Man From The Mountain Lands: Sam Tidd
States like Utah and Idaho are known for their naturally beauty. There are very few states that you can golf at and get a stunning mountain view. These two states are not considered to be the best place for young golfers to thrive in, but redshirt freshman Sam Tidd is attempting to rewrite the narrative.
Tidd grew up in Meridian, Idaho with his mother Heidi, father Mark and two older brothers. It was Mark who introduced a young Sam to the game of golf.
"He started taking me to different courses when I was five years old," said Tidd. "I really enjoyed golf and when I was eight, I started playing in tournaments."
Tidd's family has done much more for him than just introduce the game of golf. They have supported him in every step of his life and Tidd has always appreciated their support.
"We have a tight bond and it is always great to go back home and see them," said Tidd.
Tidd liked the fact that golf was an individual sport and when he was 13, he gave up sports like basketball and football to focus on golf. Even though he enjoys the individual aspect of golf, Tidd loves playing with friends and credits them for some of his success.
"I grew up around a lot of guys who were really good at golf and they pushed me to be better," said Tidd.
His friends helped push his game to new heights as Tidd would enjoy a very successful amateur career. He had four AJGA top-10 finishes and was the runner-up in the 2015 AJGA Hale Irwin. Tidd also qualified for the Junior PGA Championship and the Western Junior Championship twice.
Tidd attended Rocky Mountain high school where he and the school golf team had great success.
"We dominated in the state of Idaho," stated Tidd. "We took second my freshman year and won state the next three years."
Individually Tidd also enjoyed success during his high school years. At the 5A state championship he finished in third as a freshman, second as a sophomore before finally breaking through and taking first in 2017 as a junior. As to how it finally felt to win it all, Tidd said it was a feeling he will not soon forget.
"It felt great to win state because it had been one of my goals growing up. I was also really sick during the tournament, but my adrenaline helped me get it done," said Tidd.
After his senior season there was no college decision to make because it was already made back when he was a freshman when he committed to the University of Oklahoma. He redshirted during the 2018-19 season and had his second season with the Sooners cut short after the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Tidd wanted to be closer to home and decided to transfer to the University of Utah. Head Coach Garrett Clegg recruited Tidd back when he was undecided on a college but missed out on him the first time around. However, a few years later he was able to convince him to become a Ute.
"I did go on a visit with him back when I was undecided, and I really liked him. He cares about everyone and wants us all to get better which was an important factor for me in looking at schools," said Tidd.
While the connection with Coach Clegg and being closer to home was nice, they were not the only reasons Tidd wanted to come to Utah.
"I love the campus and there's a lot of nice courses out here. Being able to stay in a power five conference was also a big deal for me so I'm excited to compete in the Pac-12," said Tidd. "The new practice facility their building was also a huge factor for me, and I think there's a lot of great opportunities for me."
The start to the year has been unlike anything Tidd and the rest of the team have faced. With no fall tournaments, Tidd said it is challenging but he's still finding ways to improve his game.
"We are still practicing 20 hours a week and working hard at our craft," said Tidd. "Without tournaments it's important to keep grinding and finding ways to get better."
Tidd is still building relationships with his teammates and believes having strong team chemistry is important part to the game of golf.
"There is something to how positive your teammates are around you and how they push you to get out to the course every day and compete. They drive me to work on my game and force me to be in great shape," said Tidd.
As for his golf game Tidd believes his game is coming along nicely, but he still has a few things to improve on.
"I think my biggest strengths are my ball striking and distance control with my irons," said Tidd. "I believe I'm a very consistent golfer, but my putting can be streaky."
Tidd is looking forward to the spring season and hopes to help his team bring back some hardware.
"My personal goal is to play in every event, but a bigger goal I have is for us to the NCAA Tournament this year."