Interview Esteban Toledo
Esteban qualified for the PGA Champions series in 2013.The upward trajectory of his career is due to his discipline and perseverance.
Esteban was born in Mexicali, Baja California. He tells us his father moved the family to a home that was located just opposite a golf course, separated only by a lagoon. It was there he began his relationship with the sport. He collected errant golf balls while on his way to becoming a caddy.
“I lost my dad when I was five years old. My mother had to take care of our 12-member family. We had a difficult life, very poor. My childhood was painful because a brother also died.All of us had to work from a very young age.”
Esteban remembers the day when, as a child, he found a Tom Lehman driver. He swam across the lagoon, took some balls he found in the water and played holes 14, 4 and 5.
“In elementary school, my classmates bullied me until there came a time when I thought I should do something about it. I asked my brother to take me to learn boxing. It was then I met Gavilan Rios, who taught me the sport. Maromero Paez was training at the same gym. Boxing provided the solid base and the maturity that I needed in my career as a golfer. It gave me determination and the ability to control the pressure, stay focused, and fight for what I wanted. Golf is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me.”
His dream to become a boxer came to an end when he was injured for the second time. It was then he decided to give golf a try. At the age of 19, Esteban managed to find sponsors and move to America. While working as a caddy, he met many people who offered the support he needed to reach his goal.
The golfers who influenced Esteban the most at the beginning of his career were Ben Crenshaw and Tom Watson. He dreamed of playing in a tournament with the two professionals. Today, he knows Tom Watson but has not had the opportunity to golf with him. He did golf with Ben Crenshaw in New York and admits he could not help being nervous.
Encouraging young talent is of great interest to Esteban. He believes that it is important to set the right example and provide the necessary support to make inroads into tournaments. Along with Lorena Ochoa, Esteban is committed to promoting young golfers. He relishes the rating of Carlos Ortiz and Oscar Frausto on the PGA Tour and is convinced that more Mexican players will be participating soon.
“I want to encourage Mexican golfers; teach them what they need to do to participate on the PGA Tour. Only a strong will and heart will keep them moving forward. Never stop dreaming.”