Golf is a game that demands technique, confidence and strategy. It’s not a sport that can easily be mastered. However, sometimes the “golf gods” bless certain individuals.
Kiko Rosete, a Mercer men’s golfer from Gijon, Spain, is one of those lucky people. Rosete was 2 years old when he swung his first golf club.
Rosete’s father took him to his older sister’s golf practice and encouraged him to pick a club up and try.
“I just went and grabbed my sister’s clubs that were bigger than me and started to hit the ball and swing like a golfer,” Rosete said.
After that day Rosette’s father bought him his own set of clubs. It didn’t take too much time before he started to develop a passion for golf.
“I was eight or nine when I played my first Spanish tournament,” Rosete said. “I just loved playing against other kids.”
Rosete’s love for competition has not changed since then. His favorite aspect of golf is competing and winning.
“People say you don’t have to beat the other player, you just have to beat the course,” Rosete said. “But when I play, I want to beat them.”
Rosete mirrors his favorite golfer’s mindset and game strategy.
“Severiano Ballesteros was very aggressive and tried to hit impossible shots,” Rosete said. “I try to do the same.”
Ballesteros, like Rosete, is a Spaniard golfer.
Rosete explained that confidence and trust is an important part to his game as well.
Receiving offers from several universities in the Big Ten Conference and from Mercer, the Spaniard’s talent was wanted in America.
“I sent emails that introduced myself and I had videos of me playing golf,” Rosete said.
Rosete’s coach, Alberto Fernandez, helped Rosete through the recruiting process by helping contact universities.
Initially wanting to attend a large university, Mercer’s exceptional academics and the South’s warm weather won over Rosete.
His older sister also had a large influence on his decision to come to Mercer. Andrea Rosete played golf for Washington State University but left after her first year.
“She couldn’t practice as much golf as she wanted because of the bad weather,” said Rosete.
Golfing in good weather is what Rosete wanted and that is what he got.
However, leaving Spain and adjusting to the American culture was not easy at first for Rosete. He had trouble adjusting to a usual American schedule.
“Eating lunch at 12 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. was weird for me,” Rosete said. “I was used to eating lunch at 3 p.m. and dinner at 10 p.m.”
Adjusting to another country’s lifestyle can be difficult, but Rosete adapted quickly through time and with the help of his teammates.
Although many things are different between Spain and America, there is one thing that Rosete can count on being the same: golf.
Golf is a year-round sport with two seasons — a fall season and a spring season. Rosete spends a lot of time on the green.
During his fall season, the freshman golfer started four out of five tournaments for the Bears. An issue with his transcripts withheld him from playing in the first tournament.
Going into his spring season, Rosete has a few goals that he hopes to achieve.
“I want to be the Freshman of the Year and be an All-American. I also want to win at least one tournament,” Rosete said.
Along with personal goals, Rosete wants to win the Southern Conference title and play in Regionals with his team.
“It’ll be hard, but we can do it,” Rosete said.