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Chi Chi Rodriguez            

Former Professional Golfer, First Puerto Rican Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame

Juan Chi-Chi Rodriguez is one of the great showmen in sports history. In a career which spans four decades, Rodriguez won 22 Senior PGA Tour victories, eight regular Pga Tours, and has career earnings of over $7 million dollars.

Born in Rio Piedras in 1935, Rodriguez began caddying at the age of six and actually learned how to play golf with clubs fashioned out of guava tree limbs and tin cans hammered into balls. His golf expertise began at the age of 12, when he shot a 67, and he became known for his eye-hand coordination and imagination skills. Rodriguez is now one of the most successful and widely recognized names in the game of golf.

It has been said that, pound for pound, Rodriguez is the longest hitter in the history of golf. At 5-7 and a weight ranging from 112-130 pounds, the wiry Puerto Rican has at times driven a golf ball over 350 yards. He has consistently been at over 250 yards throughout his career.

Rodriguez's talent extends beyond what he does on the golf course, as he has a strong desire to make a positive impact on today's youth. He founded the "Chi-Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation" in Clearwater, Florida, which is a home to troubled and abused youngsters. Rodriguez's philosophy is clear: he wants to give kids 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 could look at me and say, 'look, he's a small guy, he was poor and he worked hard and made it.'"

Rodriguez's incredible career includes winning PGA tournaments four times in each of the 1990-91, seasons and being the only winner of back to back events in 1991. He became the first player on the Senior Tour to win the same event for three consecutive years, set a Senior Tour record with eight consecutive birdies en route to a win at the 1987 Silver Pages Classic, represented Puerto Rico on 12 World Cup Teams, won the Hispanic Achievement Recognition Award ('86) and Replica's Hispanic Man of the Year ('88), and was inducted into PGA's World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

Legendary golfer "Chi-Chi" Rodriguez, known on the course for his famous sword dance when he holes a putt, has demonstrated himself as a great golf champion, and an even greater champion to the lives of our youths and the Hispanic community.

Speech Topics

Make it Great: Pride, Passion, and Relentless Determination


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