Three years ago, Steven Valero was playing soccer and had never picked up a golf club. Fast forward to today and Valero has committed to play college golf on the University of the Southwest men’s golf team.
Valero, a senior at BGGA, picked up golf at the age of 17 when a soccer injury stopped him from playing the sport he loved. He tried golf and liked it so much he left his home country of Colombia to spend the next two years training intensely at Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA).
“I love golf because it is a challenge against me,” said Valero. “Golf in general is a challenge. Some days you’re really frustrated with your game and other days are really good. It’s fun to have those feelings and challenges.”
Valero, 20, always knew he wanted to do something in sports and now his new passion for the game is taking him down the path of college golf where he’ll take his game to another level while earning a degree. BGGA’s College Planning and Placement team opened a door for Valero that he didn’t know was possible.
“BGGA helped me a lot with college placement,” said Valero. “I didn’t have any idea how it worked. Once I got here, I worked on my resume and video. I went on college visits and learned how the process works.”
Valero will join his new teammates this fall at the University of the Southwest, currently ranked No. 56 in the NAIA men’s college rankings. He chose the school because, “It’s the best opportunity for me to keep working on my game. It’s a small team so I will have time to work with the coach. The facilities are really good for golf. The coach is very nice and professional, and he wants to help me improve.”
In two short years, Valero’s game has continually improved. “I remember when I first came here my first two tournaments I shot over 90,” said Valero. “Last year I started playing in the high 70s, so it’s at least a 15-shot improvement. That’s pretty good. I never thought I could be at this level.”
Valero knew he needed to put in the work to get better and felt he was in the perfect place to improve his game.
“At BGGA you have everything you need for golf,” said Valero. “If you want to improve your game, you can practice every day and the weather is always nice. There’s no excuse for being here and not improving. You have to put in the work because you have everything here.”
Valero has really enjoyed his time at BGGA because of the coaches, the friends he’s made and the staff.
“I’m going to miss my coaches and everything here at BGGA,” said Valero. “I really enjoyed my time training here. The staff and my friends made BGGA a really nice experience.