Chief Business and Operating Officer of the Epson Tour, and Matt Clark, Senior Manager – Tournament Business Affairs for the Epson Tour, allowed Smith the opportunity to utilize her college degree and test her design skills.
“Jody and Matt reached out to me about it, and I told them I would love to do it,” explained Smith. “The more exposure and eyeballs we can bring to the Epson Tour, the better. If that means making a new logo for the event, I am happy to do it. It was fun to do something that I will see the direct result of.”
Smith has yet to take home a victory on the Epson Tour since her rookie year in 2022, but the Minnesota native has been able to post two top-10 finishes in 2023. Smith knows the impact of a victory at this level means, and she tried to reflect that in her design.
“I wanted to express how much a win means out here,” said Smith. “A win can lead to a lot down the line for us, so I wanted to capture that moment and show how we are just striving to make it to the next level.”
For more information on Ground Under Repair and Kate Smith’s background, use the link to read about her start in an article written by Brynn Walker: