Our latest featured girls golf player of the future is 12 year old Zoey Iglesias from Port Saint Lucie in Florida. Zoey is an impressive young golfer living with diabetes and determined to make it to the big time.
Zoey we really enjoy following your progress on your terrific Instagram account. What made you want to start playing golf?
I started playing golf when I was 8 years old. I was outside playing with my dogs, Bruno & Pepe, and my dad was hitting balls into a net so I walked over and tried to hit the ball. I completely missed the ball about 5 times and then finally hit it. I told my Mom and Dad I wanted to win trophies and said that I would beat my dad someday. Since then I have beaten him many times but he always says he’s letting me win … but I don’t think so.
Where do you play and practice?
I play at The Saints and Sandpiper Golf Club at Club Med in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. I either practice at my house since I took over my living room and have a net and hitting area or go to the courses I play on. I love my courses since everyone is always asking when my next tournament is and cheering me on. I also love the nature since we always have alligators on the course.
Do you have a favorite player
I have two favorites, one is Stacey Lewis because I met her when I first starting playing golf and she signed my first golf bag. My second is Milena Savich. She’s a friend and is playing on the Symetra tour this year. Last year I got to see Milena play and it was so exciting to see the professional girls in a tournament.
Our game has so many different aspects. What do you love most about golf?
It’s really hard to pick what I love about golf since I love everything to do with the sport. If I have to pick something it would be hitting the ball as hard as I can with my driver. I love being outside and enjoying the very pretty courses that I play in tournaments. It’s become a family thing because both my parents caddie for me My dad knows golf very well and my mom, she’s my rock on the course.
Zoey is working so hard and is getting better each day. She was diagnosed with MODY 3, a form of diabetes and is on medicine to help her pancreas release insulin. She never lets it get her down and plays golf so well despite often having to test her sugars in a middle of a round to prevent her sugars going low when she’s playing. No matter what, Zoey always keeps going and that’s what I am most proud of. Gina Iglesias (Zoey’s Mom)
What’s the one thing you would like to improve about your swing or game?
The one thing I need to work on is my mental game. For example holding it together for 18 holes in a tournament and not choking coming down the last few holes. There’s always room for improvement but like my mom says, I’m a kid so don’t worry about it and have fun.
Do you think that your love of playing golf is teaching you other things apart from the sport itself?
I think it is teaching me to be self-dependent and rely on myself both on and off the golf course. I am also able to concentrate better and this makes me a better student. Playing golf has also taught me to take chances and go for it. I am a better person because of golf.
You have got a very good swing. Who is your teacher?
My coach is Marvin Sangüesa. He’s been with me since I started. We do playing lessons and he comes to my house to work with me on my swing. He’s the BEST coach ever. I can call him anytime and he’s there for me. We do a lot of swing videos so that I stay on track.
Zoey is such a wonderful young lady and one of my hardest working juniors. She is always in good spirits and doesn’t let a poor round get to her. She just learns from it, keeps moving forward and gets better. Great attitude to have at a young age and I really look forward to seeing her game grow through the coming years. Marvin Sangüesa
Thank you so much Zoey for being part of our Girl’s Golf feature. It’s been great getting to know your story. Keep playing and practising hard with Marvin’s great coaching but most of all, like your Mom says, always remember to enjoy the game and have fun.