Kelly Tidy was a hugely successful amateur golfer, but shortly after turning professional, she decided the tour life wasn’t for her. We catch up with her to hear how she turned her love of golf into a career outside of playing…
What do you love about golf?
Golf has been a huge part of my life and has given me unforgettable experiences from a very young age. I have travelled the world and played golf in over 25 countries whilst proudly representing England. I love that golf is a sport that brings everyone together no matter what age or ability, and is a game you can play your whole life.
How and why did you start playing?
I started playing golf aged five. My dad was a keen golfer and one evening I asked if I could join him at practice on the driving range. The professional at the facility got me a cut-down 7-iron from the pro-shop and I hit the ball naturally straight away!
You were a fantastically successful amateur. Did you plan a professional playing career?
My goal was to always turn professional. In fact, it was my life ambition since being five years old! But unfortunately, when I turned professional I just didn’t feel the lifestyle.
I decided to end my playing career after a few consecutive weeks back on the LET Access Tour after a year out with an injury. I simply felt that ‘life on tour’ wasn’t for me. I became very unhappy playing in tournaments, I no longer enjoyed it or saw that as my career, so I made the very bold move to fly home from a tournament and I haven’t looked back since.
What did you do instead?
After I had finished playing on tour I was lost for a while, trying to find my feet in the golf industry outside of competitive golf wasn’t easy after doing nothing but play tournaments for 19 years.
I eventually started to work at my local driving range where I ended up staying for five years. In between my part-time hours there I worked freelance event work, Beat the Pro’s, event management etc. which I really enjoyed.
How has your career developed?
After the best part of five years staying self-employed, working in golf events, corporate days, charity days, freelance and even running my own pro-am’s, I built a strong relationship with Golfbreaks.com whom I sent all my clients away on their golfing holidays with.
What’s your role now?
I now work in the Tournaments and Events Team at Golfbreaks which involves the building, planning and organising of a tournament package then carrying out on-site operation at all events. Some of the tournaments include; The Masters, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, Open Championship and Portugal Masters.
What are your career ambitions?
I see myself working in the golf travel industry for a long time. I very much enjoy working on the tournaments team at Golfbreaks and feel extremely settled at the company, I get to work alongside my best friends and do what I love day in day out!
What would you say or do to encourage more women and girls into golf?
I would say to give it a go! Golf doesn’t have to be playing rounds on the course, there are plenty of driving ranges and indoor facilities which are equally as fun with friends. The golf industry has a lot more to offer than people think, there are multiple career opportunities within events teams, marketing, social media, travel and so on.