Six-time LET winner Mel Reid discusses her career, missing out on the 2019 Solheim Cup and golf's dress code
Mel Reid: “I’ve Got A Lot More Scars On My Body Than Most Of The Girls”
Mel Reid is one of England’s most accomplished female golfers of the last decade with six LET victories and three Solheim Cup appearances.
The 32-year-old, however, has gone three-and-a-half years without a win and missed out on a pick at the 2019 Solheim Cup where she acted as a vice captain.
It has been a long and hard road for Mel, who lost her mother in a car accident in 2012 whilst she and her husband were driving to watch Mel in Germany.
It happened when Mel was just 24-years-old. It’s difficult to even imagine what something like that must do to someone.
Mel is also the most high-profile gay athlete in the sport, having faced what must have been a difficult decision to publicly come out in 2018 when she urged people to “be proud of who you are.”.
There is hope for some great success in her 30s now that she is settled into life in Florida with her LPGA Tour card after moving Stateside in 2018.
She’s even bought a jeep in true Floridian fashion and enjoys playing practice rounds with Brooks Koepka at The Floridian, which she describes as “sick”.
“I feel that if I quit tomorrow I would have had an okay career, I certainly don’t think I’ve reached anywhere near my potential,” Reid told Golf Monthly.
“I’ve got a lot more scars on my body than most of the girls out there. It’s about doing it at my own pace.
“I’m 32, I’m probably considered one of the older players out there now which is kind of crazy. I certainly think that from an athletic point of view I’m one of the fittest so as long as I can keep healthy, who knows how long I can be playing for.
“You’ve just got to look at Laura Davies and Juli Inkster who are still competing into their mid-50s. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve even got started yet so hopefully a lot more good things are going to come round the corner very soon.”
Reid is also hopeful of playing in more Solheim Cups after the disappointment of missing out in 2019, which she has taken very well.
“I was very disappointed not to get into it but it was my own fault,” she said.
“I believe that you can’t really get disappointed if you don’t get picked just because you should be in the team automatically.
“It was a huge honour for me to be a vice captain and I saw it from a completely different angle.
“I was absolutely fine until the first tee, the first tee was where it kinda got me a little bit.
“I’d love to play as many Solheim Cups as I can, I live and breathe for that stuff. Just try and string together a few good results and get into that team again next year.”
Reid has recently signed with Ellesse, which is making its debut in the golf apparel market, and she thinks that sponsorship in the women’s game is on the up.
“I do believe that it’s certainly harder for women to get manufacturers to help them with equipment but we certainly do get supported very, very well on the LPGA,” she said.
“We have guys that regularly come out from the club manufacturers that are out every single week that are always trying to throw stuff at you and try to help you as much as possible to use their products.
“There are big companies out there that are certainly very supportive of women’s golf.
“From a clothing point of view it was a great opportunity for me to be approached by Ellesse because it’s not a space really that they’ve got themselves involved in before, the golf clothing space.
“So I just felt like it was a great opportunity to hopefully have a little bit of my input because I do believe that, especially in the women’s game, there’s a huge market for it.
“I regularly get all the girls that just play amateur stuff say ‘we can’t find clothes that fit great and look good’ and I just believe that Ellesse has that capability and they’ve shown it from their first range, I think they’ve done an excellent job.
“I feel very very good in their stuff which is very important. I think that the more companies like that approach women golfers I think it’s only going to do them well.”
The Derbyshire woman is a big fan of clothes than you can wear both on and off the course in this ever-changing golf apparel market.
“I always say you know you’ve got a good golf clothing company when you can walk off the golf course and go straight to a bar or restaurant and people don’t really know you’re wearing golf clothes.
“I feel like Ellesse has done that in their first collection and that’s how I establish whether they’re going to be parallel to working with me because that’s what I enjoy doing.
“I do come straight off the golf course and go and meet friends and have a quick drink with them or whatever so something like that is important to me and I know for a bunch of other people it’s important to them as well.
“Yeah 100% agree [you don’t have to buy a specific golf wardrobe]. And golf is being more athletic now than what it was than 10 years ago.
“You just need to look at some of the shoes that people are wearing, they’re basically trainers.
“I think that the golf market is definitely moving in that direction, which I’m all for. I think it’s awesome and that’s how it should be.”
Listen to our interview with Mel on the Golf Monthly Clubhouse Podcast (Starts at 23mins 17 seconds):
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