San Diego Local Community News


Rising Golf Star Amelia Chavez: Why She’s One to Watch

By Millie Shamburger, American Homebrewers Association

I’ve been interviewing people for a long time, and you can tell the winners at the starting gate. I remember meeting a shy teenage Serena Williams, behind her mod- esty, was a grounded teenager with the talent and tenacity to make it in the world of sports. Amelia Chavez has that same level head, talent, drive and support system. She began learning golf at the tender age of seven. Now she is a teenager, the stars are aligned, and her golf game is cosmic. We caught up with this teenage golf dynamo and her dad Valentine Chavez.

When did you know you had a special gift?

AMELIA CHAVEZ: I knew I had a special gift when I picked up a golf club and felt comfortable. I am right handed and my dad taught me how to hit left handed shortly after I started playing. Once I made that switch, I was more confident and had PGA professionals telling me how good my swing was.

Out of all of your awards which one is the most meaningful?

The most meaningful award was when I qualified and was invited to the Call away World Championship in Palm Springs. I qualified by winning several tournaments and get- ting enough points.

Where do you hope to go with golf?

I would like to go to college. My dream school is Stanford. After school I would like to turn pro.

What other interests do you have?

I like to play basketball, and really enjoy art. I really feel that none of my success would be possible with- out my coach, Derek Uyeda. He has really opened up many doors for me. I have been able to meet amaz- ing professional golfers, go to tour- naments, and walk the course with professionals. He has taught me so much about working hard and is a true mentor to me.

What Does Amelia’s Dad Valentine Chavez Have to Say? What’s it like being the parent of an award-winning golfer?

It is hard work. We support her

as a family. We make sure that she is able to work out several times a week. It is also very rewarding. Being able to see her play and be passionate about golf is amazing.

What is Amelia’s training schedule like?

She practices 3 to 4 days a week and plays on a course every weekend.

Have you received any tips on managing her career from any other pro-golfer’s parents?

We have been very fortunate to have Derek Uyeda in Amelia’s corner. He has been in the industry for several years as a coach and mentor.

He always has Amelia’s best interest in mind when we ask questions about her golf career. He has intro- duced us to several PGA profession- als that he has worked with. He treats her career just like he treats their careers.

You mentioned that your daughter is kind and gracious not just a great golfer how did you instill those values in your daughter?

As a family we try to make sure that we stay grounded. We want her to understand that just because she has this great talent and ability hard work will always be part of her life. We have made it clear that in every aspect of her life, not just golf hard

work will pay off in the end.

When did you know she had real talent?

She first asked to come with me to the range to watch me hit. She never played golf and as soon as she got a club in her hand, I knew she was special. Golf is a hard sport. Not everyone can play. With a club in her hand it was second nature. It felt natural to her. At the age of 7, she was doing things with a club that teenagers and adult can’t do.

How do you balance her career and other aspects of family life?

This is actually really hard. My wife and I both work full time jobs and we have 2 additional children involved in activities. We feel that sports are an important part of life. You learn so much from playing at every level. We make time to make sure that our chil- dren can be involved. In the long run, it is worth it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are very lucky to have who we have in our corner. None of this would be possible without everyone that has influenced Amelia in some way. She has had great coaches and mentors and they’ve all helped in some way. Amelia is hard working, caring, funny, and very talented. We know that as she grows, she will keep all of the traits that she displays today and will excel in golf.

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