When you have a piece of equipment named after you, well, that is pretty impressive stuff.
Just so happens the namesake invented it.
Robert Smith is Merion Golf Club director of golf operations Matt Shaffer's equipment manager. He's been here since 2008. Smith developed the Robert Angle Master (Shaffer named it that), a mower that in essence is made to cut rough to specified heights. Smith obviously is a busy man this week, like today, as the best in the world tackle the East Course in the 113th U.S. Open.
Shaffer is thrilled to have Smith, who has been part of his staff since 2008. Yet he knows Smith can write his own ticket.
"He's unbelievable. The day I retire, I think somebody like John Deere will grab him," Shaffer says.
"Instead of paying for a babysitter, my parents brought me to the golf course with them," Smith says.
He eventually went to Penn State for its turfgrass agronomy technician program. It seems only natural that he ended up with Shaffer, who is also a Penn State graduate.
"Matt likes to challenge us. It keeps me young," Smith says. "You learn something new here every day. That's what keeps it interesting."
Smith is all about sharing his knowledge and experience.
"I teach people what I know so they can better themselves," he says.
The way Shaffer sees it, there is nobody better a wannabe mechanic could learn from than Smith.
As for the Robert Angle Master, Smith (pictured here to the right) says he assembled it by completely cutting in a half a Scag. "I built it from the engine up," says Smith, who did all this just shortly before the U.S. Open, about the same time his wife, Becky, was giving birth to their second daughter in mid-April.
"We just started mowing with it and it worked," Smith said.
Smith has no intention of pursuing a patent on it.
"That costs money," he says. "Maybe if I could get a sponsor. I'm not really into it to make money. I'm in it to make my life easier."