Level Par Coaches: Charlene Reid

​Be open minded - always listen to other ideas and theories and adapt them the way you feel necessary 

  • 20 April 2020

​Caption: Charlene Reid representing Ulster at the Women's Interprovincial Matches in 2012 (Image by Pat Cashman)

Participation of women and girls in golf is on the rise at every level from grassroots to high performance. However, with less than 5% of registered PGA Professionals in Ireland being female, further work was required to encourage more female coaches to take up coaching positions at all levels.

As part of the Level Par programme, six female PGA Professionals were selected take a position on The Level Par Scholarship award.

The Scholarship, which is part of the Coaching and Officiating pillar of Level Par, will consist of a combination of mentoring, workshops, research and hands on coaching practice is included in the planned activities.

‘Research has proven that participation rates for junior girls double when female coaches are involved in clubs,’ said Sinead Heraty, Chief Executive of the ILGU. ‘Through the Level Par Scholarship we are keen to provide current female PGA Professionals and our leading amateurs the opportunity to explore their interests in coaching.’

Based at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Charlene Reid is the fifth Level Par PGA Professional we have profiled: 

What is your first memory of sport?
Playing rounders on the street with my neighbours 

Tell me about your journey in golf to date 
My parents both play golf and so they got me into it at the age of 12. I became obsessed pretty quickly and got my first handicap of 45. I reduced that by playing with the lady members and other juniors at my club. I then started competing in county and interprovincial championships where I met so many other girls who are still some of my best friends today. 

My golf as well as my studies were able to get to into a university in America. I studied Sports Management and Business at Pfeiffer University and also played on their golf team. While there I competed in the Division 2 National Championships and finished runner-up. This was probably one of my biggest achievements in golf to date. 

After I graduated in 2009, I played golf in Ireland all summer and managed to get selected for the European Team Championships and Home Internationals. I continued to compete as an Amateur for two more years and then finally decided that I wanted to do my PGA exams. I turned professional in 2012 and was very fortunate to be able to do my training at Royal Portrush, a club I grew up playing at. 

I have been employed there ever since and I love it! We hosted the The Open Championship in July 2019. This was an amazing experience and I got to do things I never would have dreamed of! My most memorable moment of that week was commentating on BBC Radio 5 Live with Mark Champman and David Leadbetter.
I have been fortunate to have gained these amazing experiences through golf. I am very much looking forward to see what the rest of the journey has in store! 

What are your hopes for the Level Par coaching programme?
I hope the Level Par Programme will help me to become a better coach and help encourage women and girls into golf. I would also like the programme to encourage other girls to play competitively and perhaps decide to have a career in golf. 

Who was your role model growing up? Or who do you look up to now?
Growing up - Annika Sorrenstam – she was dominating ladies golf in the early 2000s and was amazing to watch. She’s still doing so much for golf through her foundation.

Now - Wilma Erskine, who recently retired as Secretary Manager of Royal Portrush.  Wilma is an advocate of golf. She works so hard promoting the sport, especially women and junior golf.  She is so encouraging and really sees the best in people.

Do you have a favourite quote?
‘What’s for you, won’t pass you.’

This quote gives me the encouragement to try different things, without worrying about failure. 

A podcast/book recommendation:
Every Shot Must Have a Purpose by Lynn Marriott, Pia Nilsson
I would recommend this book to all golfers.  It changes the way you practice and play! 

Three learnings you have taken from the Leve Par programme to date
1. Invest in yourself and your career 
2. Be open minded - always listen to other ideas and theories and adapt them the way you feel necessary 
3. Always strive to become better, learning is continuous 

Outside of golf, what are your hobbies?
Hanging out with friends and family, reading and traveling.

What does sport/golf mean to you?
Sport is so important in my life. It is something I can do with my parents and my friends. I still meet new people through golf which is amazing. Golf teaches you great life values & skills. It helped me as a kid to learn how to follow the rules, have good etiquette and honesty. 

What advice would you give to young boys or girls who are considering a) playing golf, b) coaching golf?
I would advise them just to give it a go! If you don’t try it you will never know if you’d have liked it or not. Be patient when you do take it up but enjoy the journey! 

If you could wave a magic wand, what one thing (if anything) would you change about golf? 
I would reduce the amount of bunkers on the golf course! 

On a more serious note – I would like for people to realise that golf can be for everyone from every background and society.  


Mary Doyle

Charlene Reid