Following The Dream

By Esteban Vazquez

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My start in golf all began back in Brazil, where I was born.

My dad was working there at the time, and one day, some of his friends from work invited him to try out golf.

He fell in love with it instantly.

It became his new passion, and I guess you could say it became mine, too.

When I was just a young kid, my dad would take me with him to the golf course.

I would watch him swing his clubs, hit the ball, and be in awe of the whole experience.

Over time, that love for golf grew within me as well.

It became our special bonding activity, something we could share and enjoy together.

Golf became more than just a sport; it became a part of who I am.

From Brazil to Spain

My family is originally from Spain, so when we moved there, it was a natural transition for us.

I was just a toddler at the time, so I don’t remember much about the move.

But Spain was where my golf journey really took off.

It was there that I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Spanish national golf team’s high-performance squad.

Imagine being selected as one of the few kids to train and play alongside the best young golfers in the country.

It was an honor beyond words.

Being a part of that team was like a sneak peek into what my future in the United States would look like.

We practiced together, worked out together, and competed in individual tournaments as a team.

It was a whole new level of dedication and commitment to the sport.

Living away from my parents during that time helped me mature and prepare for the challenges that awaited me in college.

The home away from home

When the time came to choose a college, I had many options on the table.

But there was something special about the University of Memphis that drew me in.

It wasn’t just about the golf program; it was about the family-like environment that Coach Pearson and Coach Smart created.

From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt like I belonged.

They made me feel valued and wanted like I was more than just another player.

And now, as a senior, I can easily say that my initial perception held true.

My time here at Memphis has been nothing short of amazing.

Sure, there have been ups and downs, but that’s all part of the journey, right?

Oddly enough, as I reflect on my journey thus far, one of my most memorable memories actually happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were all in our team bubble, practicing, and just trying to make the most of a challenging situation.

During that time, we had a COVID scare where a few of us tested positive.

It was a bit nerve-wracking, but we made the best of it.

I remember one of my teammates losing his sense of taste and smell, and at the time, we all had a good laugh about it.

And luckily, he got it all back.

But as serious and challenging as those times were, it’s those little moments that make being a part of this team so special.

When the time came to choose a college, I had many options on the table. But there was something special about the University of Memphis that drew me in. It wasn't just about the golf program; it was about the family-like environment that Coach Pearson and Coach Smart created. From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt like I belonged.

Chasing a dream

As my time at Memphis slowly but surely comes to a close, I’ve started to think about what lies ahead.

My ultimate goal has always been to turn professional and make a career out of playing golf.

It’s not an easy path, no doubt, but it’s one that I’m willing to take on with all my heart and determination.

I’ve seen other Spanish athletes, like Jon Rahm, make their mark in the United States, and they inspire me to chase my own dream.

So, as I prepare to graduate and take the next steps in my golfing journey, I can’t help but feel a mix of excitement and nervousness.

But I know that the support I’ve received from my coaches, teammates, and the city of Memphis will carry me through.

They’ve shown me what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

And who knows, maybe one day you’ll see my name on leaderboards and hear people cheering for me as I make my way through professional tournaments.

It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a young kid watching my dad swing his clubs, and I’m determined to make it a reality.

I’m excited for the future and the challenges and triumphs that await me.

I’m so grateful for the sport that has shaped me into the person I am today.

Golf isn’t just a game for me; it’s a passion, a love, and a lifelong journey.

And I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.