Mel Reid is not only one of the finest golfers England has ever produced but also one of its strongest characters.
Time after time this sense of ‘strength’ comes through when articles are written about the 33-year-old or peers are asked for their views on the life and career of the LPGA and LET tournament winner from Derbyshire..
Strength of mind. Strength of body. Strength of character. Strength in her beliefs.
She’s smart, feisty, articulate, respectful, and driven.
In short, a person with endearing qualities that can inspire others – both on and off the course.
Earlier this month, Reid became an Olympian when she represented Team GB in Tokyo alongside one of her England colleagues from amateur days, Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
For some, the Olympics were regarded as an inconvenience between regular Tour events.
For Reid it was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance that she could not pass up and one of the highlights of her career. And what a career.
Her days as an amateur – during which time she represented England, won the English Girls’ Championship two years in succession from 2004 and played in the 2006 GB&I Curtis Cup side – were followed by professional success.
It wasn’t instant – there were years when grind replaced glory and in the middle of it all there was a period of grief to be endured following the death of her mother in a car accident.
Yet Reid has come through it all to be regarded as an established player in the world’s top 50 with six wins on the LET and one precious win on the LPGA Tour achieved last November at the Shoprite Classic.
And as well as a golf game that is the envy of millions, Reid also has a voice and, just as importantly, chooses to use it in the right way.
Away from golf, Reid has found happiness in her home life with partner Carly whom she is due to marry next year.
This feeling of contentment has no doubt contributed to Reid having the confidence to speak out about issues that matter to her and those around her.
Last year in a Q&A with England Golf national squad members, Reid was open and honest about what she wants to achieve in life and how passionate she was about championing the women’s game.
“I think that it’s important that you leave the game in a better place than you found it,” she told an online audience of budding golfers looking to follow in her footsteps.
“Some golfers have foundations or are mentors. I feel that I have a voice and that’s where I can make changes – by being authentically myself.
“It is important to show young girls and guys that the golf game is not old-fashioned.
“I want to show people my story and if that helps people then great.
“My story is a little bit different and it is important for me to fight for things I believe in.
“I’m passionate about it and if I am a role model that’s a huge honour.
“I see how much higher the mountain is for girls to climb and I fight for more respect for women athletes across the board.”
Reid has been a fierce competitor ever since she first picked up a club as an 11-year-old at Chevin Golf Club in Derbyshire.
Playing 45 holes a day with the boys at her club, Reid soon developed a love of the game and competition.
That love of golf has been rekindled in recent years after a spell when, by her own admission, she lost her way a little.
Reid’s partner Carly maybe summed it up best in a recent article published by the USGA.
“In being strong, Mel gives others strength,” she wrote.
There’s that word strength again……
- Follow Mel’s continued golfing journey on both Twitter and Instagram @melreidgolf