Hidetoshi Yoshihara: on par for greatness


Photo courtesy of Hideyoshi Yoshihara

Junior Hidetoshi Yoshihara looks off after a swing at the National Junior Golf Tournament in Florida.

Since the age of two, junior Hidetoshi Yoshihara has always yearned to become a professional golfer. Now, with his skills and UCLA’s help, he might just be able to reach that goal.

Gazing upon the golf ball resting on the tee, Yoshihara quickly shifted his attention to the course and back. Calmly he let out a slow breath, gripped his club tightly and swung towards the hole. This was the National Junior Golf Championships in Florida last  November, in which players from around the world competed.

“In Florida last summer, I was able to finish fourth in a National Junior Golf tournament, which was the biggest success I had as a junior golfer,” Yoshihara said. “Although it was very competitive, I really enjoyed playing against other golfers who strived for the same goal I had.”

Wanting to further challenge himself, Yoshihara moved to the United States from Japan at 14 with his family. Since then, Yoshihara has continuously competed in numerous tournaments while piquing the interest of many colleges as he traveled across the nation.

He has received invitations and scholarships from various prestigious colleges such as UCLA, USC, Pepperdine University and Stanford University. Among these choices, Yoshihara has already committed himself to one particular college; it was UCLA that drew him in during sophomore year.

“Upon my trips, I had met the nicest golf coach as I visited [UCLA’s] campus,” Yoshihara said. “UCLA has a great team, so if I could be a part of [the school’s] team and become successful, it will allow me to get closer to achieving my dream.”

Currently, he holds the rank of second place for high school golf in all of California and the rank of 27th in the nation. Despite this feat, Yoshihara continually practices both outside of school and on the varsity golf team to improve his performance.

“He has a great sense of humor and is a great addition to our team,” sophomore Austin Walters said. “[Yoshihara] really helps the team out on the course with his good scores and good attitude.”

As of now, Yoshihara is leading the varsity team against other high schools in their pre-season games.  With both his friends’ and parents’ support, he looks forward to UCLA and making it into CIF this year.

“If he works harder, I believe he can reach his goal of becoming a professional golfer like his father,” Yumiko Yoshihara said. “I believe UCLA is the perfect school for him to reach his full potential.”

As time goes on, Yoshihara continues to get even closer to his dream as it travels across the course and into the hole.