More than a Game

YouTube trailblazer Rick Shiels
The fact I get to put on my golf shoes every day and call this my job is just incredible.

Rick Shiels

YouTube trailblazer Rick Shiels

There are very few people who can ever truly lay claim to being a true trailblazer in their field of expertise. But as the world’s number one golf YouTuber, Rick Shiels is just that. From his humble beginnings growing up playing golf after school with his mum, to passing 1million subscribers on YouTube, Rick knows what it takes to drive the game forward and reach millions of golfers across the globe. Now, with an ambassadorial role at the 150th Open Championship, he tells us his More Than A Game story.

“Golf is more than a game to me because it's given me my career, it's given me the life I live,” says Rick. “The fact I get to put on my golf shoes each day and call this my job is just incredible. I’ve met some of my best friends in golf, it’s taught me loads of life lessons, it’s taught me to be a very well-rounded individual.

“Golf has given me everything; hours of enjoyment, plus hours of frustration, something to work towards, something to keep getting better at, giving me that opportunity to grow as a person and really to do everything that I do on a daily basis.”
When he was 11 years old, Rick’s mum went for a golf lesson, and he was taken to the driving range with her. He hit a few balls, but admits wasn’t enjoying it, when about halfway through the lesson he hit one shot that felt a bit better than the others, and started to get the buzz. The following week Rick’s mum went for another lesson, and he couldn’t wait to go with her. From then on, they started playing together after Rick got home from school and even went on golf trips together, including one to the Isle of Arran where they played seven rounds in one week at each of the island’s seven courses. “Not many 12-year-olds can say they spent a whole week together with their mum, doing something that they both enjoyed doing as a hobby and a passion of both of theirs!” says Rick.

By his teens, Rick truly had the golf bug and was playing dawn to dusk whenever he could, especially during his school summer holidays. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do after leaving school, but I knew that golf was a passion of mine and I wanted to potentially work in the golf industry one day as a future plan,” he says.

He went on to study golf at college for two years and, at 18 years old, he decided that a job in golf was something that he wanted to pursue. “I thought to myself, ‘well as long as I’m putting my golf shoes on every day, I feel like I’ve achieved something ??" I’m working in a hobby and a sport that I love so much.’”
Rick turned pro at the age of 19 and enlisted on the three-year PGA course, during which time his mindset changed, and he knew that he wanted to focus his attention on coaching. “Realising that I wasn’t good enough to play (professionally on tour) was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

From then on he began to transition to posting his coaching content online and, from humble beginnings, his YouTube career started to take off. Whether it was 100 views, 1,000 views, or the recently achieved milestone of 1million subscribers which he passed in 2020, Rick’s popularity grew and grew over the years, and he started to make a difference to the games of millions of golfers across the globe.

“You’ve just got to push the boundaries, and that’s what I feel I’ve done over the last 10 years,” he says. “I just try to keep my content honest, relatable, and just really fun. Hopefully the people watching my videos will get a little bit better, but more importantly, they’ll enjoy golf that little bit more.”