Chi Chi's Challenges

Chi Chi RodriguezHall of Fame golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez has put out some major challenges. “First of all, I challenge everyone young and old to work hard to make your dreams come true” says America’s clown prince of golf. “If I can do it, you can for sure” continues Chi Chi.

Born Juan Rodriguez in the tough streets of Puerto Rico over 70 years ago, Chi Chi learned to play golf hitting a rock with a stick. As he grew so did his dreams and his swing. He also loved to make people smile which he did often with his trademark putter sword dance.

But his dreams went to another level when he met Mother Teresa through his friend President Marcos of the Philippines. “When I shook hands with her I felt a tingle through my entire body. She looked at me and said, ‘I heard you were a poor boy and now you are a rich man. What are you doing with that blessing to help the other poor children of the world?’” says Chi Chi. That was the day he accepted her challenge and started to dream of how to help the children through golf.

It’s now thirty years later and today the Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club is the only golf course in the world whose proceeds go to help needy children, much like Paul Newman did with his salad dressing. Chi Chi also boasts of having the only regular full-time county school, grades 4-8, dedicated to “children at risk”. His dream helped spawn the First Tee across the country and recently the U.S. Congress unanimously awarded Chi Chi a lifetime achievement award for his work with children around the world.

If you throw in the PGA dedicating the Puerto Rico Open to Chi Chi, him being seen on television regularly through his Lexus commercials, and Golf Digest saying, he has the “Best Program in the U.S.”, you can see how a few more of Chi Chi’s dreams have come true. But his greatest dream and challenge is to insure his work will continue long after he is gone.

As a result Chi Chi challenges you to come share his dream. Come play one of the best courses in the Tampa Bay area for one of the best prices in town that also includes a new driving range across the street. Come volunteer as a Big Brother or Sister or attend one of the many high energy fundraising events the Chi Chi Academy throws throughout the year. He looks forward to shaking your hand and passing on the same question from that little lady he met in the Philippines a long time ago. For more information, go to


Please Share