After an eventful several seasons on the golf course, dividends are paying off for Detroit Lakes senior Karter Smith.

The Laker golfing prodigy signed a letter of intent to play for the Drake University's (Iowa) men's golf team, starting in the fall of 2013.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Smith's commitment to the Bulldogs comes after a very active -- and successful -- high school career with the Lakers, where he has been playing since his seventh grade year.

It includes helping DL win back-to-back Class 2A state championships and one runner-up finish in 2009, as well as taking consecutive state individual runner-up finishes.

But even during the offseason, Smith made Minnesota golfing headlines, after earning the MGA Junior Player of the Year honors. He also was an MGA Junior State runner-up in 2010.

Drake is a Division I golfing program and one which has attracted local talents such as Kane Hanson and Fargo's Ben Freeman -- both former Pine to Palm Golf Tournament champions.

"With Karter's abilities, he can play on that level," said DL head coach Bob Gorden. "Whatever Karter is going to gain from playing at Drake, he has deserved it through his dedication and hard work."

There were more than a few D-I college teams interested in Smith, including a couple in California and North Dakota State University, but Drake won out with a quality campus and a top-notch golfing program.

"Everything I have heard about Drake was good," Smith said. "When I made my visit there, I loved the campus and it's relatively close to home. The golfing program has produced some good golfers, too, so I'm excited to go there."

The Bulldogs are head coached by Matt Lewis, who has only eight players on the varsity roster.

That alone was another positive for Smith to sign his letter of intent with Drake.

"The campus is not a huge one, and it fits Karter just perfect," Gorden said.

Another positive is the early signing, so now all Smith has to concentrate on is helping the Lakers win another state championship, while nabbing that one elusive title which has evaded him, thus far, and that's a Class 2A individual state championship.

"Obviously, the first goal is to win another team title," Smith said. "I'm excited to get signed now, instead of trying to figure out where I'm going in the spring.

"It would be nice to win an individual title, but you need two very good rounds and a little luck to do that."

Smith's parents, Kris and Margery, own the Ironman Golf Course outside of DL and usually work in Florida during the winter months.

His sister, Kate, is also a pretty good golfer in her own right, after she won the Class 2A girls' state individual title as an eighth grader, while being the low player for the 2012 state champion DL girls' team.

But Karter's senior year will be spent in DL, where he will play basketball this coming winter.

Still, the spring golf season is one Smith is definitely looking forward to.

"I'm super pumped for the golf season, we have so many good young golfers coming in and we have a chance to do something not many teams get to do," said Smith of DL potentially winning three consecutive state titles.

Now, that can be Smith's sole focus.