Chi Chi Rodriguez grew up in the hot, dusty sugar cane fields of Rio Piedras, where he helped his father tend the fields. Chi Chi’s golf expertise began at the age of 12, when he shot a 67. Chi Chi became known for his eye-hand coordination and imagination-skills that for more than 40 years have helped him overcome all types of obstacles. He showcases these skills at golf clinics and exhibitions around the country. But Chi Chi’s talents extend beyond what be is able to do with the golf ball. From his matador routine to his good-natured impersonations of fellow competitors, Chi Chi is an entertainer at heart.
But what separates Chi Chi from everyone else is that he has coupled his success on the golf course with a strong personal desire to make a positive impact. This has manifested itself in the countless hours he spends at The Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation.
Chi Chi’s foundation, in Clearwater, Florida, is home to troubled and abused youngsters. Chi Chi’s philosophy is simple, he wants kids to have a chance. “I figure kids are the future. If l made it, anybody can do it. I think I can be a good role model for them because they can look at me and say, “look, he’s a small guy, he was very poor, and he worked hard and he made it. If I can help one kid become successful in life because they want to be the way I was, that’s all I ask for.”
It is through examples like this that Chi Chi Rodriguez has proven that he is not only a great golf champion, but a champion in life.