Velocity Global, the official global platform for the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour (LET), is proud to sponsor the Velocity Global Impact Award. This honor will recognize players who have helped grow the sport of golf and inspire the next generation of athletes to make a positive impact in the world.
Throughout each season, the LPGA and LET will celebrate players and their efforts to give back to the world and their local communities off the golf course. Towards the end of each season, the LPGA will produce a list of nominees, and the Velocity Global Impact Award Committee will name three players as finalists for the Award. Each finalist will be featured in a docuseries-style piece of content that will share their personal story and impact on the game. The winner will be determined through a combination of fan votes and committee voting, and will be announced annually on International Women’s Day, March 8.
Mel Reid – The Power of Care and Identity
Mel Reid says that he “has always worked hard.” He has bartended at the Chevin Golf Club in Derby, England; he regained his status for the LPGA Tour in 2018; he lifted heavier weights in the gym than most of his Tour peers; coped with loss and grief; he took care of his people; and fought for LGBTQ+ causes.
“I got a job as soon as I could. When I was 14, I waitressed at the club for a couple of years to get cheap access to golf and worked at the nearby hotel gym to try my hand at personal training,” recalls Reid, whose early professional career has always been intertwined with the sport and exercise.
“I come from a very athletic family. My dad still runs marathons at 60 years old. I wanted to be a professional football player, ski, snowboard since I could walk,” said Reid, who started going to the gym at 15. She added that she has always been interested in the body and fascinated by athletes and how they train.
Reid’s passion for golf began when the boys she used to play soccer with took her to the golf course. “We used to play 45 holes a day. I spent most of my days, including Christmas, at the golf club,” she said. “I have very fond memories of my parents being at the bar and we were on the putting green until dark.”
From the beginning of his golf career, his father, Brian, who caddyed at the 2007 AIG Women’s Open where he finished as a low amateur, and his mother, Joy, were his number one supporters and admirers. But that changed in 2012, the year Joy lost her life in a car accident on her way to watch her daughter compete in Germany.
“Pain is a funny thing. It changes you and you just have to be comfortable with the person you are going to become. You can switch to the right side and let it make you a better person. It can almost be your armor,” she said. Reid worked hard to get him on track after overcoming a drifting period “trying to mask it in different ways, the worst thing he could have done.
“Some days are harder than others, but every day is a little tough when you go through something like that,” added Reid, who found her “caring superpower” through grief and the memory of her mother. “I am like my mother in that I always want to help. I think it’s a gift they’ve given me.”
Reid is applying that gift to many facets of his life, beginning with his relationship with his father, whom he now considers “more of a partner than a father,” and his extended family. “I am extremely protective of my family, which includes my close friends,” she said.
And he’s using that superpower to inspire and support his community. “If I could just help one person get over something related to sexual orientation or inclusion, I feel like I’ve had a purpose in this world and that’s my main goal,” said Reid, an outspoken LGBTQ+ rights advocate who has worked with Athlete Ally, an organization that works to end homophobia and transphobia in sports.
“When you first find out about your sexual orientation, telling so many people actually makes it more difficult,” said Reid, who married Carly Grenfell Reid in April 2022. “I’ve never said, ‘Hey, I’m gay. ‘. I have always introduced Carly as my girlfriend and now my wife.” Reid even thanks his spouse for running much of his current platform. “I take a lot of pride, but Carly is really the brains behind it all.”
Reid’s activism on LGBTQ+ rights is rooted in a message she repeats to herself and to the people who turn to her for support: “I’m proud of who I am and you should be proud of who you are. There is only one of you and you can only try to be the best version of you.” It’s a message she’s working hard to get across to people within the sports industry and the world of golf.
“I would like to see a little more support for Pride Month from both the LPGA and the PGA Tour. People could correct me, but I think it’s easier for women to come out and it’s extremely difficult for men in the sports industry,” Reid said. “You don’t need to be out there with a big rainbow flag, just be a little more sensitive to the subject.”
Reid has found that sensitivity and support in his team, his partners and his sponsors. “I am very fortunate and proud to have a team and sponsors completely behind me in my projects and completely aligned with my beliefs,” Reid added.
This June, Reid wears a Pega Systems hat that features the company’s logo in the colors of the rainbow. He also collaborated with Grant Thornton to create a yardage book engraved with the phrase “Be Proud, Be You.” Reid is using this support from his supportive partners to dream up new projects.
“I would like to start a non-profit clothing brand for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s already been done, but I’d love to get some of the girls involved and maybe some of the guys,” Reid said, referring to the many members of his family on the LPGA Tour and his friendship with grand champion Brooks Koepka and the gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.
Mel Reid is happy for you to take care and work hard on your golf, your fitness, your family, and your power to promote a world where people aren’t discriminated against “because of what they love.”