Chi Chi Rodriguez

chichi-smallChi Chi Rodriguez is one of the great showmen in sports history. In a career that spans four decades, Chi Chi won 8 times on the PGA Tour and now boasts 22 Senior Tour victories. His colorful performances still make him a gallery favorite, while his shot-making skills have earned the respect of his peers.

Chi Chi grew up in the hot, dusty sugar cane fields of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, where he helped his father tend the fields. Chi Chi truly learned the game of golf the hard way; fashioning a guava branch into a club and using a crumbled tin can for a ball. Despite these obstacles, he shot an amazing 67 at age 12. His tremendous eye-hand coordination and imagination soon became legendary-skills that for more than 40 years have helped him overcome the obstacles of impoverished youth and earn a coveted place in the PGA Tour’s Hall of Fame. He showcases these remarkable talents at golf clinics and exhibitions around the country.

Off the course, Chi Chi is a dedicated humanitarian. His passion for assisting youngsters is manifested in The Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation. Based in Clearwater, Florida, the Foundation is a sanctuary for troubled and abused youngsters. Chi Chi’s philosophy is simple; he wants kids to have a positive role model and a chance to succeed. “I figure kids are the future. If I 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.”

Through countless hours devoted to “Chi Chi’s kids”, Chi Chi has proven that he is not only one of golf’s greatest champions, but a champion in life.

 

 

Stats:

Height: 5’7
Weight: 150
Birthdate: October 23, 1935
Birthplace: Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Residence: Dorado, Puerto Rico
Family: Wife, Iwalani; Daughter, Donnette
Special Interests: Helping children, bird watching
Turned Professional: 1960

PGA Tour Victories:

1979 Tallahassee
1973 Greater Greensboro Open
1972 Byron Nelson Classic
1968 Sahara Invitational
1967 Texas Open
1964 Lucky International, Western Open
1963 Denver Open

Champions Tour Victories:

1993 Senior PGA Tour Burnet Classic

1992 Ko Olina Senior Invitational

1991 GTE West Classic, Vintage Arco Invitational, Las Vegas Senior Classic, Seniors Murata Reunion

1990 Las Vegas Senior Classic, Ameritech Senior Open, Sunwest Bank/Charley Pride Senior Golf Classic

1989 Crestar Classic

1988 Doug Sanders Classic, Digital Seniors Classic

1987 PGA Seniors Championship, Vantage at the Dominion, United Hospitals Golf Championship

1987 Silver Pages Classic, Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am, Digital Seniors Classic, GTE Northwest Classic

1986 Senior TPC, Digital Seniors Classic, United Virginia Banks Seniors

 

Links:

Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation
Chi Chi’s PGA Tour Profile
Chi Chi’s Golf Hall of Fame Profile