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Living the dream: Wolfville man's dream of a pro golf career firmly on track


WOLFVILLE - Almost since his father taught him to golf at age 12, Ally Tidcombe has dreamed of someday playing professionally.

“My dad golfed, and I wanted to be like him. I had played soccer, but I liked the individual aspects of golf, and the character of the sport,” he recalls.

It was “nothing too serious” at that point, he says, but that dream is a little bit closer to reality after Tidcombe made his final year of college eligibility this past season his best to date.

Tidcombe, the reigning Nova Scotia men’s amateur champion, spent the 2014-2015 season at the College of Coastal Georgia, helping his school’s team to a second consecutive NAIA national championship.

Following a senior season that saw him win two tournaments, place second in three others, and make the top-10 in all but one of his 11 starts, Tidcombe was named an NAIA First-Team All-American and was named to the All-Nicklaus team.

He was also a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award as the best college golfer in the U.S., and although he fell short of winning, “it was great even to be mentioned in that kind of company.”

“I got on a roll,” Tidcombe said. “I expected to contend, and I practiced a lot. I had been an All-American before, so I knew what to expect.”

 

Hitting the greens

A native of Bristol, England, the 22-year-old came to Canada with his family in 2007. His parents settled in Wolfville, and he attended Horton High until he graduated in 2010.

On his arrival in Nova Scotia, he almost immediately became a part of the provincial golf scene, making four consecutive provincial junior teams between 2008-2011.

In 2009, he was runner-up at both the provincial junior boys’ and men’s amateur tournaments.

He made the Nova Scotia Willingdon Cup team twice - the first time as the youngest-ever Nova Scotia golfer to do so - and was the 2014 men’s amateur champion.

In Grade 12, Tidcombe was recruited to the University of British Columbia to study and play golf.

After a lot of soul-searching – “I hadn’t planned to go to university,” he says – he decided to go “at the last minute.” He spent the 2010-2011 season at UBC, helping the T-Birds golf team to a conference championship.

The following year, Tidcombe transferred to the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. He earned all-American status both his years there, but the teams fell short of his goal of an NAIA national team championship.

With one year of eligibility remaining, he decided to transfer again, this time to the College of Coastal Georgia.

“There was better coaching there, and more opportunities to be part of a winning team. I took a year off, then transferred for my final year.”

The past season went well, he said.

“It’s always hard when you transfer, with settling into school, meeting new people, making new friends,” he said.

“I was more worried about settling in than I was about the actual golf. I knew my teammates would help me elevate my play.”

 

Hard work

“I’ve always put a lot into my game. I didn’t go into the season looking to be the best, or make the Nicklaus team, but I knew if I worked hard and took the right steps, that just might happen along with everything else.”

Tidcombe left for South Carolina in early July to play in the Players Amateur, one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the world.

He knew he would be unable to be here to defend his Nova Scotia title, but he felt the Players Amateur route was a better choice for him in the long run. 

Later this summer, he will play in the Porter Cup in Niagara, followed by the Canadian Amateur (he has an exemption from qualifying).

“Then, hopefully, the U.S. Amateur in New Jersey, the last major tournament of the summer, in mid-August,” he said.

After that, he will return to Coastal Georgia to complete his marketing degree. He is unable to golf for the school, but plans to be an assistant coach and do some amateur tournaments over the winter.

“It should be fun – different, but I believe I’m up to the challenge,” he added.

His short-term goal is to make the Canadian national team next summer. “Representing my province and the nation would be a dream come true, and a chance to elevate my game even more.”

His long-term goal is to be able to turn professional, either here in Canada or, ideally, in the U.S.

“I feel I’m on track,” he says – “a good spot to be in.”

Tidcombe says he’s received a lot of support over the years, from his parents, Wayne and Helen, who now live in Bedford; his brother Matt; Ken-Wo, where he worked in the pro shop for eight summers from 2007-2014; and from his coaches.

This summer, when not busy golfing, he is working at the New Ashburn course near Halifax.

 “I feel I’m doing all the right things,” to achieve his goal of a professional career, he added.

“I’m becoming a better golfer every day, and every year.” 

“My dad golfed, and I wanted to be like him. I had played soccer, but I liked the individual aspects of golf, and the character of the sport,” he recalls.

It was “nothing too serious” at that point, he says, but that dream is a little bit closer to reality after Tidcombe made his final year of college eligibility this past season his best to date.

Tidcombe, the reigning Nova Scotia men’s amateur champion, spent the 2014-2015 season at the College of Coastal Georgia, helping his school’s team to a second consecutive NAIA national championship.

Following a senior season that saw him win two tournaments, place second in three others, and make the top-10 in all but one of his 11 starts, Tidcombe was named an NAIA First-Team All-American and was named to the All-Nicklaus team.

He was also a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award as the best college golfer in the U.S., and although he fell short of winning, “it was great even to be mentioned in that kind of company.”

“I got on a roll,” Tidcombe said. “I expected to contend, and I practiced a lot. I had been an All-American before, so I knew what to expect.”

 

Hitting the greens

A native of Bristol, England, the 22-year-old came to Canada with his family in 2007. His parents settled in Wolfville, and he attended Horton High until he graduated in 2010.

On his arrival in Nova Scotia, he almost immediately became a part of the provincial golf scene, making four consecutive provincial junior teams between 2008-2011.

In 2009, he was runner-up at both the provincial junior boys’ and men’s amateur tournaments.

He made the Nova Scotia Willingdon Cup team twice - the first time as the youngest-ever Nova Scotia golfer to do so - and was the 2014 men’s amateur champion.

In Grade 12, Tidcombe was recruited to the University of British Columbia to study and play golf.

After a lot of soul-searching – “I hadn’t planned to go to university,” he says – he decided to go “at the last minute.” He spent the 2010-2011 season at UBC, helping the T-Birds golf team to a conference championship.

The following year, Tidcombe transferred to the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. He earned all-American status both his years there, but the teams fell short of his goal of an NAIA national team championship.

With one year of eligibility remaining, he decided to transfer again, this time to the College of Coastal Georgia.

“There was better coaching there, and more opportunities to be part of a winning team. I took a year off, then transferred for my final year.”

The past season went well, he said.

“It’s always hard when you transfer, with settling into school, meeting new people, making new friends,” he said.

“I was more worried about settling in than I was about the actual golf. I knew my teammates would help me elevate my play.”

 

Hard work

“I’ve always put a lot into my game. I didn’t go into the season looking to be the best, or make the Nicklaus team, but I knew if I worked hard and took the right steps, that just might happen along with everything else.”

Tidcombe left for South Carolina in early July to play in the Players Amateur, one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the world.

He knew he would be unable to be here to defend his Nova Scotia title, but he felt the Players Amateur route was a better choice for him in the long run. 

Later this summer, he will play in the Porter Cup in Niagara, followed by the Canadian Amateur (he has an exemption from qualifying).

“Then, hopefully, the U.S. Amateur in New Jersey, the last major tournament of the summer, in mid-August,” he said.

After that, he will return to Coastal Georgia to complete his marketing degree. He is unable to golf for the school, but plans to be an assistant coach and do some amateur tournaments over the winter.

“It should be fun – different, but I believe I’m up to the challenge,” he added.

His short-term goal is to make the Canadian national team next summer. “Representing my province and the nation would be a dream come true, and a chance to elevate my game even more.”

His long-term goal is to be able to turn professional, either here in Canada or, ideally, in the U.S.

“I feel I’m on track,” he says – “a good spot to be in.”

Tidcombe says he’s received a lot of support over the years, from his parents, Wayne and Helen, who now live in Bedford; his brother Matt; Ken-Wo, where he worked in the pro shop for eight summers from 2007-2014; and from his coaches.

This summer, when not busy golfing, he is working at the New Ashburn course near Halifax.

 “I feel I’m doing all the right things,” to achieve his goal of a professional career, he added.

“I’m becoming a better golfer every day, and every year.” 

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