Alastair Tidcombe's golf journey brought him from Canada to Kentucky and then the Golden Isles. Now his pro career will tee off right where that journey began.
The former College of Coastal Georgia golfer will make his professional debut Thursday on Canada's Mackenzie Tour at the Cape Breton Open in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
The course is five hours away from where Tidcombe grew up in Nova Scotia.
"I'm going back home," Tidcombe said. "I'm from Nova Scotia, so they granted me a sponsor's exemption into the event, which I was very excited about."
Tidcombe arrived at Coastal Georgia for the 2014-15 season. He transferred from University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky — where he was a three-time NAIA all-American — to help the Mariners defend their NAIA national championship. Tidcombe did just that, earning another all-American nod in the process.
Transferring to Coastal not only netted Tidcombe a national championship, he also got to work with Mariners coach and Sea Island Golf Performance Center senior instructor Mike Cook and other center instructors to help take his game to the next level.
"Being at Coastal just prepares you for that next step," Tidcombe said.
Tidcombe could have turned pro last summer, but he chose to stay an amateur a little longer. He racked up some top-5 finishes in 2015 and in 2016, he finished tied for 16th at the Azalea Invitational in South Carolina in April and tied for 18th at the Southeastern Amateur in Columbus in June.
"I wanted to compete against the best amateurs in the world before I turned professional," Tidcombe said. "My summer was OK. I just couldn't quite put four rounds together or I'd miss out on a tournament by a few holes. I played some very good golf over that time too."
Now Tidcombe starts his pro career on a course he has played before. He competed in a junior tournament at Bell Bay Golf Club when he was 17 years old. A practice round today should help fill in any gaps in his memory about the course.
"I can remember most of the holes, but some are a little blurry," Tidcombe said. "I'm sure I will remember most of them when I get out there."
Tidcombe won't be the only golfer with local ties in the field. Former Glynn Academy standout Scott Wolfes is also playing in the event. Wolfes will tee off 20 minutes before Tidcombe's group — the final group of the day — hits the course at 2:10 p.m.
While Nova Scotia and St. Simons may not seem like they would have anything in common when it comes to golf, both bordering the Atlantic does bring some similarities that Tidcombe has learned to master.
"It can get very windy like it does down here," Tidcombe said. "The best I can compare it to is Seaside — very windy, on the water and have to drive the ball well. Definitely living in Canada and on St. Simons Island has prepared me to play in windy conditions."
His path to the professional ranks has been long and winding, like a lot of others. But the journey from Nova Scotia to the Isles, with a stop in Kentucky, has not only led Tidcombe back to his home in Canada, but provided him another home in the Isles.
"At times, you wonder if this is the right path you've chosen," Tidcombe said. "Everything that has happened has worked out for the better. I love living down in Sea Island. I call it home now and hope to spend many years down south and take my game to the next level."