2013-02-08 / People

Driving always seems at the forefront

By Tracy Orzel
Staff Writer

Hydi Dixon, owner of the driving service, HydiDrive, has played golf for nearly 40 years and currently teaches at Hillcrest Driving Range Pitch and Putt in Lower Villlage Kennebunk. 
(Tracy Orzel photo) Hydi Dixon, owner of the driving service, HydiDrive, has played golf for nearly 40 years and currently teaches at Hillcrest Driving Range Pitch and Putt in Lower Villlage Kennebunk. (Tracy Orzel photo) KENNEBUNK – Hydi Dixon has been playing golf for more than 40 years – half of them as a pro golf instructor – and, while she may not be hitting the green as much as she used to, she still gets to drive her bright red, sevenpassenger electric golf cart around town.

Three years ago Dixon started her own professional driving service, HydiDrive in Kennebunk. Exhausted from traveling around the country giving golf lessons, the New Jersey native settled down in Kennebunk in 2004.

“I love driving cars (and) I love people, so I put two and two together and I came up with the idea about having a transportation company,” said Dixon.

Besides driving clients to and from the airport, the company also provides transportation for weddings, rehearsal dinners and private dinner parties.

“My very first client was a woman in Kennebunkport. Her name is Jan Fitzpatrick and Jan hired me for her daughter’s wedding and then from there it took off through word-of-mouth,” said Dixon.

In fact, that’s exactly how Dixon found herself on the other end of a phone call from HBO.

The premium cable television network was hosting a screening of its new documentary chronicling the life of George W. H. Bush, “41,” at St. Anne’s Church in Kennebunkport and needed transportation around town. The hotel where producers were staying recommended HydiDrive.

After hanging up with HBO’s talent relations, Dixon called her sister to share the news.

“I called her up and I said, “Kate, I think we got ourselves a big one on this one.”

When Dixon and the other drivers picked up the HBO team from the Portland International Jetport on June 12, she had 20 minutes to get everyone to the screening by 4 p.m., because one of the planes arrived late.

Thanks to Dixon’s knowledge of the area’s back roads, the group arrived at St. Anne’s Church at 4:02 p.m.

In addition to busing network execs to documentary screenings, Dixon also provides tours around Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.

“We want everybody to feel relaxed and happy and enjoy what we have here in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport,” said Dixon. It’s a great location and we have great hotels, we have great restaurants, we have great B&Bs, great golf courses and, most importantly, we have great beaches and views. We at HydiDrive really want to show off our town and we’re very proud of where we live.”

When she’s not delivering brides to the church, Dixon is busy giving golf lessons at the Hillcrest Driving Range Pitch and Putt in Lower Village Kennebunk, where she’s worked for nearly a decade.

Dixon, who became the first girl to play golf on her high school’s golf team, was 15 years old she won the New Jersey Amateur Golf Championship in 1975.

“I went for my LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) card and got to the quarterfinals, (but) I unfortunately didn’t make the cut,” said Dixon.

After becoming a professional golf teacher in 1990, the Kennebunk resident spent the next 20 years instructing eager golf students at more than a half dozen golf and country clubs, including the Highland Woods Golf & Country Club in Bonita Springs, Fla., the Kernwood Country Club in Danvers, Mass. and the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, Calif.

In the early ‘90s, Dixon also worked under retired professional golfer, Jane Blalock at the Jane Blalock Company in Massachusetts. Dixon said the company taught corporate women how to play golf to give them an edge in business.

“You can land more deals out there on the golf course then you can inside a dismal conference room,” said Dixon.

For Dixon, however, golf is more than just a paycheck; it’s a way of life.

“Golf for me is my serenity. You get to the golf course and you plant your feet on the grass and you look at all the beautiful scenery that’s among you,” said Dixon. “I’ve played in the Caribbean, I’ve played in the desert, I played on the Atlantic, I play on the Pacific and it’s all nature at its best.

“It’s beautiful, it really is.”

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