Chi Chi Rodriguez

    Chi Chi Rodriguez

    Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

    Weight: 150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)

    Birthday: October 23, 1935

    College: –

    Year turned pro: 1960

    Birthplace: Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

    Country: Puerto Rico, USA

    Sponsor: –

    Rodriguez was born into a poor family in Rio Piedras, where he began working as a water carrier on a plantation, at the age of only seven. He came across golf by accident, when he wandered onto a golf course in error one day. The mistake was to change his life, as he began working as a caddie, having realized that the caddies at the course were earning more money than him. Incredibly Rodriguez taught himself to play golf using tree branches and metal cans. He soon became a reasonable golfer, and at the age of twelve he scored a 67.

    Prior to turning professional in 1960 Rodriguez spent time in the United States Army, playing golf whenever he had the opportunity.

    After turning professional, Rodríguez won his first tournament on the PGA Tour, at the Denver Open, in 1963. This was to be the first of several wins on the PGA Tour. 

    After reaching the age of fifty, Rodriguez played on what was then the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the Champions Tour).  While on the Senior PGA Tour he won a total of 22 tournaments between 1986 and 1993.

    Over the years Rodriguez has achieved much recognition for his golfing skills, including the Hispanic Recognition Award in 1986, the Bob Jones Award in 1986 and induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

    One of the most influential events in the life of Rodríguez was a brief encounter he had with Mother Theresa. This helped to inspire him to work with Bill Hayes and Bob James, to establish the “Chi-Chi Rodríguez Youth Foundation”. The aim of this foundation is to provide an afterschool program to help youngsters who have experienced difficulties. The foundation is based at the Glen Oaks Golf Course in Clearwater, Florida

    Away from the course, Rodriguez has experienced some lows, including a heart attack in 1998 and a break-in at the home he shared with his wife in 2010. He has also seen highs, including a cameo performance in the movie Welcome to Mooseport.
    As of the end of 2014, Rodriguez had achieved eight wins on the PGA Tour, amassing total prize money of $1,021,576.