Father-Daughter Duo Share The Lesson Tee, Life Advice & A Love For Golf
Allan Belden is the PGA Director of Instruction at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts, and has been a PGA Member since spring of 1999.
Little did he know that he would one day work at the same golf club as his daughter and fellow PGA Member, Maddy Belden.
“How is it like working with your father?
The Beldens laugh as this is clearly not the case.
“It’s nice because I work with him, not for him,” says Maddy, who's been at Salem for about a year and a half as a PGA Assistant Professional. “I never imagined I would be a PGA Professional, let alone work with my dad."
Both Beldens admit that they became PGA Professionals practically by accident. They each were majoring in subjects far removed from golf in college, and planned on pursuing careers in those areas.
“I never sought out the golf industry,” says Allan, the 2015 New England PGA Golf Professional of the Year. “I started playing golf in 1995 and I just thought the golf course could be a fun place to work for a little while. Now I'm here.”
“It is cool to be the mentor for your own child. It is so rewarding watching her grow.”
Allan Belden, PGA
Maddy grew up going to the golf course with both of her parents, as her mother was the golf shop manager at Worcester Country Club. Maddy would sit and count golf balls for inventory, then head to the range to practice when she wanted.
“One of my first golf memories was actually from a lesson I got from one of my dad’s assistants,” Maddy remembers. “He drew all over my arm to help me with grip and position, but the markings didn’t come off for over a week. I thought it was the funniest thing at that age.”
That arm covered in Sharpie eventually led to her playing NCAA D-I college golf at Holy Cross in Massachusetts.
“I help Maddy with her game now, but when she was younger, she learned from others,” Allan recalls. “I wanted our time on the golf course together to be enjoyable. I didn’t want her to hit a bad shot and look at me annoyed asking, ‘What did I do wrong this time?’ ”
Now the two teach clinics together, side by side. They share similar coaching foundations and fundamentals, so there are no difficulties there.
“I’ve never disagreed with something she has said during a clinic,” Allan says. “Maybe I would just word things differently.”
“Of course you would,” Maddy adds, chuckling.
As someone who's had a successful career as a PGA Professional, Allan Belden gave his daughter some words of advice before she entered his world.
“I told her that her opportunities are endless,” he remembers. “But most importantly, I told her IF she is going to do it, she needs sit in the front of the room. Get your name out there and serve your members.”
Following her dad's advice to a T, Maddy now serves as the secretary of the New England PGA Section's Massachusetts Chapter and sits on the national Employment Committee for the PGA of America.
So, yes: She is most definitely sitting at the front of the room.
“You get what you put into it,” Maddy adds. “And being a PGA Member makes it even more fulfilling."
Even more so when you're doing it alongside your dad.