The following is from an interview conducted with Agustina Rebolledo Tomicic, a 14 year old junior golfer originally from Chile that now resides in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.
Agustina arrived in the Turks and Caicos at age 10 and has been dedicated to her craft ever since. She is a rising star in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos with a growing Instagram following whom she continually inspires every day with her dedicated work ethic.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your relationship with golf
My name is Agustina and I’m 14 years old. Golf means everything to me. I play every day just because I want to go to college with golf. Every day I train and every day I want to get better. My first goal is to get to college because I want to go to a good college and I want to be a designer.
Every time I go anywhere and I play golf, I can never find clothes for people my age. I want to design clothes for girls my age now and even older because sometimes people think that golf is not for girls and that there is no clothes for them.
How did you and your dad come here from Chile?
My dad is a chef and he got a job here. He used to have a business in Chile but unfortunately it burned down. So we were looking for a new job and here we are now.
How has your dad influenced your golf dreams?
He saw big potential when I was little. He also used to golf. When I was young and waiting for my sister to be born he went over to golf and I used to go with him. I used to grab one of his clubs and the ball and just hit it out there, but I didn’t know much about it.
Then I took a few lessons but at the time I didn’t actually really like it. It wasn’t until I came here [to the Turks and Caicos] when I said “you know what I’m going to start doing golf again”. I tried it, took a few lessons my dad saw big potential in me. So I said “let’s get more people involved, let’s do this.”
When did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf at 10. That was when I started getting serious. I had taken a few lessons when I was six, seven but didn’t really get into it.
When I was 10 I came [to the Turks and Caicos] and said I’d try it. I started watching golf videos and I was actually starting to see the point of the game which became a lot of fun.
People would always said ‘oh golf is so boring” but I’m not the kind of person that goes out to parties. I’m very quiet at home. Finding this game was like finding a soul mate!
What is so special about the island of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos?
I like it because it is home. I don’t really like big cities even though I will probably have to live in one eventually. I feel here is a really good place to grow up because I feel like they have good schools here. You get to meet different people, you get to meet people from all over the world which is also very nice and you get to meet people from different cultures.
What is it about golf that gets you up in the morning?
Actually I just came back from training with really nice coaches and very good coaches. I learnt a lot about them and they taught me a lot. So to me, getting up in the morning is like learning more every day. I don’t do everything in one day. For example one day I’m doing back swing and only back swing. So then I say I’m better at the back swing now and I want to work on the front swing. I just want to get my whole swing to work well together. So every day I wake up in the morning I’m excited to try new things.
What are some of the struggles of golf?
Some of the struggles regarding golf will be the weather. Also here sometimes they don’t let you walk yet usually in other courses they let you walk [around the course]. I also can’t go out on my own if my dad is working or my mom is busy I can’t go with anyone else. Sometimes I’m here training by myself for a while then it gets kind of boring because I really want to put what I’ve learned on the range into the course but I can’t because there is no one here.
Are there any mental struggles with the games?
Mental struggles? Yes I actually get very nervous when people are watching. Especially when it is an open course because my friends live here. If they are watching me I don’t know what they’ll be saying about me. Sometimes I feel like they are watching me and that’s probably the biggest struggle I have.
What things are you grateful for?
Yes, my dad supports me a lot. He believes in me and I really appreciate that. I really like that we came to this island because otherwise I wouldn’t have the opportunities like I do now. Because we came to this island I got straight into golf.
And also I would say my friends are very supportive towards me as well. Every time I say that I can’t go over to their house because of training they never say things like “oh you have to train, why?”
They are actually like really nice people who say “Okay yes no problem. If you have to train then let’s do it another day”. That’s what I’m more grateful for.
What makes Provo Golf Club great for you?
People here sometimes drink but they are not drinking like 10 beers. It’s actually really calm and people don’t bother you. They are not shouting or being disrespectful. We have an awesome team of people here supporting the golf course and you can do whatever you want here. You follow the rules of golf but you are here to vacation. If you like playing golf there is nothing more nothing less it’s just normal golf. That’s also why I like the game because it is very calm.
What stage are you at in your career?
Now I’m actually very into it and I am getting to a level where I should start becoming something. I’m now at a stage where people are going to start recognizing me.
Describe a typical day in your life
I’m a very lazy person. My mom wakes me up at six and if I don’t hear her I end up waking up 6:40am, and then I eat breakfast. After that I go to school and then I come [to Provo Golf Club]. I’ll train for a while, like two and a half to three hours, and then I get home do my homework. It gets very tiring because sometimes I do the gym as well. So I go to school, go to the gym and if I feel up for it I come to golf. If I have time, I just go to a gym, do my homework, and watch a couple of golf players.
Why/How did you start posting on Instagram? You have a large following (25k)
Everyone makes mistakes, I do too and no one is perfect. That’s why I started posting both good shots and bad shots because that’s realistic. I’m not perfect and no one here is either. Even the top girls in the world are not perfect. So I began posting videos about what I do and whenever people comment I would comment back to them which is basically how I got people to start following me. It’s actually quite nice.
How do you deal with the judgement on social media?
I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really care what people say. Like yes I take the nice comments and I take in mean comments as well but I don’t really care overall. I just live my life, I am the person who I am, that’s who I am.
Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself playing as one of the top five or top three women. I’m putting so much effort in now I believe it will happen.
Do you have any memories that stand out in your golfing journey?
One of my biggest memories would be last year with the European junior tour where I played a tournament in Miami. I remember the first day I was very disappointed [with my performance], I was very nervous and it was one of my first big tournaments. It was a two or three day tournament. I was very nervous and in the second day I did not play that well but I still played way better than the first day. At that point I said you know what if I win anything that’s good for me and if I don’t, I don’t.
By the end of [the tournament] I really didn’t think I had won anything, and then I see the score board and it says second place Agustina! That was me! I went to my mom and said I think I won second place she said what? And I said yes second place. She came up to the board and she said you won second place!
Then we were waiting for the award ceremony and they called my name then and I just got this big trophy that I still have, I love that trophy. It’s my favorite trophy ever.
That’s one of my most memorable moments ever because I really didn’t think I was going to win anything but I did.