Mel and Carly Reid Ready for Next Chapter as Parents

Mel Reid has always known exactly who she is. On the golf course, she is an LPGA Tour winner, a fiery Solheim Cup teammate and a fierce competitor who strives to be the best. Away from the game, she’s a devoted wife and daughter who is the life of the party and the first one to crack a joke using her signature dry English wit. And she’s an outspoken LGBTQ+ advocate who takes a lot of pride in representing her community week in and week out on the LPGA Tour. But now, Mel will start a new chapter, this time as a mom, as she and her wife Carly are expecting their first child later this year.

Funny enough, Mel met Carly on a golf course. The pair were introduced by a mutual friend at the 2018 Ryder Cup, held that year at Le Golf National in France, just a week before Mel was scheduled to move to West Palm Beach, Fla. When the two began dating, times were tough as Mel was frustrated with her game and struggling financially, having come to the United States with little more than her golf clubs and her suitcase, and Carly was going through the process of coming out, emotionally challenging no matter your background. But the pair got through it and now look back on their relationship with fondness, grateful for how much those difficulties strengthened their bond.

“I was struggling in my career a little bit and then (Carly was) struggling with identity and stuff,” Mel recalled. “We were kind of giving each other space but then also being there for each other. It has built this incredible bond between us. I genuinely feel like we have a very healthy relationship. We are genuinely best friends and happen to be together as well. We’ve just been through quite a lot together in the last five years and always come out of it stronger. I think that’s a credit to our relationship.”

The pair got married on April 15, 2022, and just over a year later, they’re having a baby for the very first time. Motherhood can be intimidating, especially as a professional athlete who travels 25+ weeks a year, even more so if you’re the spouse of that athlete. But Mel and Carly are thrilled to be parents and are trying to soak in these last few months of solitude before the baby arrives.

“The overwhelming feeling is definitely just excitement. Especially your first one. The anticipation has been really fun,” Carly said. “It's been kind of hard to find the balance of being patient and enjoying our time just me and Mel because obviously, it's a lot easier when it's just us two but also super excited. It's life-changing and it's cool that we get to raise a kid together.”

The Reids always knew they wanted kids and the timing never seemed more right to start the process than late last year. After a troubling 2022 season that saw her miss more than a handful of cuts while dealing with a lingering wrist injury, Mel decided to take medical leave in September, a decision that ultimately led to her stepping away from the game for a bit.

“I legit quit. When I got my injury, I tried to play through it, which I kind of felt I had to because I was losing my card,” Mel told the media after the second round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “In September I literally told Carly, I'm going into media, like I'm going to be one of you guys, I'm not playing golf anymore.”

And it was that unexpected time off at the end of the year that played a major factor in the couple’s decision to begin the reciprocal IVF process.

“We've both always had a strong desire to have a family. I most definitely did not want to push out a baby, so it was cool that Carly wanted to take on that role. She feels very strongly emotionally (about) that. She's always wanted to carry,” said Mel. “We had a consultation a couple of years ago, and because we had that extra time this winter, we were like, why don't we just crack on? We wanted to get the process going because with reciprocal IVF, a lot of things can potentially go wrong and so we wanted to have a bit of time to prepare for that. But fortunately for us, everything's gone smooth.”

Carly was grateful to have her wife at home and by her side, emotionally supporting her through what can be a challenging undertaking, both physically and mentally. “Mel getting hurt and taking that much time off was kind of a blessing because it would have been a lot more difficult to go through that if she was on the road,” she said. “You have doctor's appointments almost weekly at the start, so it's pretty demanding. But we just could do that, literally stress-free. Didn't have to plan around travel at all. And it worked the first time so we're very lucky.”

They announced their pregnancy publicly via Instagram on May 2 and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive as many of the couple’s friends and family were delighted to hear the news. Carly told her family when she was nearing the end of her first trimester, and the first person Mel called was her father Brian, who now checks in more than ever before on his daughter and daughter-in-law.

“I’ve seen my dad cry once in my life when my mom passed away and that was the second time I've ever seen him cry was when I told him that Carly was pregnant,” said Mel, who lost her mother in 2012 in a car accident. “He calls me up way more now than he ever has, and I swear it’s just to talk to Carly now, to make sure she's doing alright.”

As with everything else in their relationship, Mel and Carly have been very open throughout the pregnancy, willing to talk about their experiences with those that have questions about what they went through to become parents. Mel has even been approached by many of her LPGA Tour colleagues seeking advice about how and when to begin the process, something that tells her how impactful her and Carly’s journey has been on others around them, reiterating a point that the couple has always lived by. Representation matters.

“I've always spoken about representation and how important it is, and being visible,” said Mel. “We're just two different people, me and Carly, from different backgrounds and I think that that's important. Carly’s story is very different to mine. I genuinely do think that Carly is changing people's perspective of couples like us because of her representation in this and her being so comfortable in who she is and what we're about.

“I hate to use the word normal, but the more that you're normal about it, the more that people react normal about it. At the end of the day, we're just two people that want to be parents and two people that happen to love each other and want to bring a healthy baby into this world and love it as much as possible. That’s no different from majority of parents.”

Carly agrees and just hopes that she and Mel, today and every day, remind others how worth it staying true to themselves is – in life, in love and even in pregnancy.

“There’s no better feeling than just showing people who you are and not having to hide anything so that's kind of how we go about it,” she said. “At the end of the day, we're bringing new life into this world and there's nothing cooler than that.”