Molly Braid, LPGA/PGA Teaching Professional

June 24, 2015

Molly Braid | LPGA/PGA Teaching Professional

“Whenever I had a headache growing up my mom told me I was either tired or dehydrated. To this day, I don’t use pain relief medicine for headaches. I drink a big glass of water, and if it happens to be my day off, I take a nap. Works every time.” -Molly Braid

Molly Braid is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based LPGA/PGA professional golf instructor. And–lucky for me–she’s one of my best friends (we go all the way back to middle school!) and, technically, she’s my cousin-in-law (Dan’s mom and Molly’s dad are siblings). Molly grew up on a dairy farm and this influenced her first career ambition to become a vet. But, after college, she landed a dream job working at a golf school in North Carolina. Her journey to be a golf professional was an unique one, so I sat down with her for an interview…

Molly Braid | Teaching Professional

1. After high school I wanted to… move to a new place and see a new way of life. Although I was recruited to play golf at a few universities in New England, I decided that it was a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. So, I signed at Pfeiffer University, a small school outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, known for having pretty good athletic teams and a great science department. Both of the school’s strengths were important to me as I wanted to be competitive in golf but was not ready to give up on my childhood dream of being a large animal veterinarian.

I grew up on Tullando Farm, a dairy farm in rural New Hampshire, and being around animals and seeing my parents doctor animals my whole life inspired me to pursue a career in helping animals as they did. Depending on how you look at it (I will say–fortunately), late night organic chemistry lab conflicted with early morning golf tournaments, and I felt that I needed to choose one or the other. I did as most college students would do and chose my sport over the hardest class ever (in my opinion), and then, I changed my major to Exercise Science and Sports medicine. This was one of the more influential decisions I made in my life, and I’m so glad that I did. I’m happy to say that I use my major every day in my career, although I am still wishing I paid more attention in those 8AM classes!

Molly Braid | LPGA/PGA Teaching Pro

Molly Braid | LPGA/PGA Teaching Pro

2. My first job after college was…a position as a teaching professional at a golf school. My boss and I have different versions of this story but here is how I remember it: One fall day in New Hampshire, my phone rang. I answered to “Molly, this is Dana Rader.” Dumbstruck I didn’t say much (Dana is a Top 100 ranked teacher and owns a top 25 Golf School in the country). She told me I was recommended to her by my college golf coach, and she told me “I need you to move to Charlotte by the end of the month.” So, I moved to Charlotte and the rest is history. Dana’s passion for growing the game rubbed off on me, and I fell in love with teaching, especially [teaching] children. I have been the Director of Junior golf at the golf school for five years now, and I’ve been teaching for seven years.

3. As an LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)/PGA (Professional Golf Association) teaching professional, my responsibilities include…teaching and writing curriculum. I am lucky to work at a golf school where I can focus all of my time and energy on teaching and writing curriculum for Junior programs. I teach anywhere from 8 to 11 hours a day in my busy season, and in the off season when I am teaching less than 8 hours a day I am training for and researching different [teaching] methods and philosophies and learning more about psychology and the human body in general. I also spend a few hours a week researching child and athletic development to see how I can make the next year’s camps and clinics better for juniors.

Molly Braid | Daddy-Daughter Clinic at Dana Rader Golf School

A recent Daddy-Daughter Clinic at Dana Radar Golf School.

Molly Braid | LPGA USGA Girls Golf

Molly and her colleagues at LPGA USGA Girls Golf at Dana Rader Golf School.

4. My favorite part of my job is…My students! Young and old, new golfers to aspiring professional golfers, every hour and every day is different. I have been accepted into so many families’ lives and gone from coaching just mom or dad to the whole family. Now when I think about the golfers I work with I feel like I have about 300 kids, 100 moms, and 100 brothers.

5. The most frequent question I hear about being an LPGA/PGA teaching pro is…”Do you do this part time?” We teach/coach full time, all day and every day.  I don’t have to run a pro shop, oversee staff, or organize tournaments. I focus solely on my student’s golf game and how to help her reach her goals so she can enjoy the game more.

6. A surprising thing about being a teaching pro is…how much golf I actually play. I think most people expect that I play or practice a few times a week, but I teach 6-7 days a week during our busy season (March to October in the Carolinas), and like anyone else, I don’t really want to go to “work” on my day off so I push golf to the back burner. I don’t keep track, but I think I average one or two 18 hole rounds a month.

Molly Braid |LPGA/PGA Teaching Professional

Every October, Molly and her co-workers wear pink shoelaces to support breast cancer awareness efforts.

7. Something that I don’t particularly enjoy about my job, but is necessary, is… Standing in extreme cold or heat for extended hours every day.

8. The happiest moment of my life was…This could possibly be the hardest question of all time; I don’t have a specific answer. But, every day I think of memories of my childhood or recent events where I felt joy. You know these events were truly the happiest because you can still feel them in your heart when you replay them in your mind. I feel blessed to be able to say there are too many happy moments to pick just one.

9. I never thought I would…Jump out of a plane, but I couldn’t let one of my best friends go alone! I believe in pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, new experiences, and trying new things at least once.

Molly Braid | Teaching Professional

Molly with her students from a Pee Wee Clinic held this summer at Dana Radar Golf School.

10. I’m currently reading…Top Dog by Pro Bronson and Ashley Merryman. I had such a long list of books I wanted to read but never could find the time until recently when I started listening to Audio books in the car and around the house. Now I can “read” a few books a month while driving or cleaning the house. If you don’t have it already download the Audible app.

11. I’m the most productive when… I’m busy. I’m most productive if I’m slightly stressed and won’t have enough time to get everything done. My husband has recently introduced me to “creating processes,” which has helped me be more productive. The better your process is the more productive you will be.   

12. The last vacation I took was to …Nantucket, MA last September for our honeymoon!

Molly & Alex Braid in Australia

Molly and her husband, Alex, Bridge Climb in Sydney Australia in 2013.

13. An item I purchased in the past six months that became invaluable to me was…a Hydro Flask water bottle. I have always been a fan of Nalgene water bottles, but recently I found the Hydro Flask brand.  These bottles are amazing! They are vacuum insulated so they keep my water ice cold all day while I’m out on the tee!

14. For date night, I like to wear…Lucky Brand Jeans and these lace Cole Haan flats that I just found.  I am obsessed with them!

15. My beauty routine is…Broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen. Apply and re-apply!

Molly Braid & Kelley MacDonald | The City and Us blog

Molly and me at her beautiful New England wedding last September.

Thank you so much, Molly! xo

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(First and last photos by Meg.)

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